Premodifiers in English: Their Structure and Significance (Studies in English Language)

By Jim Feist

The order and behavior of the premodifier (an adjective, or different enhancing notice that looks prior to a noun) has lengthy been a puzzle to syntacticians and semanticists. Why will we say 'the genuine purple ball', yet now not 'the purple genuine ball'? And why, conversely, do a little different premodifiers have unfastened edition in sentences; for instance we will say either 'German and English audio system' and 'English and German speakers'? Why do a little premodifiers switch the that means of a word in a few contexts; for instance 'young man', can suggest 'boyfriend', instead of 'man who's young'? Drawing on a corpus of over 4,000 examples of English premodifiers from a number of genres equivalent to advertisements, fiction and clinical texts, and throughout numerous forms of English, this booklet synthesises learn into premodifiers and offers a brand new clarification in their behaviour, order and use.

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C) Synonymy. a few phrases with Descriptor makes use of have synonyms; however it is extraordinary that the synonyms mostly usually are not Descriptors yet Epithets (having expressive or social which means, as mentioned within the following ­section on Epithets): old-ancient, young-juvenile, cold-frigid, black-inky. (The moment in each one pair is an Epithet, while utilized in the experience during which it's a synonym. ) (d) Semantic fields. a few Descriptors healthy into semantic fields (their position within the box mostly defining their meaning), instead of into the styles indexed above. Examples comprise the color phrases (in the sector pink, orange, yellow, eco-friendly, and so on); and -ed and -ing participial kinds, as in ‘her slumbering face’ (where sound asleep is going with possible choices corresponding to drowsing and linked actions equivalent to dreaming ). The semantic fields, during which the styles are abnormal and depending on the proof of the realm, are extra standard of Descriptors than are the average and linguistic styles of synonymy and antonymy. three. three. 6. three  Borderline situations of Descriptors a few participles which have been Descriptors of their first premodifier use are actually Epithets (and are rated as adjectives in dictionaries), as with impressive in ‘surprising new catwalk trend’. it really is ordinary, hence, that Descriptors grade off in the direction of being Epithets. An instance is frilled, as in ‘a thin frilled dress’, the place frilled is particularly shut in intending to frilly (which is mostly an Epithet – ‘a frilly purple dress’). outdated and new as Descriptors also are on the subject of the border of that area, in view that they've got a slightly imprecise that means, and are often used as Epithets (examples are given in §3. four. 2. three, below). Conversely, there are cases with regards to the borderline with the Classifier sector, as participles weaken in occasion that means and start to obtain referential that means (denoting one of those the top entity). ‘Courageous British disabled skiers’ has disabled as a Classifier yet ‘gifted disabled Irish writers’ has it as a Descriptor; the latter use is particularly just about having the ‘type’ which means of the previous use. three. three. 7  end: the semantic constitution of Descriptors the details from this part are that Descriptors have descriptive which means; that they're empty of constructional that means, of referential, 52  Semantic clarification of unmarked order around the zones desk three. 15  pattern Epithets Det. Epithet Descriptor Classifier Head a an a a a the daring epic comfortable beaut queer attractive new eight-minute subsidised well-behaved white sunny internet-based atmospheric process experience life stag patch climate misty iciness expressive and social which means; and they usually are not gradable. Secondary issues approximately Descriptors are as follows: they're really uncomplicated in semantic constitution, target and dominantly perceptual; compared to Classifiers, they're extra common, have extra complexity of kinfolk to different phrases, and are vaguer; and there's a major semantic distinction among the participial Descriptors and adjectival or nominal Descriptors, even supposing they percentage the traits indexed during this precis.

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