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Lecture 23 . Adjective and Adjective Phrase. Teaching Contents. 23.1 Classification of adjectives 23.2 Adjectives and participles 23.3 Adjective (phrase) as modifier in noun phrases 23.4 Adjective phrases as complement.

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Lecture 23

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lecture 23

Lecture 23

Adjective and Adjective Phrase

teaching contents
Teaching Contents
  • 23.1 Classification of adjectives
  • 23.2 Adjectives and participles
  • 23.3 Adjective (phrase) as modifier in noun phrases
  • 23.4 Adjective phrases as complement
Adjectives are open-class words. They are chiefly used as modifying elements in a sentence.
  • 23.1 Classification of adjectives
  • Adjectives can be classified into one-word and compound adjectives, central and peripheral adjectives, dynamic and stative adjectives, gradable and compound adjectives.
1) One-word and compound adjectives
  • In terms of word formation, adjectives can be classified into one-word and compound adjectives. The one-word adjectives may consist of only one free morpheme, such as big, small, bad; it may also consist of a free morpheme as root plus a prefix or a suffix or both, such as unkind, impossible.
2) Central and peripheral adj.
  • In terms of syntactic functions, adj. can be divided into two groups: central and peripheral adj. Most adj. can be used both as modifier in a noun phrase and as subject/object complement.
  • These adj. are labeled central as different from “peripheral adjectives” that refer to the few which cannot satisfy both of these requirements.
  • e.g. This is utter nonsense.
  • *The nonsense is utter.
  • 形容词的特点:1)起定语作用2)在系动词后seem作表语3)用前置强化语very修饰4)可以有比较级
  • 1) 2) 3) 4)
  • hungry + + + +
  • infinite + + - -
  • afraid - + + +
  • utter + - - -
  • asleep - + - -
  • 符合1)和2)两标准的形容词是中心形容词。
  • 至少符合1)和2)中一条标准的词,如old, afraid是非中心形容词。
3) Dynamic and stative adjectives
  • Semantically, adjectives can be dynamic or stative. Stative adjectives, such as tall, short, describe the static features of aninmate or inanimate objects, and dynamic adjectives describe the dynamic properties of people or things. They are different in the following uses:
a) Dynamic can go with the progressive aspect of the verb be, while stative cannot.
  • e.g. She is being witty/*beautiful.
  • b) Dynamic ones can co-occur with imperative be, while stative ones cannot.
  • e.g. Be patient/*tall.
  • c) Dynamic ones can occur in causative constructions, while stative ones cannot.
  • e.g. I persuade her to be generous/*pretty.
  • He was polite for her sake.
  • *He was tall for her sake.
  • 动态形容词的一般语义特征是,它们表示了被认为是受特性所有者支配而可暂时受到限制的特性。
  • e.g. She is being witty / *beautiful.
  • Be patient / careful / *tall!
  • I persuaded her to be generous / pretty.
4) Gradable and non-gradable adjectives
  • Most adjectives are gradable. Gradability is manifested through the forms of comparison and through modification by intensifiers. Some adjectives that denote a high or extreme degree are non-gradable. e.g. excellent, extreme.
23.2 Adjectives and participles
  • Participles can sometimes be used as modifiers in the noun phrase. Some have all the features of the adjective. They admit of modification of very; they have forms of comparative and superlative degrees; and they may be used as complement in the sentence.
1) Adjectives derived from –ing participles
  • Adjectives like alarming, boring, disappointing, interesting are derived from –ing participle. These forms can be made negative by adding the prefix –un, such as unchanging, unencouraging.
  • 2) Adjectives derived from –ed participles
  • Adjectives like alarmed, bored, conceited, distinguished are derived from –ed participles. Some cannot themselves be used as adjectives, such as behaved, built,
dressed, but they reach full adjective status
  • when they are compounded with an adverb, such as badly-behaved, well-built.
  • 3) Active vs. passive meanings
  • The meanings of participial adjectives may be active or passive. –Ing participial adjectives usually have active meanings, and –ed forms passive meanings.
  • e.g. boiling water, boiled water; a charming girl a charmed girl
23.3 Adjective (phrase) as modifier in noun phrases
  • 1) Premodifying and postmodifying adjectives
  • Adjectives usually appear after the determiner and before the headword, but sometimes they may also take a post-head position.
  • a) When two or more premodifying adjectives appear on different levels, their normal order is like the following:Determiner—adjective denoting the speaker’s evaluation – adjective denoting size, shape, age – adjective denoting colour – adjective denoting
nationality, origin, material – adjective denoting use or purpose (classifier) – noun head
  • e.g. a well-known German medical school.
  • b) Adjectives can also be used as postmodifiers. This usu. Occurs when the headword is a some-/any//no- compound, e.g. something cheaper.
  • c) Adjectives with a prepositional phrase or an infinitive as complementation also occur after the headword they modify
  • e.g. It was a conference fruitful of results.
d) Some adjectives can appear either before or after a noun phrase, but have different meanings.
  • e.g. the members present, the present members.
  • 2) Predicative adjectives
  • There are twp groups of predicative adjectives: adjectives denoting health conditions, such as well, ill and adjectives with a- as prefix, such as alike, alone. Predicative adjectives cannot be placed before a noun, but they can be so used
when they are modified by an adverb.
  • E.g. *an asleep child, a fast asleep child.
  • 3) Adjective phrase vs. relative clause
  • A postmodifying adjective phrase can usu. Be treated as a reduced relative clause. This is also true of predicative adjectives
  • e.g. the members present = the members who were present
23.4 Adjective phrases as complement
  • 1) Adjective + prepositional phrase
  • Adjective phrases composed of “adjective + prepositional phrase” are frequently found in the position of subject complement. Different adjectives usu. Go with specific prepositions to express different meanings.
  • e.g. He was absent from the meeting.
2) Adjective + to-infinitive
  • There are different SVC patterns in which the complement is realized by ‘adjective + to-infinitive”. These patterns vary in meaning with the different adjectives that are used and each pattern represents a different group of adjectives
  • e.g. She is stupid not to follow your advice.
3) Adjective + that-clause
  • The adjective that can take a that-clause as complementation include sure, glad, amazed, surprised. In spoken English, the conjunction that is usually omitted.
  • e.g. I’m glad (that) you like it.
  • This kind of that-clause can sometimes be replaced by a corresponding prepositional phrase or a to-infinitive.
  • e.g. I’m sure that you will get success.
  • = You are sure of success.
  • = You are sure to get success.