Noun and noun Phrases 4.1 Classification of nouns 4.2 Gender of nouns 4.3 Number forms of nouns 4.4 Partitives 4.5 Genitive noun
WHAT ARE NOUNS? • Nouns are naming words. • They name people, places and objects. • They can also name ideas, emotions, qualities and activities. • Here are some examples of nouns: • Peter, Elizabeth, driver, sister, friend.
4.1Classification of nouns • Nouns can be classified according to word formation: • Simple Nouns • Compound Nouns • Derivative Nouns
lexical meaning • Proper Nouns • Common Nouns
Proper and common nouns A proper noun is a name used for a particular person, place or thing, and spelt with a capital initial letter. (eg: Anderson, Britain, The New York times).
Proper nouns • Proper nouns start with capital letters. • They are the names of people, places, times, organisations etc. • They refer to unique individuals. • Most are not found in the dictionary.
A common noun is a name common to a class of people, things or abstract ideas. • Common nouns can be further classified into individual, collective, material, and abstract nouns • (eg: boy, tiger, family, team, water, air, honesty, glory).
Abstract nouns • Abstract nouns name ideas, feelings and qualities. • Most, though not all, are uncountable. • Many are derived from adjectives and verbs and have characteristic endings such as –ity, -ness, -ence, and -tion. • They are harder to recognise as nouns than the concrete variety.
grammatical form • Count Nouns • Noncount Nouns
The diagram of nouns proper individual countable nouns collective common material uncountable abstract
Function of Noun and Noun Phrases • The noun phrase can function as all the elements in a sentence except the predicate verb. • eg:Children at play seldom remember what time it is. That was an attractive little black chair. In the hall I saw some extremely valuable pictures. They elected him chairman of the board. Mr. Brown, director of the coal mine, should be responsible for the accident. Teachers should be concerned about the students’ moral culture. He returned last night. A photo is taken each time this button is pushed.
4.2 Gender of nouns • Nouns do not have grammatical gender in English. • Some have a natural gender, • e.g. male female uncle aunt groom bride son daughter father mother bull cow bachelor spinster monk nun
. Some nouns for jobs and roles do refer to males or females ,often by their suffixes e.g. actor, actress; waiter and waitress businessman manageress emperor empress host hostess hero heroine Some nouns often refer to males or females by adding boy/girl, man/woman, male/female, he/she before the nouns. e.g. man doctor, girl -friend, he-wolf
4.3 Number forms of nouns • Number is a grammatical distinction which determines whether a noun or determiner is singular or plural.
1) Regular and Irregular Plural • Individual nouns are all countable and therefore have singular and plural forms. The plural form of an individual noun can beregular or irregular. Regular: The regular plural is formed by adding –s or –es to the base. (page16 )
Irregular plurals • The irregular plural is not formed in the above way but by other means such as by changing the internal vowel or by changing the ending of the noun. • (eg: tooth—teeth, man—men, mouse—mice, child—children, ox—oxen)
Irregular plurals also include some words of foreign origin, borrowed from Greek, Latin or French. The plural forms of these borrowed words are known as “foreign plurals”, • eg:Basis—bases criterion—criteria stratum—strata alumnus—alumni
Some borrowed words have two plural forms: a foreign plural and an English plural, eg:Medium—media—mediums index—indices—indexes Formula—formulae—formulas curriculum—curricula—curriculums • For some nouns, their singular and plural number share the same form, eg:a deer—ten deer one fish—several fisha Japanese—a group of Japanese an aircraft—a hundred aircraft
Exercises : • monkey quiz negro boss • Henry Chinese wolf bamboo • basis craft datum • formula ox phenomenon • volcano hypothesis trout
2) Number Forms of the Collective, Material, Abstract and Proper Noun • Number Forms of the Collective Noun • Some collective nouns are countable, some are not. • There is also a kind of collective noun which can be used either in the singular or in the plural sense.
Number Forms of the Material Noun • Material nouns are generally uncountable and have no plural forms. • When used to mean the material itself, they are uncountable,but when used in other senses, for example, two coffees in the sense of “two cups of coffee”, they are countable, behaving just like individual nouns. • The house is built of stone. • They throw stones at him.
There are also material nouns that can take plural endings, for example, sands/waters in the sense of “large expanse of sand or water” and foods/fruits in the sense of “a variety of food or fruit”; those nouns, though ending in –s, remain uncountable. • The fish is rarely found in fresh waters.
Number Forms of the Abstract Noun • Abstract nouns are mostly uncountable. • In the case of some abstract nouns, the mere addition of a plural ending has the effect of changing the meaning of the base. • We meet once a year to exchange our teaching experience. • We told each other our experiences in foreign countries.
Number Forms of the Proper Noun • Proper nouns are unique in reference and therefore have no plural forms, except for such proper names as the United States, the Philippines, the Netherlands, etc which are themselves plural in form. • When a proper noun takes a plural ending, it takes on some characteristics of a common noun, eg:Have you invited the browns? There are two Miss Smiths/Misses Smith in our class.
4.3 Partitives • Partitives, also called unit nouns, are commonly used to denote a part of a whole or the quantity of an undifferentiated mass. Both Count and Noncount nouns can enter partitive constructions. • With plural count nouns, partitive constructions can denote the idea of “a group”, “a pack”, etc. • With noncount nouns, such constructions can achieve countablility.
Classification of partitives: 1) General Partitives • With noncount nouns the expression of quantity can be achieved by means of certain general partitives, particularly piece, bit, article, and item, followed by an of- phrase, eg: A piece of advice a bit of trouble an article of furniture 2) Partitives Related to the Shape of Things There are partitives that are semantically related to the shape of things and whose power of collocation is, therefore, quite limited, eg: A cake of soap a bar of chocolate two ears of corn
3) Partitives Related to Volume • A third class of partitives are those that are semantically related to volume, and all of which are common nouns. They can freely collocate with related nonount nouns, eg:A bottle of ink/oil several pails of water • 4) Partitives Related to the State of Action • The use of these partitives is limited to certain set phrases, eg:A fit of anger/coughing/laughter/fever • A peal of applause/laughter/thunder
5) Partitives Denoting Pairs, Groups, Flocks, etc • These partitives commonly occur with plural count nouns, eg:A pair of shoes/scissors/trousers • A swarm of bees/flies/animals/peopleA gang of hooligans/criminalsA pack of hounds/cards/thieves A bench of judges page 21
4.4 Genitive noun • Case is a grammatical category. • It denotes the changes in the form of a noun or a pronoun showing its relationship with other words in a sentence. • The genitive was traditionally labeled as the “possessive case”.
1) Formation of genitive nouns • The genitive is formed in writing by adding ’s to singular nouns and to those plural nouns that do not ending in –s. • Plural nouns ending in –s take an apostrophe as genitive marker, eg:the girls’ dormitory a teachers’ college
In compound nouns or a post modified noun phrases, the genitive ending is adding to the compound or to the end of the noun phrase, • my mother-in-law ’s death an hour and a half ’s talk
In coordinate nouns, the genitive ending is adding to each of the coordinate elements when denoting respective possession, and only to the last coordinate element when denoting common possession. • Mary’sand Bob’s books Mary and Bob’s book
2) Meanings of genitive nouns • The genitive is chiefly used to denote “possession”, and therefore, is traditionally called “possessive case”. • But genitive meanings are by no means restricted to possession.
Possessive genitive, eg:Taiwan is part of china’s territory. • Subjective genitive, eg:The Prime Minister’s arrival was reported in the morning paper. • Objective genitive, eg:The criminal’s punishment will be ten years in prison. • Genitive of origin, eg:Newton’s law was developed in the 17th century. • Descriptive genitive, eg:This workshop makes men’s shoes. • Genitive of time, distance, measure, value, etc, eg:two hours’ delay 300kilometres’ distance
Genitive nouns vs. of-phrases • As central determiner, genitive nouns are sometimes interchangeable with of-phrases, • eg: China’s foreign policy= the foreign policy of China • But in some cases, we can only use genitive nouns instead of of-phrases: • 1.with nouns referring to people: Mary’s book • 2. if the relation between the nouns is classification rather than possession: women’s clothes • 3. in some idiomatic combinations: • a wolf in sheep’s clothing a bird’s-eye view
In some other cases, however, we can only use of-phrase instead of genitive nouns: • 1.with nouns referring to inanimate, lifeless objects: • The color of the car • 2.the opinion of the chairman appointed a month ago3.the income of the rich4.the city of Rome
Independent genitive and double genitive • Independent genitive • Mary’s is the largest apartment in the building. • The doctor’s is on the other side of the street. • Joe lives near St. Paul’s (cathedral) in London. • Pickled vegetable are available at the grocer’s.
Double genitive The prepositional phrase (usually an of-phrase) that takes an independent genitive as complementation is called a “double genitive”, a combination of the above two types of the genitives. • eg:He is a friend of my father ’s = He is one of my father’s friends.
Semantically, a double genitive is different from an ordinary of –phrase. Compare:he is a friend of my father’s= he is one of my father’s friendshe is a friend of my father= he is friendly to my father.a portrait of Mr. Brown’s= one of the portrait owned or collected by Mr. Browna portrait of Mr. Brown= a picture of Mr. Brown himself
Double Genitive vs of-phrase vs genitive • he found a bone of the dog’s.he found a bone of the dog.he found the dog’s bone. • I saw a portrait of Shakespeare’s.I saw a portrait of Shakespeare.I saw Shakespeare’s portrait. • A criticism of the students’ froma criticism of the students towards • An opinion of my brother’s froman opinion of my brother towards
Genitive vs. common case • The same meaning: • a horse’s tail=a horse tail • his life’s work=his life work • his eagle’s eye=his eagle eye • consumer’s goods=consumer goods • a 30 mile’s journey=a 30 mile journey • a bachelor’s life=a bachelor life • different meanings: • a peasant’s family • a peasant family
Exercises: 1. Foreign ships are not allowed to fish in our territorial water. 2. The militias were called out to guard the borderland. 3. The letter contained an important information. 4. Some youth were seen loafing in the street. 5. There is an egg on your nose. 6. The dean will be able to solve the problem of the student. 7. My brother was interested in the long poems of Milton. 8. He felt sympathy for her suffering.