Lecture 4 Determiners 1. Classification of Determiners 2. Collocations between Determiners 3. Articles 1. What are determiners? Words that precede any pre modifying adjectives in a noun phrase and which denote such referential meanings as specific reference, generic reference, definite quantity or indefinite quantity are referred to as determiners. In terms of function, they break into two major types: identifiers and quantifiers. Differences between determiners and adjectives 1. Determiners usually precede adjectives a nice man wrong: nice a man 2. The choice of determiners is often determined by the head word but not adjectives. Many good people wrong: much good people 3. Adjectives show the characteristics of the head word, but determiners identify or quantify it. Many good books three English books Classification: Determiners, as a class of words, include: 1. Articles (definite article, indefinite article, zero article) 2. Possessive determiners: my, your, his, her 3. Genitive nouns: John’s, my friend’s 4. Demonstrative determiners: this, that, these 5. Relative determiners: whose, which 6. Interrogative determiners: what, which, whose 7. Indefinite determiners: no, some, each, several 8. Cardinal and Ordinal numerals: 9. Multiplicative and Fractional numerals 10. Quantifiers: a lot of, plenty of, a large amount of Problems when more than one determiner occurs in the noun phrase, there is the problem of word order between determiners. Collocations between Determiners There is a problem of word order between determiners if a noun phrase contains more than one determiner. According to their potential position, determiners fall into three subclasses: Central Determiners, Pre-determiners and Post Determiners. The Order: all the four teachers all your three books all these last few days half his lecture those last few months several hundred guests all other students such a misfortune some such alloy Pre Central Post Questions for thought: His some friends usually speak highly of him. His every action shows that he is a very determined young man. We have got enough time to read such many novels. page63 Exercises: (the other, five, all) boys were in the classroom. (such, one) dictionary is enough for me. They want at least (double, their) salaries. He was on leave (few last the) days. (such, few) cases have been reported. He has been staying home (all last few these) days. 3. Usage of the articles: Articles are the most typical of determiners. English has two articles: the definite and the indefinite articles. With plural count nouns and noncount nouns, the absence of an article signals the presence of another kind of article---- the zero article. It is in this sense that we may also say the English has three articles----- the definite, the indefinite, and the zero article. Pronunciation: The is pronounced /ðə/ before a consonant sound and /ði/ before a vowel sound. The book the article Indefinite article a /ə/ is used before a consonant sound and an /ən/ before a vowel sound. A book an article Functions of articles: Generic and Specific Reference Generic reference refers to the class in general, while specific reference refers to identifiable units and no other. When we say the reference is generic, we are talking about any member representative of a class of people or things. Specific reference refers to a particular specimen of the class. Generic reference: Galileo claimed that he had invented the telescope. An ox is a useful animal. Carrots are my favorite vegetables. Knowledge is power. Specific reference: Old Tom owns a dog and a cat. The dog’s name is Boris; the cat’s name is Blackie. (definite) Here’s a letter for you. (indefinite) The streets are clean and are shaded with trees. All the three forms of article (the, a (n), and zero) can be used generically to refer to the members of a class as a whole. Specific reference falls into two kinds: Definite specific reference and indefinite specific reference. Indefinite article 1. The main function: to classify , to indicate class membership. It can refer to a class as a whole. A horse is a useful animal. This is a dictionary, not an encyclopedia. 2. Nouns referring to a job/profession as subject complement. Miss Wang is a teacher. His wife is a waitress. 3. a(n) as a weaker form of one. I’d like a cup of coffee. I only want one cup of coffee and you ‘ve given me two. The wall will collapse at a blow. The wall will collapse at one blow. 4. in some set collocations or idioms In a hurry in a minute Have a cold/a sore throat/a cough 5. not usually used with proper nouns except referring to the category of countable nouns. You’ll never be a Mozart. Father bought her a complete Lu Xun. 6. not usually used with mass nouns except referring to the category of countable nouns. (denoting a kind/type of) He was caught in a heavy rain. Parents love their children with a devotion for which they ask for no return. Definite article 1. primarily used for specific reference to a particular example of a class. Helen is in the library. 2. used of a phenomenon conceived of as “unique”: Make hay while the sun shines. 3. used to denote generic reference: The computer is an electronic machine for storing and processing data. 4. used before the names of musical instruments: I usually play the violin in my spare time. 5. used before the names of organizations, offices and institutions, public buildings, ships , most newspapers and magazines: the People’s Congress the National Museum the Democratic Party the People’s Daily 6. before personal names in the plural form referring to the family: The Blacks the Smiths 7. before the names of seas, rivers, mountains, straits, deserts, and most of the bays and gulfs: The Atlantic the Mississippi the Persian Gulf The Sahara The Taiwan Straits the Alps Zero article 1. proper nouns mostly take no article: 2. before plural nouns, used to denote generic reference: African elephants have larger ears than Indian elephants. Compare: *Ruthless poachers hunt an elephant for the valuable ivory of its tusks. (one example of a class) Ruthless poachers hunt the elephant …… (formal) Ruthless poachers hunt elephants…of their tusks. (both refer to the whole class) 3. usually before material and abstract nouns: It is impossible to live in a world without hope. 4. before times and seasons: At night, in summer If winter comes, can spring be far behind? 5. before names of official posts, titles and professions: Who’s captain of the ship? 6.before names of sports, meals and transport: Play football, have lunch, by bus 7. before certain singular count nouns, especially those referring to institutions, such as bed, church, school, college, court, hospital, office, prison, etc. They go to church every Sunday morning. We went to the church to attend a wedding ceremony. Class begins at 8 in the morning. There are twenty students in the class. She stayed in hospital for three weeks. I went to the hospital to see my friend. Other uses of articles: 1.zero commonly used before some idioms composed of two nouns: Heart and soul, husband and wife, arm in arm, face to face. 2. in some prepositional phrases, things are different when nouns take zero or the definite. Notes are printed at the bottom of the page. He is a good man at bottom. More prepositional phrases: In the future & in future In charge of & in the charge of In possession of & in the possession of In case of & in the case of In fashion & in the fashion of & in a fashion Out of question & out of the question Error correction: A language is unique to humans. Film is a form of mass entertainment. I wanted to go to the university, but I wanted to be an actor more. Times is a British daily newspaper. White House is refusing to comment on the report. The children have taken fancy to their nurses. Exercise: 1.This is __ first time that the child has seen __ elephant. 2. Can you lend me __ pencil so that I can finish __ test? 3. For many people, __ childhood was a happy time. 4. __ Man has just taken his first steps into __ space. 5. I love __ mountains, but I hate __ sea. 6. If you go by __ train, you can have quite __ comfortable journey, but make sure that you get __ express, not __ train that stops at all __ stations. 7. He was sent to __ prison for stealing. 8. Children should be taught to behave themselves at __ table.