Adjective Classes: A Cross-Linguistic Typology (Explorations by R. M. W. Dixon, Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

By R. M. W. Dixon, Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

The reviews during this quantity recommend that each language has an adjective type, yet those range in personality and in measurement. In its grammatical homes, an adjective category may well beas just like nouns, or to verbs, or to either, or to neither.ze. while in a few languages the adjective classification is big and will be freely additional to, in others it really is small and closed. with only a dozen or so contributors. The e-book will curiosity students and complex scholars of language typology and of the syntax and semantics of adjectives.

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Verbs take aspect, modality, and mood suffixes, and nouns take plural marking; none of these is available to adjectives. An adjective may modify a noun in an NP, may occur in a comparative constriction, and maybe complement in a verbless (copula-type) construction. (3) Mam (Mayan family). Although adjectives (and also nouns) can function as intransitive predicate, they take none of the TAM suffixes available to verbs; adjectives share no significant properties with nouns. Nora England provides a full and insightful account in Chapter 5 below.

This was illustrated by (ia/b) in ยง2; see also Chapter 4 below. There is an explanation for the rich syntactic possibilities available to adjectives in Tariana. Their functioning as intransitive predicate is an inherited property, shared with other Arawak languages. Their functioning as copula complement is a property which has been borrowed from East Tucanoan languages, as one aspect of the large-scale diffusion of grammatical patterns that characterizes the Vaupes linguistic area (to which Tariana and East Tucanoan languages belong).

4. Different possibilities in comparative constructions Not all languages have a comparative construction (types of comparative construction were illustrated in (9-10) above). In some of the languages that do, the 'parameter of comparison' can only be an adjective, but in others there are wider possibilities. In Edo, for example, both adjectives and verbs may occur in comparative constructions (Omoruyi 1986). However, in some languages only adjectives can be compared, and this furnishes a criterion for distinguishing between adjective and verb classes; such a property applies to Toba-Batak (Nababan 1981: 71-2), Korean, North-East Ambae, Qiang, and Lao (Chapters 9,11,13, and 14 below).

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