Semantic properties • Nouns are described as words that refer to a person,place, thing, event, substance, quality, quantity, idea etc. • Classification of nouns: • Proper nouns and common nouns • Countable and uncountable nouns • Concrete, abstract and collective nouns
Words with interesting origins • Biro‘ball-point pen’, named after LászlóBíró, its Hungarian inventor • Boycott‘refuse to deal with’ after a landlord in Ireland who made himself unpopular by his treatment of his tenants and was socially isolated • Braille‘writing system for blind people’ after Louis Braille, its French inventor • Mentor‘loyal and wise adviser’ from Mentor, friend of Odysseus • Pamphlet‘a small leaflet’ from a character Pamphilus, in a 12th century love poem • Tawdry‘cheap and tasteless’ from St Audrey, at whose annual fair in the town of Ely, near Cambridge, cheap gaudy scarves were sold
trilby bowler busby stetson
mackintosh cardigan wellington leotard
Words of Latin Origin • Cent, century, centennial, centigrade, centipede – centum ’hundred’ • Pedal, peddler, pedestrian, pedicab, pedicure – pede ’foot’ • Manual, manacle, manicure, manipulate, manuscript – manus ’hand’
Words of greek origin Three Greek words often found in English: • autos ’self’ • bios ’life’ • graphein ’write’
Origin of the word disaster In ancient times, people believed that the stars had an effect on their lives. When something like an earthquake or flood occurred, they were sure it happened because someone disobeyed the will of the stars. As a result, such events became known as disasters (dis ’opposite , against’ + aster ’star’)
Plural of Compound nouns Most compound nouns form plural by adding –(e)s to the second element • Noun + noun – -s to the second (armchairs, bedrooms)BUTmen-servants, men’s clubs, debtors’ prison • Noun + prepositional phrase (mothers-in-law, editors-in-chief) • When only one of the components is a noun, -s is added to it (lookers-on, passers-by) • When there is no noun, -s is added to the last word (forget-me-nots, good-for-nothings)
Irregular plurals (1) • Mutation – changeof the stem vowel (7 nouns) man – men foot – feet woman – women tooth – teeth mouse – mice goose – geese louse –lice penny – pence • -en plurals (come from OE) ox – oxen, child – children, brother – brethren
Irregular plurals(2) • Uninflected plurals (one form for both singular and plural) deer, sheep, swine; cod, mackarel, pike, plaice, salmon, trout • Words that look singular but are plural cattle, clergy, people, police • Mass nouns (mud, music, peace) – have no plural because they name things that can't readily be counted • Nounsthatlookplural, butaresingular news, physics, politics, darts • Pluraliatantum – nouns that show up only in the plural scissors, jeans, congratulations
Foreign plurals • Latin and Greek plurals • -um-a (stratum – strata) • -us-a, -i(corpus – corpora, radius – radii) • -ex, -ix-ices(appendix – appendices) • -is-es (basis– bases) • -on-a (phenomenon – phenomena) • -a-ae (formula – formulae) • -ies-ies (species – species) • Non-classical • -eau-eaux(beau – beaux)
Double plurals (some difference of meaning) • brother • brothers – sons of one mother • brethren – members of one community • cloth • cloths – kind of cloth • clothes – articles of dress • die • dies – metal stamps for making money • dices – cubes used in games • penny • pennies – number of coins • pence – amount of pennies in value
2) Gender 1. Masculine gender: It refers to a male character or member of a species. Man, lion, hero, boy, king, horse and actor are nouns of masculine gender. Example: • A boy is playing in the play-ground. • Hero of the movie is not a native of this country. 2. Feminine gender: It refers to a female member of a species. Woman, lioness, heroine, girl, mare, niece, empress, cow and actress are few of the feminine-gender nouns that we use. Example: • A girl is playing in the play-ground. • Heroine of the movie is not a native of this country.
3. Common gender: If it refers to a member of species which can be a male or a female: child, student, friend, applicant, candidate, servant, member,parliamentarian and leader are few of the common-gender nouns. Example: • A child is playing in the play-ground. • A Parliamentarian should have command over his language. 4. Neuter gender:It refers to a member of a species which is neither a male nor a female.Normally nouns referring to lifeless objects are in neuter nouns: chair, table, tree, star, mountain, street, book, car, school,paper, pencil and computer Example:• Computer has brought about drastic changes in our lives.• Tree is cleansing the air.• Stars are not visible in the day-time.• Books are our best friends.
Masculine from feminine • bride – (bride)groom – spouse • widow – widower
Genders distinguished by inflexion • emperor – empress • prince – princess • duke – duchess • mayor – mayoress • actor – actress • host – hostess • poet – poetess • heir – heiress • manager – manageress • tiger – tigress • lion – lioness
3) Case • Inflectional form – indicates grammatical function in a phrase, clause or sentence • I kicked the ball. – subject • John kicked me. – object • That ball is mine. – possessor • Alanguage is said to "have cases" only if nouns change their form to reflect their case in this way (declination) • Other languages perform the same function in different ways.
„The english case system is dead” • Nouns in Modern English no longer show grammatical case • Instead– word order and prepositionsto determine grammatical function • Exception– personal pronoun system