Word-level categories

In this session, the writer will consider the system of rules and categories that underlie sentence formation in human language especially English. This component of the grammar is called syntax.

This session will focus on the ‘architecture’ of grammatical sentences, with an emphasis on the manner in which word are combined to form various types of sentences.

A fundamental fact about words in all languages is that they can be grouped together into a relatively small number of classes, called syntactic categories. This classification reflects a variety of factors, including the types of meaning that words express, the type of affixes that they take, and the type of structures in which they can occur. (O’Grady, Dobrovolsky and Katamba, 1996)

The following table will categorize that are most central to study of syntax.

Table . Syntax categories

(Contemporary Linguistic. 1996:182)

The four most studied syntactic categories are noun (N), verb (V), adjective (A), and preposition (P). These element, which are often called lexical categories, play a very important role in sentence formation, as we will soon see. A fifth and less studied lexical category consist of adverb (Adv), most of which are derived from adjectives.

Language may also contain non-lexical or functional categories, including determiners (Det), auxiliary verbs (Aux), conjunction (Con), and degree woods (Deg).

O’Grady, Dobrovolsky and Katamba. 1996. Contemporary Linguistic: An Introduction. Pearson Education Limeted. Harlow


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