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CHARACTERISTICS OF ADJECTIVES: Central adjectives:Can be inflected to show comparative and superlative degree: nice-nicer-nicest.Roles: attributive syntactic role (part of a noun phrase, it precedes and modifies the noun) and predicative (not part of a noun phrase, it characterizes a non phrase that is a separate clause element. They normally occur as subject predicatives following a copular verb (be, appear, smell...) and they describe the subject: the cake smells nice. They can also function as object predicatives (describing de object).They are descriptive and normally charact the referent of a nominal expression (brown eyes), they are gradable (can take comparative and superlative forms).Types: colour adj (green), size and dimension (enormous) and time: (new, old)Peripheral adjectives: don’t share all the above characteristics.many only occur in attributive or predicative roes, but not in both: unable (predicative: I was totally unable to mend it), mere (attrib: a mere of 40% of men attend to their children).Examples: afraid, different, absolute, beautiful. Adjectives with the prefix a- are usually predicative, the following adj occur over 98% in a predicative role: afraid, alike, alive, alone, aware, asleep... Adjectives ending in –al show a strong preference for attributive position: general, local, national, social, industrial THE FORMATION OF ADJECTIVES:  Processes: 1. Using participial adjectives: most are derived from verbs (promising, surprised)-ed and –ing participial forms can be used as adjNew participial adj can also be formed by adding a negative prefix to an already existing adj. (salted water/unsalted butter)Many of these –ing/-ed forms can serve both attributive and predicative function (boring, confused), although they are more common with attributive uses.Most common ones: corresponding, missing, working, outstanding, confused, excited, educated, unemployed, pleased, interested... 2. Adding word endings or derivational suffixes: adj can also be formed from other adj especially by using negative prefixes un-, in- and non- (untidy, intolerable, nonsensical)Derived ajd are most common in acad and rare in fiction and convAdj formed with suffix –al are the most common, in acad most of them refer to very specialized words (pneumococcal), the same happens with most –ous adj. however, some are very common in all registers (final, central, general, serious, obvious, previous).Suffixes –ent (indifferent), -ive (abusive) and ous (frivolous) are relatively common Many adj ending in –ent are derived from a verb (differ-ent)The ones finished in –ive have several sources: verb (adaptive), from nouns (factive) 3. Adjectival compounds:  combination of more than one word, can be:Adj+adj: greyish-blueAdj+noun: full-timeNoun+adj: life-longAdv+-ed participle: newly-builtAdv+-ing participle: slow-movingAdv+adj: highly-sensitiveReduplicative: roly-polyNoun+-ed participle: classroom-basedNoun+-ing participle: eye-catchingAlternative expressions to these compounds would require a full clause, normally a relative one: slow-moving animals/ the tortoises which are slow moving animals.Some compounds would be analyzes as two different words if hyphen was missing.SEMANTIC CATEGORIES OF ADJECTIVES: Descriptors (describe, gradable):colour (blue) size/quantity/extent: big, little, wide- Time (chronology, age, frequency): daily, old, often. Evaluative/emotive (denote judgment, emotions, and emphasis): bad, lovely, fine. Mmiscellaneous (many different kinds): cold, empty, free, positive, strong, suddenClassifiers (restrict a noun’s referent, most are non-gradable):Relational/classificational/restrictive: limit the referent of a noun in relation to other referents: additional, maximum, final, following, general...Affiliative: identify the national or social group of a referent: Australian, Irish...Topical: give the specify type of a noun or its focus area: legal, social, political...Some are borderline between descriptors and classifiers: old jumper (descriptor), poor old thing (classifier) ADJECTIVES IN COMBINATION: sometimes used to offer a particular semantic effect.Repeated comparative adj: Two identical comparative adj are sometimes joined by and to denote increasing degree of the adj, used especially in fiction: bigger and bigger.Typically occur after resulting copular verbs: became bigger and bigger. Some make comparatives with more rather than with –er: He got more and more big (repetition of more instead of the adj)Intensifiers good and/nice and:Adj are sometimes united with good or nice to intensify the meaning of the adj, these sequences normally occur in predicative position. e.g. milk makes you nice and strongIn attributive position the meaning of the second adj isn’t intensified, instead the first adj retains the meaning: there is nice and cheap dresses in that store. ATTRIBUTIVE ADJECTIVES. normally modify common nouns: favourite food,can also modify proper place nouns: old fashioned Istanbul, people’s names (less common) little Sarah, personal pronouns, occur occasionally in conv and fiction, especially in exclamations: poor me, I’ve lost the bus / silly old you. PREDICATIVE ADJECTIVES: Occur with two syntactic roles:1. Subject predicatives (SP):Complement a copular verb. Characterize the nominal expression that is in subject position: it would be easier to go and get the keys.The most common predicative adjs have a prep phrase, a to-inf clause or that-clause that complements their meaning, e.g. phrasal complements: that’s nice [of you], clausal complements: I’m sure [the Smiths aren’t in their house]2. Object predicatives (OP):Occur with complex transitive verbs, following the direct object. They characterize the object, e.g. she had all her exercises wrong. OTHER SYNTACTIC ROLES OF ADJECTIVES: Besides their predicative and attributive role they have these ones: Adjectives as postposed modifiers: are parts of a NP but the adj follows the head word. They are more common with compound indef. Pron. as heads (no one, anything or somebody), e.g. do everything possible to be there. Sometimes they appear in some fixed expressions as notary public. When a modifying adj phrase is very long, the adj phrase will often follow the head nouns, e.g. he liked something totally different to what he was being offered. As noun phrase heads: can be modified by adverbs, which is typical of adjectives but not nouns, the adj-headed noun phrase normally refers to a group of people with the characteristic described by the adjective. The definite article is typically used with adjectives as noun phrase heads. These adjectives and also take premodifiers which is typical of nouns. As linking expressions: serve to link clauses or sentences to one another, can also have modifiers, e.g. even worse, he left home after bankrupt. As free modifiers: modify a NP, but they aren’t syntactically part of it. the adj phrase has a peripheral role in the clause, normally placed in sentence-initial position although can also be in final position, e.g. Lucy screamed, really frightened As exclamations: Great, I managed! Amazing! MODALS COMBINED WITH ASPECT VOICE. Most transitive verbs can occur in two voices: active and passive. The active voice is the most common one and the passive is used in special discourse functions, most of the passive constructions are formed with the auxiliary verb be and with the participle –ed. The construction in passive voice can be carried out by most transitive verbs, in which the direct object in the active voice comes to be the equivalent to the subject in the passive voice. Some verbs that rarely happen in the passive voice as for example agree, have, like, try, want, belong to, etc. The passive voice is useful because it allows the writer to avoid naming who has the obligation to do something. Although modals cannot combine with tense, they can combine with aspect and voice. The construction of the modal verb with perfect aspect is the following (modal + have + ed- participle), e.g. I must have done very badly in my driving test for failing. This aspect sometimes occurs with the obligation/necessity modals must and should, but these modals are normally used to mark logical necessity rather than obligation, and furthermore the modal must with the perfect aspect is only understood as a logical necessity. E.g. they must have saved more money instead of spending it on unnecessary things. May and might are used with perfect tense, to express a certain degree of doubt about past events. E.g. they might have worked more if they were better payed. Another kind of construction is the modal with the progressive aspect (modal + be + ing-participle): I will be going to your house for tea. There are relatively few modals that occur with this aspect, most of the cases are given as semi-modals in conversation. The modals used are will and theobligation/necessity modals. (Must, have to, should). E.g. he must have being ill last week, because he did not go to work. The modal shall often occurs with progressive aspect as for example in: we shall be going to a wedding next week The construction of a modal with passive voiceis done with(modal + be + ed-participle): I can be dressed by two o’clock. The most common modals with this voice are can and could. In the active voice the ability meaning is more likely to occur, but in the passive voice the most frequent is the possibility meaning. E.g. the work could be finished by twelve. Must and should in academic prose are somewhat more common in the passive voice and are used to express a kind of collective obligation. E.g. Studying should be an obligation till the age of 18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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