Criteria For Classifying Word Class Essay

1484 Words Jun 2nd, 2016 6 Pages
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.
The first of the three main criteria for classifying word class is morphological criteria. This criterion is how English words are structured, what inflectional suffixes a word can take, for example -ed in uploaded and -er in faster, what derivation suffixes a word can take, for example -en in spoken and -er in singer, and what derivational prefixes a word can take, for example un- in undo and re- in resettle. One advantage to having this type of criteria for distinguishing word class is that we can quickly and easily tell what class a word belongs to by what comes at the beginning or end of that word. We know if a word has the suffix -ed/-en, it could be a perfect aspect verb, such as arrived or beaten, and the suffix -er/-est could be a…

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