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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R38S4JR9M

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Adjectives and the Organization of Lexical Inventories Open Access

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Author or creator
Beck, David
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
Salish
Parts of speech
Lexical classes
Adjectives
Nouns
Verbs
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Language
English
Place
Time
Description
A definition lexical classes is proposed based on the mapping between the prototypical semantic and the unmarked syntactic properties of nouns and verbs which at once captures cross-linguistic generalizations made by previous authors and at the same time explains the typological variation shown in parts of speech systems. Adjectives are the most marked class and that most susceptible to neutralization across languages, which vary with respect to whether or not a class of adjectives is present and, if not, which of the two remaining classes serve the adjectival function of unmarked modifier. Choices as to which of the criterial features of the adjectival class are active in a given language are crucial to determining the underlying shape of the lexical inventory, which in turn has important consequences for the grammar of a language, as shown by an examination of Salish, a verb-adjective conflating family of languages.
Date created
1999
DOI
doi:10.7939/R38S4JR9M
License information
Rights
Copyright © 1999 David Beck
Citation for previous publication
Beck, D. (1999). Adjectives and the Organization of Lexical Inventories. Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics, 17, 18-57.
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