ADJECTIVES AND AP Lecture #2: 2011-02-23
What have we done so far? REVIEW
REVIEW – AP and ADJECTIVES • An ADJECTIVE PHRASE is a phrase headed by an ADJECTIVE. • We analyzed ADJECTIVE PHRASES from several different perspectives: • SYNTAX, MORPHOLOGY AND SEMANTICS • SYNTAX(i.e. their function and position in the sentence): • INDEPENDENT APs (function as SENTENCE ELEMENTS/SYNTACTIC CONSTITUENTS: Cs and Co) • E.g. Cs: He is happy. Co: The clown made her happy. • DEPENDENT APs (function as PARTS OF OTHER PHRASES: modifiers of NPs) • E.g. [NPA happy dog] is a fed dog.
REVIEW – AP and ADJECTIVE • SYNTAX(i.e. their function and position in the sentence): • WHEN THERE IS MORE THAN ONE DEPENDANT APs IN FRONT OF A NOUN, THEIR ORDER IS FIXED: • SUBJECTIVE (e.g. beautiful, interesting, boring, etc.) • OBJECTIVE (size, shape, age, color, participle, origin, material) • IF THERE IS MORE THAN ONE AP OF THE SAME TYPE: THE SHORTEST AP (number of syllables) COMES FIRST • THIS ORDER CAN BE VIOLATED ONLY IF ONE / SOME OF THE APs IS /ARE VERY LONG (the number of syllables): [hot] [cute] [handsome] [Italian] [extremely and amazingly intelligent] guy
REVIEW – AP and ADJECTIVE • MORPHOLOGY= form of the phrase • ADJECTIVE PHRASES, regarding their form, can be: • SIMPLE > HEAD ONLY > e.g. beautiful • COMPLEX > PREMODIFICATION and/or POSTMODIFICATION (complementation) • COMPLEX AP WITH PREMODIFICATION: • [AP [Advvery] beautiful] • THE ONLY POSSIBLE PREMODIFICATION FOR AN AP IS AN ADVERB • COMPLEX AP WITH POSTMODIFICATION: • beautiful [PPbeyond comprehension] • beautiful [CLnon-finiteenough to be put in the shop window] • beautiful [CL finite whatever frame you put around it]
REVIEW – AP and ADJECTIVE • MORPHOLOGY= form of the phrase • ADJECTIVE PHRASES, if headed by GRADABLE ADJECTIVES, can express three degrees of comparison: • POSITIVE (nice) • COMPARATIVE (nicer) • SUPERLATIVE (nicest) • COMPARISON CAN BE: • to the same degree (He is as clever as he she is.) • to a higher degree (He is more clever than she is.) • to a lower degree (He is less clever than she is.)
REVIEW – AP and ADJECTIVE • SEMANTICS= meaning of the phrase • ADJECTIVE PHRASES, regarding the meaning expressed by the head adjective, can be classified according to three criteria: • GENERAL SEMANTIC PROPERTY: stative vs. dynamic • GRADABILITY: gradable vs. non-gradable • INHERETANCE: inherent vs. non-inherent • COMPARISON CAN BE: • to the same degree (He is as clever as he she is.) • to a higher degree (He is more clever than she is.) • to a lower degree (He is less clever than she is.)
INHERENT vs. NON-INHERENT • inherent, adj. =a quality that is inherent in something is a natural part of it and cannot be separated from it • Not all adjectives characterize the referent of the noun directly: • an old friend≠my friend is old • Here “old” refers to the friendship and it does not characterize the person. • Adjectives that characterize the referent of the noun directly are called INHERENT, and those that do not are called NON-INHERENT.
Who/what can be INHERENTLY happy? happy girl happy rock
Who/what can be INHERENTLY hard? hard Rock hard rock
Who/what can be INHERENTLY wooden? wooden table wooden Nichols Cage
SYNTACTIC BEHAVIOUR OF ADJs HAPPY: • Mary is a happy girl. • A happy girl in the corner is called Mandy. • The girl in the corner is happy. • The award made her happy. UTTER: • Mary is an utter fool. • A utter fool can never comprehend such complex ideas. • *The girl in the corner is utter. • *The award made her utter.
SYNTACTIC CLASSIFICATION OF ADJECTIVES (pg. 96) i.e. THEIR SYNTACTIC BEHAVIOR This classification is based on syntactic functions which adjectives can perform. Adjectives that can have BOTHattributive and predicative function are called CENTRAL. E.g. a happy girl vs. The girl is happy. / He made her happy. Adjectives that have EITHER attributive or predicative function are called PERIPHERAL. E.g. an utter fool vs. *The fool is utter.
SYNTACTIC CLASSIFICATION OF ADJECTIVES – peripheral adjectives (pg. 96)
PERIPHERAL As: ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY • Adjectives that are attributive only are adjectives that DO NOT CHARACTERIZE THE REFERENT OF THE NOUN DIRECTLY. • In other words: ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY ADJECTIVES ARE TYPICALLY NON-INHERENT. • Depending on its meaning, a single adjective can be attributive only, central OR predicative only.
Depending on its meaning, a single adjective can be attributive only, central OR predicative only. SENSE 1: • An old man entered the room. = The man who entered the room was old. (INHERENT) SENSE 3: • An old friend helped me. ≠ The friend who helped me was old. (NON-INHERENT) SENSE 5: • Good old Mum wants some time off. ≠ My Mum is old. (NON-INHERENT)
PERIPHERAL As: ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY • Adjectives that are attributive only are adjectives usually CLASSIFIED INTO FOUR GROUPS. • INTENSIFYING ADJECTIVES • RESTRICTIVE ADJECTIVES • ADJECTIVES RELATED TO ADVERBIALS • DENOMINAL ADJECTIVES
ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY: INTENSIFYING As • There are adjectives that have a hightening effect on the noun they modify, or the reverse, lowering effect. Such adjectives are called INTENSIFYING ADJECTIVES. • EMPHASIZERS (sheer madness) • AMPLIFIERS (complete fool) • DOWNTONERS (slight effort) MOST OF THEM ARE USUALLY ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY.
ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY: INTENSIFYING As:DOWNTONERS: ERROR IN THE WORKBOOK • The adjectives that have a lowering effect, i.e. DOWNTONER ADJECTIVESare CENTRAL ADJECTIVES (NOT ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY): • a slighteffort = The effort was slight. • a feeble joke = The joke was feeble.
ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY: INTENSIFYING As:EMPHASIZERS • The adjectives that have a GENERAL HEIGHTENING effect, i.e. EMPHASIZER ADJECTIVES are ATTRIBUTVE ONLY: • a clearfailure ≠ The failure was clear. • sheer arrogance ≠ His arrogance was sheer. • plain nonsense ≠ The nonsense was plain. EMPHASIZERS ARE NON-INHERENT.
ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY: INTENSIFYING As:AMPLIFIERS: confusion in the workbook • The adjectives that SCALE THE MEANING UPWARDS FROM AN ASSUMED NORM, i.e. AMPLIFIER ADJECTIVES can be ATTRIBUTVE ONLY OR CENTRAL, depending on whether they are INHERENT OR NON-INHERENT. • a completevictory = The victory was complete. (INHERENT) • acomplete fool ≠ The fool is complete. (NON-INHERENT) • greatdestruction = The destruction was great. (INHERENT) • agreat fool ≠ The fool is great. (NON-INHERENT)
ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY: INTENSIFYING As:RESTRICTIVE ADJECTIVES • The adjectives that RESTRICT THE REFERENCE OF THE NOUN EXCLUSIVELY, PARTICULARLY OR CHIEFLY, are called. RESTRICTIVE ADJECTIVES and they are ATTRIBUTVE ONLY: • themainreasin ≠ The reason was main. • a certain person ≠ The person was certain. • the very man ≠ The man was very. VERY is usually and ADVERB, but it can sometimes be a RESTRICTIVE ADJECTIVE, as shown here.
ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY: INTENSIFYING As:RESTRICTIVE ADJECTIVES • Adjectives that ARE DERIVED FROM ADVERBS OR ADVERBIAL CONSTRUCTIONS, i.e. ADJECTIVES RELATED TO ADVERBIALS are ATTRIBUTVE ONLY. They are NON-INHERENT. • my formerfriend ≠ My friend is former. (~ formerly my friend) • past students ≠ The students are past. (~students from the past) • the late president ≠ The president is late. SOMETIMESan adjective related to adverbials can be ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY or CENTRAL, depending on the noun which it modifies.
ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY: INTENSIFYING As:RESTRICTIVE ADJECTIVES • a goodthief ≠ The thief is good. (~ he thieves well) • a goodwriter = The writer is good. • a poorliar ≠ The liar is poor. (~ he lies poorly) • the poorman (who went bankrupt) = The man is poor.
ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY: INTENSIFYING As:DENOMINAL ADJECTIVES • Adjectives that ARE DERIVED FROM NOUNS, i.e. DENOMINAL ADJECTIVES are ATTRIBUTVE ONLY. They are NON-INHERENT. • a criminallawyer ≠ The lawyer is criminal. (~ he specializes in criminal law) • an atomic scientist ≠ The scientis is atomic. (~ he specializes in atomic science) SOMETIMESan adjective related to adverbials can be ATTRIBUTIVE ONLY or CENTRAL, depending on the noun which it modifies.
PERIPHERAL As: PREDICATIVE ONLY • Adjectives that are predicative only are adjectives usually REFER TO A (TEMPORARY) CONDITION RATHER THAN CHARACTARIZE THE REFERENT OF THE NOUN. • There are two groups of predicative only adjectives (based on their syntactic behavior): • PREDICTIVE ONLY ADJECTIVES WITHOUT COMPLEMENTATION • She is well. ≠ a wellshe. / ≠ She is wellof age. • PREDICTIVE ONLY ADJECTIVES WITH OPTIONAL COMPLEMENTATION • She is afraid of the dark. / She is afraid. ≠ an afraidshe
PERIPHERAL As: PREDICATIVE ONLY:NO COMPLEMENTATION • Adjectives that are predicative only and do not tolerate complementation, are most commonly those referring to health or lack of health of an animate being. • FAINT • WELL • ILL (mostly in formal BrE) • UNWELL • SICK (mostly in formal BrE)
PERIPHERAL As: PREDICATIVE ONLY:NO COMPLEMENTATION • Adjectives that are predicative only and can take optional complementation, are mostly a-adjectives. • able (to) • afraid (that, of, about) • aware (of) • fond (of) • loath (to) • tantamount (to)
Angry with him, she stormed out of the room. • Uneasy, he just sat and waited to receive a call. • When nervous, count to ten. When really nervous, count to twenty. • Magnificent! • How nice of you! • WHAT ARE THESE STRUCTURES? • HOW SHOULD WE CLASSIFY THEM?
VERBLESS ADJECTIVE CLAUSES • Uneasy, he just sat and waited to receive a call. • When the phone finally rang he reached for it, almost panicky. • Angry with him, she stormed out of the room. • Extremely surprised at the outcome of the vote, she suddenly found herself in front of the journalists. • Verbless adjective clauses (VAC) are adjective phrases which have the meaning of a whole clauses. • They are actually clauses from which the SUBJECT and THE MAIN VERB HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT: • (He was) Uneasy,he just sat and waited to receive a call. • They can be FINAL or INITIAL in the sentence.
VERBLESS ADJECTIVE CLAUSES • Verbless adjective clauses (VAC) should not be confused with SENTENTIAL ADVERBIALS: • Nervous, he opened the door. > VAC • Nervously, he opened the door. > SENTENTIAL ADVERBIAL • Angry (with him), she stormed out of the room. > VAC • Angrily with him, she stormed out of the room. > ungrammatical • Angrily, she stormed out of the room. > SENTENTIAL ADVERBIAL
VERBLESS ADJECTIVE CLAUSES • Verbless adjective clauses (VAC) usually contain just the head adjective and its postmodification. • However, sometimes they are introduced by SUBORDINATORS: • When nervous, count to ten. • There berries are edible, but only when fresh. • If possible, be there on time. • THESE VERBLESS CLAUSES ARE CALLED CONTINGENT ADJECTIVE CLAUSES.
VERBLESS ADJECTIVE CLAUSES • Verbless adjective clauses (VAC) can sometimes be used in complete isolation, as if they were sentences. • This is only possible if they are used to express EMOTIONALLY COLORED STATES. • Excellent!Nice!Perfect!Magnificent! • How nice of you!So very kind of you! • THESE VERBLESS ADJECTIVE CLAUSES ARE CALLED EXCLAMATORY ADJECTIVE CLAUSES.
DIGRESSION: THE USE OF ADJECTIVES • Columbia University in the City of New York (Columbia University) • Famous alumni include: • Theodoere Roosevelt • Franklin Roosevelt • Barack Obama • Warren Buffet • OrhanPamuk • and more that 40 Nobel-prize laureates
DIGRESSION: THE USE OF ADJECTIVES • At Columbia University in the City of New York (Columbia University), in the course entitled “Academic Writing”, students are instructed that: • “Adjectives are the enemy of nouns, and adverbs are the enemy of everything else.” • Why would anyone say something like that? • Snap question: Who’s the greatest American writer? • Most people would say ERNEST HEMINGWAY. • Hemingway wrote sentences made up solely of nouns and verbs. • The resulting student sentences turned out to be starved of punctuation and severely sparing of word pictures of action, appearance, aspiration, and feeling— some of the very functions adjectives fulfill especially well. • Want to be Hemingway redivivus? Eschew modifiers. • THINK AGAIN!
DIGRESSION: THE USE OF ADJECTIVES • Adjectives have long suffered from bad press. The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate proves that breaking certain rules can make written and spoken language that much livelier, adding much-needed color, style, and adornment. With this addition to the popular Highly Selective series, the "golden" adjective, at last, gets the star treatment it deserves. From adventitious to zaftig, renowned lexicographer Eugene Ehrlich has collected more than 850 of the most interesting and engaging adjectives in the English language and has provided concise definitions and instructive usage examples. Whether you're a writer, a speaker, or a word buff, this compendious, trenchant, laudable, and all-around fantabulous volume will help you put panache back into your prose.
ADVERBS • Usually, people call them “the short words” or “insignificant little words”. • Normally, teachers tell their students that they can be omitted from the sentence • Why do they then even exist in a language? • What do they contribute to the sentence, if they contribute anything? • Let’s see…