Chapter 6 Adjectives and Adverbs by variablepitch336

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									Chapter 6: Adjectives and Adverbs
Ling 100 July 7, 2008

Unpack Your Adjectives

Distinctive Properties of Prototypical Adjectives
• Function
– Attributive: an old car, black hair, good news – Predicative: The car is old. Her hair is black. The news is good.

• Grade
– Inflectional: She is tall. She is taller than you. She is the tallest of them all. – Marked by more and most: This is useful. This is more useful than that. This is the most useful one.

• Modification by adverbs: too old; remarkably tall; extremely useful to us

Adjectives vs. Nouns (1)
• Inflection
– Nouns can typically be plural, adjectives cannot
• judges, sizes, silks • *wises, *bigs, *smooths

– Many adjectives can be comparative and superlative, nouns cannot
• wisest, biggest, smoothest • *judgest, *sizest, *silkest

• Determiners
– Nouns take determiners, Adjectives don’t – which judge? my size; some silk – *which wise? *my big *some smooth

Adjectives vs. Nouns (2)
• Modifiers
– Nouns take adjectives, adjectives take adverbs – a remarkable judge; its incredible size; this wonderful silk – remarkably wise; incredibly big; wonderfully smooth

• Function
– Nouns can also function as attributive modifiers and predicative complements – Nouns can head phrases in subject and object position, adjectives cannot
• The judge arrived. Its size amazed me. I like silk. • *Wise arrived. *Big amazed me. *I like smooth.

Overlap Between the Categories
Many lexemes, like cold, belong to both categories • Adjective: a low temperature (This soup is cold) • Noun: a minor illness (I caught a bad cold)
Adjective Inflection Determiners colder, coldest Noun colds my cold, which cold?


terribly cold

a terrible cold
The cold was nasty. Don’t catch a cold.

The Fused Modifier-Head Construction
In this construction, the adjective fills the head of a NP, which makes it look like a noun • Simple
– The first version wasn’t very good but [the second] was fine. – Clearly not a noun – can put version after second.

• Partitive
– I couldn’t afford [even the cheapest of them]. – Clearly not a noun – it is in the superlative

• Special
– This tax cut will benefit [only the rich]. – Modifiable by an adverb: the extremely rich – Not like other nouns: *a rich, *some rich, *two riches

Adjectives vs. Verbs (1)
• Inflection and grade
– Verbs can be preterite and 3rd person singular
• loved, regretted, enjoyed, loves, regrets, enjoys • *fonded, *sadded, *appreciatived, *fonds, *sads, *appreciatives

– Adjectives can be comparative and superlative
• fonder, sadder • *lovest, *regrettest, *enjoyest

• Modifiers
– Verbs and adjectives are both modified by adverbs, but some adverbs modify only adjectives: very, pretty, too – These adverbs only modify scalar adjectives – I’m very fond of her. He’s pretty sad. She was too appreciative. – *I very love her. *He regrets it pretty. *She too enjoyed it.

Adjectives vs. Verbs (2)
• Function
– Verbs are the head of VP They love you, We regret it, You enjoy it – Adjectives are complement to a verb like be They are fond of you, We became sad, You seem appreciative.

• Overlap between the categories
– Some items belong to both categories, i.e. tame – Progressive and passive constructions can resemble predicative adjectives
• They are entertaining. • The clock was broken

Adjectives vs. Determinatives
• Determinatives are obligatory with singular count nouns • Determinatives are non-gradable • Determinatives cannot be used predicatively • Determinatives mark an NP as definite or indefinite, not denote a property • Determinatives occur as fused head in a partitive construction

Gradable and Non-Gradable Adjectives
• Gradable adjectives
– Have comparative and superlative forms – Take degree modifiers like very, too and pretty – Denote scalar properties

• Non-gradable adjectives
– Denote non-scalar properties – an alphabetical list, the chief difficulty, my left arm

• Some adjectives can be used either way
– In the public interest – The British government a very public quarrel a very British response

The Structure of Adjective Phrases
• Head is an Adjective • Complements (licensed by the head)
– PPs: afraid of the dark; bent on revenge; conversant with it; good at chess; kind to children – Subordinate clauses: glad it was over; uncertain what to do; eager to win; busy making lunch

• Modifiers
– – – – Adverbs: extremely hot; morally wrong; very useful Determinatives: this young; much better; old enough PPs: cautious to excess; dangerous in the extreme NPs: five years old; two hours long; a bit overpowering

Predicative Complements and Predicative Adjuncts
• Predicative AdjPs usually function as a complement in a clause
– Complex-intransitive: The suggestion is ridiculous. – Complex-transitive: I consider the suggestion ridiculous.

• Predicative AdjPs can also be adjuncts
– Complement
• Max was unwilling to accept these terms. • Licensed by the verb

– Adjunct
• Unwilling to accept these terms, Max resigned. • A supplement, detached from the rest of the clause • Still predicated of Max

Adjectives Restricted to Attributive or Predicative Function
• Some adjectives can only be used attributively these damn budget cuts; the eventual winner; her former husband; a mere child; their own fault • Some adjectives can only be used predicatively The house was ablaze. It is liable to flood. The boy seemed afraid. The child was alone. • Structural restrictions on attributive adjectives
– Attributive AdjPs mostly cannot contain post-head dependents
• She was devoted to her children. • *a devoted to her children mother

– Some post-head dependents show up as indirect complements of the noun a better result than anyone expected

Other Functions of AdjPs
• Postpositives – post-head internal modifiers
– Everything useful; somebody rich; somewhere safe – children keen on sport; a report full of errors – the only modification possible; the ones asleep

• External modifiers
– [How long a delay] will there be? – He’d chosen [too dark a color]. – It seemed [such a bargain]. – [What a fool] I was.

Exercise #1
For each of the following adjectives, decide whether it can be used in attributive function, whether it can be used in predicative function, and whether it can be used in postpositive function 1. alone 2. available 3. ersatz 4. galore 5. immune 6. latter 7. marine 8. previous 9. prime 10. sleepy

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here

• Where adjectives modify nouns…
– a happy family – a greedy child – a passionate lover

• Related adverbs modify verbs…
– They all lived happily ever after. – The child devoured it greedily. – They loved each other passionately.

Adverbs as Modifiers of Categories Other than the Noun (1)
• Noun (modified by an adjective)
– a virtual disaster – *his almost death

• Verb
– It virtually evaporated. – He almost died.

• Adjective
– It was virtually impossible. – He was almost dead.

• Adverb
– He spoke virtually inaudibly. – He was wounded almost fatally.

Adverbs as Modifiers of Categories Other than the Noun (2)
• Determinative
– Virtually all copies are torn. – I have almost no money left.

• PP
– I did it virtually by myself. – It lasted almost until midnight.

• NP
– I’m virtually his only friend. – I bought almost the last copy.

Adverbs vs. Adjectives
• Adverbs are similar to adjectives with respect to
– Grade
• They appear in the comparative and superlative • Are almost always marked with more and most rather than –er and –est

– Modification: both are modified by adverbs

• They differ with respect to function
– Adjectives modify nouns, adverbs modify other categories – Adjectives can be predicative complement, adverbs cannot
• Her performance was impressive. • *Her performance was impressively.

Overlap Between the Categories
• Some words appear in both categories
– Their early departure; They departed early. – that very day; It’s very good. – I don’t feel well. I didn’t play well.

• Warning: addition of –ly sometimes forms adjectives, not adverbs beast-beastly coward-cowardly death-deathly father-fatherly friend-friendly prince-princely woman-womanly

The Structure of AdvPs
• Complements
– Usually, an adverb licenses the same kind of complement as the corresponding adjective Purchase of State vehicles is handled similarly to all State purchases. – Sometimes, they take different complements Happily for the boys, the class was canceled.

• Modifiers
– Usually adverbs: She sang very well. I did it rather hurriedly. He spoke remarkably clearly. – Determinatives: I didn’t do it that well. They arrived much sooner than we had expected. – PPs: They behaved badly in the extreme. He didn’t answer at all convincingly. – NPs: We arrived three hours late. It had all happened a bit suddenly.

Exercise #2
Classify the underlined words below as adjectives or adverbs 1. Fortunately, he had plenty of time. 2. He was going far too fast. 3. She seemed a very kindly old soul. 4. We were annoyed at their late arrival. 5. They’re becoming increasingly unruly. 6. I was feeling quite poorly. 7. She works extremely hard. 8. We made too many concessions. 9. Kindly refrain from smoking. 10. That was very ungentlemanly.

For Next Time
• Chapter 7: Prepositions and Preposition Phrases • HW #3
– Exercise 3, page 125 – Exercise 6, page 126 – Exercise 9, page 126 – Due Wednesday, July 9

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