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

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

The reports during this quantity recommend that each language has an adjective category, yet those fluctuate in personality and in measurement. In its grammatical houses, an adjective category may perhaps beas just like nouns, or to verbs, or to either, or to neither.ze. while in a few languages the adjective classification is huge and will be freely extra to, in others it truly is small and closed. with only a dozen or so participants. The publication will curiosity students and complex scholars of language typology and of the syntax and semantics of adjectives.

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From examination of a range of languages, it appears that there is in fact no correlation. That is, whether or not a language has a copula construction is quite independent of whether or not adjectives can be intransitive predicates. Languages with verb-like adjectives differ with respect to the possibilities for using an adjective in the copula complement slot. g. 'this man is the chief), not an adjective. 3 This has a rather different meaning from a clause in which the adjective is intransitive predicate, as in (26b).

Of the three open classes, 'entity'—including 'a considerable number of stems referring to species of flora and fauna and supernatural beings, age and other classes of people and other beings, body parts, a group of classes of objects according to shape, and other entities'—could be aptly labelled 'noun. 'Action—expressing 'movement and various other activities'—appears to correspond to what is called 'verb' in other languages. And 'state'—expressing 'quality, condition, colour, size, position, mental state or attitude, conditions of the weather, and other notions'—is clearly to be identified as an adjective class.

In some languages with a verb-like adjective class, both verb and adjective can modify a noun through a process of nominalization, but there may be differences of detail. In Chinese, for example, a verb must take nominalizer -de when functioning as modifier within an NP, whereas for most adjectives -de is optional. (Xu 1988 states that only some HUMAN PROPENSITY adjectives, such asyuchun 'stupid' or jizao 'impatient', have to be followed by -de). In some languages, adjectives and verbs modify a noun through a relative clause construction.

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