Advantages Of Word Class

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When you look up a word in a dictionary, you see what word class that word comes under depending on the definition of the word you’re looking for. To illustrate, word can be either a noun or a verb, depending on the context you’re using it in. In “a word of caution”, word is a noun, but in “he words his request”, words is a verb. There are eight major word classes we have covered during LING101, those being nouns, main verbs, adjectives, adverbs, determiners, prepositions, auxiliary verbs, conjunctions and complementizes. We have three main criteria for classifying what word class a word belongs to. These are morphological, distributional and semantic criteria (Quinn, 2016), and each has advantages and drawbacks in classifying word class.
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Distributional criteria have to do with how a word is distributed in a sentence; where a word fits in a grammatical sentence relative to other words (Kuiper & Allan, 2010). This is considered the most important of the three main criteria, as English is considered to be relatively deprived of morpho-syntactic criteria (inflectional suffixes) compared with other languages, so this criterion is crucial for the analysis of word classes and has many advantages. One advantage is it is known that nouns have several properties that mean they can occur in various positions relative to a verb in a clause, such …show more content…
All nouns meet the criteria of occurring to the left or right of a verb, depending on the type of clause. Another advantage is that it has also been established that any auxiliary verbs will come before main verbs, for instance in have learned, have is a non-modal auxiliary verb that comes before the main verb learned. Prepositions and determiners come before nouns, such as in the example in their (first year), in is a preposition that precedes the noun their, and in the example the players, the is a determiner that precedes the noun players. However, similarly to morphological criteria, distribution of words in a sentence may be typical, but is not always the case. A drawback to this criterion is certain words can appear in many places in a sentence. In particular, not all nouns combine with an article. Different nouns can require different types of words within their noun phrase. The sentence cat stole the biscuit is considered grammatically unacceptable, and the determiner the needs to be added to the beginning of the sentence for it to be a correct sentence, but if the sentence were Fred stole the biscuit, no determiner needs to be added for it to be considered grammatically correct, even though cat and Fred are both singular nouns. Another drawback to this criterion is that it depends on the first language of the writer and their understanding of English as to where a word may be

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