To argue that a principled description of the grammar of any language, in this case Standard English, requires us to recognize that all words in the language belong to a restricted set of grammatical categories.
A grammatical category is a class of expressions which share a common set of grammatical properties. So if words can be classified into different typesor categories, the question would be, how can we distinguish them or how can we know which is which?? Or what is an adjective? We need to talk about classification of words a little bit in order to provide a good definition of an adjective, which is our topic today.
So when discussing classification of words, linguists and grammarians came to the conclusion that two criteria can be used to sortthem out, the morphological and distributional criteria.
Morphology, as we all know, is that part of grammar that deals with the structure of words, it describes what kind of inflections(number, gender, case) and word-formation affixes ( prefixes or suffixes) they can take; whereas by distribution we mean the place that a word occupies in a sentence.
Main points to develop• Adjectives are words which give extra information about nouns.
• They do not change their form to show number or gender.
The hero was played by a young boy.
Several young girls took the secondary roles.
• They do not change their form except when they are comparatives or superlatives: one syllable, two or more syllables, irregular adjectives, exceptions,emphasis and strength, equality, less and least.
• Adjectives with as, so, too, enough and such
• Other types of comparison: Progressive comparison
Like and as
• The different positions ofadjectives and the sequence of groups of adjectives can cause difficulty.
Concerned residents or residents concerned.
Adjectives after nouns, pronouns, etc.
Participle (-ing or –ed) adjectives
Using commas and and
• Adjectives are “describing” words. Theyhave a meaning which can be made stronger or weaker. These are called “gradable adjectives”.
• Other adjectives have a meaning which is extreme and cannot easily be made stronger or weaker. These era called “ungradable adjectives”
Adjectives arewords which give extra information about nouns, they are called “driscribing” words, but how can we recognise them? Which are their grammatical properties?
Now we can say that there are two sets of words. In each of them, words share common grammatical properties. Those sets are lexical and functional categories.
Adjectives are lexical categories because 1-they have descriptive content, 2-theyconstitute open classes, 3-their complements are arguments, 4-and they can be predicators and they can assign theta (semantic) roles.
We can use the morphological and syntactic properties of a word to determine its categorization. So in order to know if a word is an adjective, for example, the word happy, we know that it is an adjective because:
1- it has all the derivational properties ofadjectives( un-, -ly, -ness, -er/-est);
2- it has no plural, no gender( happy boy/ happy girls)
3- The position in the sentence:
Attributive position ( The happy boy) is between the determiner and the noun.
Predicative position ( Subjective Complement) Your daugther is pretty. (Objective Complement) I find her pretty
They can be premodified by an intensifier:
That was very funny or...