13. Parts of Speech. Distributional and complex classifications




Назва13. Parts of Speech. Distributional and complex classifications
Дата конвертації15.07.2013
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13. Parts of Speech. Distributional and complex classifications.

The parts of speech are classes of words. All the members of these classes have certain characteristics in common which distinguish them from the members of other classes. There are four approaches to the problem of classification of the parts of speech:

    1. Classical (logical-inflectional)

    2. Functional

    3. Distributional

    4. Complex

A distributional approach to the parts of speech classification can be illustrated by the classification introduced by Charles Fries. He wanted to establish a classification of words based on distributive analysis, that is, the ability of words to combine with other words of different types. At the same time, the lexical meaning of words was not taken into account. He introduced 4 major classes of words and 15 form-classes.

All the classifications mentioned above appear to be one-sided because parts of speech are discriminated on the basis of only one aspect of the word: either its meaning or its form, or its function.

In modern linguistics, parts of speech are discriminated according to three criteria: semantic, formal and functional. This approach may be defined as complex. The semantic criterion presupposes the grammatical meaning of the whole class of words (general grammatical meaning). The formal criterion reveals paradigmatic properties: relevant grammatical categories, the form of the words, their specific features. The functional criterion concerns the syntactic function of words in the sentence and their combinability. Thus, when characterizing any part of speech we are to describe: a) its semantics; b) its morphological features; c) its syntactic peculiarities.

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