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Курсовик The standard role of adjectives in language. The definition to term adjective, the role of adjectives in our speech, adjectives from grammatical point of view. The problems in English adjectives, the role and their grammatical characteristics.


Тип работы: Курсовик. Предмет: Ин. языки. Добавлен: 26.09.2014. Сдан: 2009. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: --.

Описание (план):


1. Definition of the term adjectives
2. How do adjectives make speech more expressive?
3. Grammatical overview of english adjectives
4. Degrees of comparison of adjectives

The theme of my course paper sounds as following: «Adjective, its types and categories». Before beginning of investigation in our theme, I would like to say some words dealt with the theme of my course paper.
Without referring to the traditional definition of adjectives you can find in any dictionary, Let's make our way into talking about the standard role of adjectives in language. In English the adjective is multifunctional. It is used essentially to describe an object but, in general, it is meant to enrich and clarify ideas and lead the interlocutors to communicate eloquently.
Standing on such ground, I would like to point out tasks and aims of my work
1. The first task of my work is to give definition to term «adjective».
2. The second task is to describe the role of adjectives in our speech.
3. The last task of my work is to characterize adjectives from grammatical point of view.
In our opinion the practical significance of our work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and we hope it would serve as a good manual for those who wants to master modern English language. Also this work can be used by teachers of English language for teaching English grammar.
The present work might find a good way of implying in the following spheres:
1. In High Schools and scientific circles of linguistic kind it can be successfully used by teachers and philologists as modern material for writing research works dealing with English adjectives.
2. It can be used by teachers of schools, lyceums and colleges by teachers of English as a practical manual for teaching English grammar.
3. It can be useful for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her knowledge in English.
After having proved the actuality of our work, I would like to describe the composition of it:
My work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. Within the introduction part we gave the brief description of our course paper. The main part of the work includes several items. There we discussed such problems as main features of English adjectives, described their role in English language, and gave grammatical characteristics of them. In the conclusion to our work we tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the present course paper. In bibliography part we mentioned some sources which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources.
1. Definition of the Term Adjectives

An adjective is a word which acts to modify a noun in a sentence. While adjectives play a large role in many languages - such as English - many other languages have no adjectives at all. In English the set of adjectives is fairly well understood, though some people include other parts of speech - such as articles like the - in the class of adjectives.
There are two main roles an adjective may take in a sentence, and with a few exceptions each adjective is able to take either role just as easily. The first role is to act as a predicative adjective, in which the adjective modifies a preceding noun as a predicate, linked by a verb. An example of a predicative adjective can be found in the sentence: A zebra is striped. in which the adjective striped is linked the subject of the sentence, zebra, by use of the copula verb to be in the is form.
The second role an adjective may take is as an attributive adjective, in which it modifies a noun by being linked directly to the noun as part of the noun phrase. An example of an attributive adjective may be seen in the sentence: `The striped zebra pranced.' in which the adjective striped is directly connected to the subject of the sentence, zebra. In English, most attributive adjectives precede the noun they are going to modify, while in many Romance languages the adjective comes after the noun. So while in English we might say `The beautiful woman.' in French we would say `Le femme jolie.' which may be literally translated as `The woman beautiful.'
While most adjectives in English are able to be used just as easily either in an attributive or a predicative sense, there are some which are restricted to one role or the other. For example, the adjective sole can be used grammatically only as an attributive adjective, as can be seen in the sentence: This is the sole survivor. On the other hand, trying to use the adjective sole in the predicative role would result in the ungrammatical sentence: This survivor is sole. Other English adjectives, such as alone, may be used only as a predicative adjective, while attempts to use them attributively result in ungrammatical sentences.
Adjectives may be modified by adverbs or adverbial clauses, but not by other adjectives. Many adjectives, however, can easily translate into corresponding adverbs simply by adding the ending to them. This can be seen in pairs such as quick/quickly and happy/happily.
In English and many other languages, adjectives also have a correct and incorrect order, depending on the type of adjectives used. Most native speakers learn this order instinctively, and related mistakes are one of the most obvious signs of a non-native speaker. For example, using the adjectives red, little, and two with the noun books, most native English speakers would intuitively order the adjectives to form the sentence `The two little red books.' To non-native speakers, however, it might seem just as intuitive to say `The two red little books.' or even `The red two little books.' both of which are immediately obvious as incorrect to a native English speaker.
As mentioned earlier, not all languages use adjectives; some use other parts of speech instead to fill this role. Many Native American languages, for example, use verbs to fill the role that adjectives play in English, so that rather than `The woman is short.' we are faced with something like `The woman is shorting.' Languages that use nouns as adjectives are often more comprehensible to speakers of English, since our sentence formations can easily allow for metaphoric description using only nouns, with a verb perhaps to flavor it, such as `The sun was a blazing inferno.' instead of `The sun was hot.' English also uses abstract nouns, for example to turn `An important statement.' into `A statement of import.'
2. How Do Adjectives Make Speech More Expressive?

A message void of adjectives is the least expressive one. Therefore adjectives are somehow the backbone of any expression we want to make accurate and clear in encoding the message. Adjectives help us respect real and straight communication rules. So, do you «adjective» your messages so well that people can understand you well?The material is taken from: madrasati2010.bravehost.com/adj.htm
Without the use of adjectives, actually, we lose a lot; and we may be short in expressing our emotions, opinions, and the impressions we have about a given subject. We are going to see to what extent the use of adjectives (esp. adjectives of quality) is helpful in our interactive contact with the others?! See this example: Yesterday, I bought a car.
This sentence seems stiff and dull. It may make you respond to it indifferently because the speaker is giving a vague idea about the car he had bought. His sentence doesn't really carry a complete well-spoken idea. What the speaker needs to make his sentence expressive, attractive and provoking, is by relying on adjectives to colour it and present it in a beautiful structure. Now compare the first sentence with the following: Yesterday, I bought a red car.
The image is getting a little clearer with the adjective «red». Now we know something new about the car. It is not yellow or black, it is rather red. However, actually, it is not yet fully clear enough for us to form a complete image about the car so as to estimate or underestimate it. Therefore, one sentence can bear as many adjectives as you like, provided that they don't raise misunderstanding or confuse the listener. Yet, the speaker should normally respect the appropriate organization of adjectives in a sentence.
Is this order of adjectives in sentence compulsory? Is it based on rules? Let's tackle and illustrate this issue through investigating the impact of the use of adjectives on our «stiff» sentence. What is the most appropriate word-order we should respect to reach a complete multi-adjectival statement? Suppose the speaker wants to tell us about the size of the car; and he chooses to depict his car as «small». Where shall he place the new word in the sentence? Before or after the previous adjective, namely: «red»? Look at it this way: Yesterday, I bought a small red car.
The sentence in its new structure gives more information about the car. We, lucky as we are, have the opportunity to know that the car in question is not a big one. Thanks to this adjective we become able to make our image of the car a little bit clearer though some more details are still in need. These details cannot be provided, so to speak, unless other adjectives come to complete the image in our minds. The structural issue, on the other hand, is to justify the placement of the adjective «small» before the adjective «red». Why couldn't we say instead: [Yesterday, I bought a red small car]? This form is inaccurate. The word ordering, in a sentence, is not moody at all. The accuracy of the sentence here is controlled by the respect of this order, notably: «shape = small» then «colour = red» but not vice versa. Now suppose the speaker intends to praise his car and decides that the adjective 'beautiful' is the most suitable to give his opinion about it, what shall he do? Where shall he place it among the previously stated adjectives? Look at how the sentence should be structured: Yesterday, I bought a beautiful, small, red car.
All these details are boring but unavoidable to make the structure more formal and accurate. The 'beautiful' adjective, on the other hand, is quite interesting in the making of the image. It is not a piece of evidence but it is simply an opinion that could differ from any one else's. The rule says that the opinion is always initial when a range of adjectives are used that's why the speaker places his 'beautiful' opinion adjective first. The adjective describes it as beautiful and this opinion is essentially contributing in depicting an almost complete picture. And that's not all. Our sentence is able to bear as more adjectives as we wish but under the very specific conditions we are trying to clarify here. Now let's go on imagining this famous car as being made in Japan. How can the speaker introduce this new important information?
Yesterday, I bought a beautiful, small, red, Japanese car.
The beautiful small car is made in Japan, which we didn't know before the use of the adjective «Japanese». It improves the picture of the car in our minds and also in the way we conceive the object. The car hasn't got an American or European origin. It is simply Japanese. The newly introduced adjective has to be placed at the end of the list of adjectives already stated. However, it is not the last in the order. Another adjective, notably the one which gives us information about the material with which the car was constructed, is the last ring of the chain. That's amazing, isn't it? Let's go on with it and see the way we are placing the new adjective, Yesterday, I bought a beautiful, small, red, Japanese, plastic car.
We've finally reached a quite complete image of this famous car. In English it is not, normally, allowed to go beyond these five adjectives in a sentence. Their variety is supposed to be enough to make any described object lavishly clear. Therefore, any more adjectives of quality in one single sentence generally lead to ambiguity or distortion of the image. That's greatly enough like this. The construction of a syntactically correct structure of a sentence, in which the adjectives are the basis of transmitting a complete clear message, implies the use of the specific number of adjectives; each of which has to refer you to a piece of information complete in itself but a brick completing the others. It means that no adjectives of the same category should be used more than once. Once these rules are respected, not only will adjectives make your sentences correct and clear, but they also will decorate them and make them look formal and adept. With this order in mind, you can make as many sentences as you wish. You will successfully express yourself formally if you follow the correct order of the adjectives in the sentence. This classification system is not negotiable, however. You cannot break it unless you speak or write to someone who doesn't know exactly what a FORMAL sentence looks like.
*/ There is a lovely, large, multicolour, Moroccan, woollen carpet in my room.
*/ She was wearing an attractive, long, auburn, Indian, silky dress.
As you can see in these sentences, as well as in the former ones, each pair of adjectives is separated by a comma (,). When there are more than one adjective before the noun in a sentence, we usually use commas except for adjectives of colour which we separate by «and» instead. e.g.:
A black and white Djellaba
A blue, white and red flag.
Adjectives are used to carry the specific meaning we intend to convey in many different ways. I mean that the same adjective can have more than one meaning depending on the context. It is not the same in all situations. The adjectives of quality have the ability as to «metamorphose» in their implications once their context has been changed. I mean that they can go from the proper meaning to the figurative one and the same adjective can mean two different things in two different contexts. For example the adjective «pretty» means «attractive» but in another context, it means «fine or good». The adjective «rich», also, has got this quality. It can be used for more than one meaning. Here is a usual example:
1. That's a rich man. (He is wealthy; he's got a lot of money).
2. That's a rich book. (There are a lot of interesting ideas and insights in it).
Sometimes the adjectives turn to be rigid and one adjective is used only for specific purpose and cannot be used for others though they share the same quality. Look at this example:
-/ My uncle is the tall man in the middle.
A man is «tall»; but what about a building or a mountain? Can we attribute the adjective «tall» to them, too? No, another adjective is quite more suitable because it is more expressive and accurate in this situation, it is «high»:
-/ A high building / mountain.
3. Grammatical overview of English Adjectives

There is not much to be said about the English adjective from the grammatical point of view. As is well know, it has neither number, nor case, nor gender distinctions. Some adjectives have, however, degrees of соmparisоn, which make part of the morphological system of a language. Thus, the English adjective differs materially not only from such highly inflected languages as Russian. Latin, and German, where the adjectives have a rather complicated sуstem оf fоrms, but even fгоm Modern French, which h as preserved number and gender distinсtiоns to the present day (сf. masculine singular grand, masculine plural grands, feminine singular grande, feminine plural grandes 'large').
By what signs do we then, recognize an adjective as such in Modern Eng1ish? In most cases this сan be dоne оn1у bу taking into account semantic and sуntасtiсal phenomena. But in some cases, that is for certain adjeсtives, derivative suffixes are significant, too. Among these are the suffix - less (as in useless), the suffix - like (as in ghostlike), and a few others. Occasionally, however, though a suffix often appears in adjectives, it cannot be taken as a certain proof of the word being an adjective, because the suffix may also make part of a word belonging to another part of speech. Thus, the suffix - full would seem to be typically adjectival, as is its antonym - less. In faсt we find the suffix - full in adjectives often enough, as in beautiful, useful, purposeful, meaningful, etc. But alongside of these we also find spoonful. mouthful, handfu1, etc., which are nouns.
Оn the whole, the numbeг оf adjectives which сan be recognized, as such by their suffix seems to be insignificant as compared with the mass of English adjectives. B. Ilyish, The Structure of Modern English, p.58 All the adjectives are traditionally divided into two large subclasses: qualitative and relative.
Relative adjectives express such properties of a substance as are determined by the direct relation of the substance to some other substance.
E.g.: wood - a wooden hut; mathematics - mathematical precision; history - a historical event;
table - tabular presentation; colors - colored postcards;
surgery - surgical treatment; the Middle Ages - mediaeval rites.
The nature of this «relationship» in adjectives is best revealed by definitional correlations. Cf.: a wooden hut - a hut made of wood; a historical event - an event referring to a certain period of history; surgical treatment - treatment consisting in the implementation of surgery; etc.
Qualitative adjectives, as different from relative ones, denote various qualities of substances which admit of a quantitative estimation, i.e. of establishing their correlative quantitative measure. The measure of a quality can be estimated as high or low, adequate or inadequate, sufficient or insufficient, optimal or excessive. Cf.: an awkward situation - a very awkward situation; a difficult task - too difficult a task; an enthusiastic reception - rather an enthusiastic reception; a hearty welcome - not a very hearty welcome; etc.
In this connection, the ability of an adjective to form degrees of comparison is usually taken as a formal sign of its qualitative character, in opposition to a relative adjective which is understood as incapable of forming degrees of comparison by definition. Cf.: a pretty girl - a prettier girl; a quick look - a quicker look; a hearty welcome - the heartiest of welcomes; a bombastic speech - the most bombastic speech.
However, in actual speech the described principle of distinction is not at all strictly observed, which is noted in the very grammar treatises putting it forward. Two typical cases of contradiction should be pointed out here.
In the first place, substances can possess such qualities as are incompatible with the idea of degrees of comparison. Accordingly, adjectives denoting these qualities, while belonging to the qualitative subclass, are in the ordinary use incapable of forming degrees of comparison. Here refer adjectives like extinct, immobile, deaf, final, fixed, etc.
In the second place, many adjectives considered under the heading of relative still can form degrees of comparison, thereby, as it were, transforming the denoted relative property of a substance into such as can be graded quantitatively. Cf.: a mediaeval approach-rather a mediaeval approach - a far more mediaeval approach; of a military design - of a less military design - of a more military design;
a grammatical topic ~ a purely grammatical topic - the most grammatical of the suggested topics.
In order to overcome the demonstrated lack of rigour in the definitions in question, we may introduce an additional linguistic distinction which is more adaptable to the chances of usage. The suggested distinction is based on the evaluative function of adjectives. According as they actually give some qualitative evaluation to the substance referent or only point out its corresponding native property, all the adjective functions may be grammatically divided into «evaluative» and «specificative». In particular, one and the same adjective, irrespective of its being basically (i.e. in the sense of the fundamental semantic property of its root constituent) «relative» or «qualitative», can be used either in the evaluative function or in the specificative function.
For instance, the adjective good is basically qualitative. On the other hand, when employed as a grading term in teaching, i.e. a term forming part of the marking scale together with the grading terms bad, satisfactory, excellent, it acquires the said specificative value; in other words, it becomes a specificative, not an evaluative unit in the grammatical sense (though, dialectically, it does signify in this case a lexical evaluation of the pupil's progress). Conversely, the adjective wooden is basically relative, but when used in the broader meaning «expressionless» or «awkward» it acquires an evaluative force and, consequently, и т.д.................

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