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Encyclopedia > Noun
Examples
  • The cat sat on the mat.
  • Please hand in your assignments by the end of the week.
  • Cleanliness is next to godliness.
  • George Washington was the first president of the United States of America.
Examples
A proper or common noun can co-occur with an article or an attributive adjective. Verbs and adjectives can't. As usual, a `*' in front of an example means that this example is ungrammatical.
  1. the name ("name" is a noun: can co-occur with a definite article "the.")
  2. *the baptize ("baptize" is a verb: can't co-occur with a definite article.)
  3. Constant circulation ("circulation" is a noun: can co-occur with the attributive adjective "constant.")
  4. *constant circulate ("circulate" is a verb: can't co-occur with the attributive adjective "constant".)
  5. a fright ("fright" is a noun: can co-occur with the indefinite article "a.")
  6. *an afraid ("afraid" is an adjective: can't co-occur with the article "a.")
  7. terrible fright (The noun "fright" can co-occur with the adjective "terrible.")
  8. *terrible afraid (The adjective "afraid" can't co-occur with the adjective "terrible"

In linguistics, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. Since different languages have different inventories of grammatical categories, the definition of noun will differ from language to language. In English, nouns can be defined as those morphological stems that form words which can co-occur with (in)definite articles and attributive adjectives, and function as the head of a noun phrase. An article is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. ... In grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun (called the adjectives subject), giving more information about what the noun or pronoun refers to. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language, which can be theoretical or applied. ... In grammar, a lexical category (also word class, lexical class, or in traditional grammar part of speech) is a linguistic category of words (or more precisely lexical items), which is generally defined by the syntactic or morphological behaviour of the lexical item in question. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other uses, see Morphology. ... This article is in need of attention. ... In grammatical theory, definiteness is a feature of noun phrases, distinguishing between entities which are specific and identifiable in a given context (definite noun phrases) and entities which are not (indefinite noun phrases). ... In grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun (called the adjectives subject), giving more information about what the noun or pronoun refers to. ... Look up phrase in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In linguistics, a noun phrase is a phrase whose Head is a noun. ...

Contents

The discovery of nouns

The word comes from the Latin nomen meaning "name". Word classes like nouns were first described by the Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini and ancient Greeks like Dionysios Thrax, and defined in terms of their morphological properties. For example, in Ancient Greek, nouns can be inflected for grammatical case, such as dative or accusative. Verbs, on the other hand, can be inflected for tenses, such as past, present or future, while nouns cannot. Aristotle also had a notion of onomata (nouns) and rhemata (verbs) which, however, does not exactly correspond with modern notions of nouns and verbs. Nouns are words that describe person, place, thing, animal or abstract idea.[1] For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Name (disambiguation). ... Indian postage stamp depicting (2004), with the implication that he used (IPA ) was an ancient Gandharan grammarian (approximately 5th century BC, but estimates range from the 7th to the 3rd centuries) who is most famous for formulating the 3,959 rules of Sanskrit morphology known as the . ... Dionysius Thrax (Διονυσιος Θραξ) (170 BC‑90 BC) was a Greek linguist who lived and is thought by some to have worked in Alexandria and later at Rhodes. ... For other uses, see Morphology. ... In linguistics, declension is a feature of inflected languages: generally, the alteration of a noun to indicate its grammatical role. ... Grammatical tense is a way languages express the time at which an event described by a sentence occurs. ... Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ...


Different definitions of nouns

Expressions of natural language will have properties at different levels. They have formal properties, like what kinds of morphological prefixes or suffixes they can take, and what kinds of other expressions they can combine with. but they also have semantic properties, i.e. properties pertaining to their meaning. The definition of nouns on the top of this page is thus a formal definition. That definition is uncontroversial, and has the advantage that it allows us to effectively distinguish nouns from non-nouns. However, it has the disadvantage that it does not apply to nouns in all languages. For example in Russian, there are no definite articles, so one cannot define nouns by means of those. There are also several attempts of defining nouns in terms of their semantic properties. Many of these are controversial, but some are discussed below. For other uses, see Morphology. ... Look up prefix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... It has been suggested that Ending (linguistics) be merged into this article or section. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ...

Rodin's "Thinker." Should we refer to this with a verb ("think," "ponder") or a noun ("thought," "thinker"), or an adjective ("pensive," "thoughtful")? Arguably, in different contexts, any of these would do!
Rodin's "Thinker." Should we refer to this with a verb ("think," "ponder") or a noun ("thought," "thinker"), or an adjective ("pensive," "thoughtful")? Arguably, in different contexts, any of these would do!

Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (2128 × 2832 pixel, file size: 651 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Noun The Thinker... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (2128 × 2832 pixel, file size: 651 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Noun The Thinker...

Names for things

In traditional school grammars, one often encounters the definition of nouns that they are all and only those expressions that refer to a person, place, thing, event, substance, quality, or idea, etc. This is a semantic definition. It has been criticized by contemporary linguists as being uninformative. Contemporary linguists generally agree that one can't define nouns (or other grammatical categories) in terms of what sort of object in the world they refer to or signify. Part of the problem is that the definition makes use of relatively general nouns ("thing," "phenomenon," "event") to define what nouns are. The existence of such general nouns shows us that nouns are organized in taxonomic hierarchies. But other kinds of expressions are also organized in hierarchies. For example all of the verbs "stroll," "saunter," "stride," and "tread" are more specific words than the more general "walk." The latter is more specific than the verb "move," which, in turn, is less general than "change." But it is unlikely that such hierarchies can be used to define nouns and verbs. We couldn't define verbs as those words that refer to "changes" or "states", for example, because the nouns change and state probably refer to such things, but, of course, aren't verbs. Similarly, nouns like "invasion," "meeting, or "collapse" refer to things that are "done" or "happen." In fact, an influential theory has it that verbs like "kill" or "die" refer to events,[2][3] which is among the sort of thing that nouns are supposed to refer to. The point being made here is not that this view of verbs is wrong, but rather that this property of verbs is a poor basis for a definition of this category, just like the property of having wheels is a poor basis for a definition of cars (some things that have wheels, such as my suitcase or a jumbo jet, aren't cars). Similarly, adjectives like "yellow" or "difficult" might be thought to refer to qualities, and adverbs like "outside" or "upstairs" seem to refer to places, which are also among the sorts of thing nouns can refer to. But verbs, adjectives and adverbs are not nouns, and nouns aren't verbs, adjectives or adverbs. One might argue that "definitions" of this sort really rely on speakers' prior intuitive knowledge of what nouns, verbs and adjectives are, and, so don't really add anything over and beyond this. Speakers' intuitive knowledge of such things might plausibly be based on formal criteria, such as the definition of English nouns on top of the page. In general, a reference is something that refers to or designates something else, or acts as a connection or a link between two things. ... Look up taxonomy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Prototypically referential expressions

Another semantic definition of nouns is that they are prototypically referential.[4] That definition is also not very helpful in distinguishing actual nouns from verbs. But it may still correctly identify a core property of nounhood. For example, we will tend to use nouns like "fool" and "car" when we wish to refer to fools and cars, respectively. The notion that this is prototypical reflects the fact that such nouns can be used, even though nothing with the corresponding property is referred to:

John is no fool.
If I had a car, I'd go to Marrakech.

The first sentence above doesn't refer to any fools, nor does the second one refer to any particular car. for example....Josh is an jackass -donkey- or Tyler is a bitch -female dog-


Predicates with identity criteria

The British logician Peter Thomas Geach proposed a very subtle semantic definition of nouns.[5] He noticed that adjectives like "same" can modify nouns, but no other kinds of parts of speech, like verbs or adjectives. Not only that, but there also doesn't seem to be any other expressions with similar meaning that can modify verbs and adjectives. Consider the following examples. Peter Thomas Geach (b. ... A verb is a part of speech that usually denotes action (bring, read), occurrence (to decompose (itself), to glitter), or a state of being (exist, live, soak, stand). Depending on the language, a verb may vary in form according to many factors, possibly including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. ... An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually making its meaning more specific. ...

Good: John and Bill participated in the same fight.
Bad: *John and Bill samely fought.
Identity criteria allow us to represent who is identical to whom
Identity criteria allow us to represent who is identical to whom

There is no English adverb "samely." In some other languages, like Czech, however there are adverbs corresponding to "samely." Hence, in Czech, the translation of the last sentence would be fine; however, it would mean that John and Bill fought in the same way: not that they participated in the same fight. Geach proposed that we could explain this, if nouns denote logical predicates with identity criteria. An identity criterion would allow us to conclude, for example, that "person x at time 1 is the same person as person y at time 2." Different nouns can have different identity criteria. A well known example of this is due to Gupta:[6] Image File history File links Clones_id. ... Image File history File links Clones_id. ... In linguistics and logic, a predicate is an expression that can be true of something. ...

National Airlines transported 2 million passengers in 1979.
National Airlines transported (at least) 2 million persons in 1979.

Given that, in general, all passengers are persons, the last sentence above ought to follow logically from the first one. But it doesn't. It is easy to imagine, for example, that on average, every person who travelled with National Airlines in 1979, travelled with them twice. In that case, one would say that the airline transported 2 million passengers but only 1 million persons. Thus, the way that we count passengers isn't necessarily the same as the way that we count persons. Put somewhat differently: At two different times, you may correspond to two distinct passengers, even though you are one and the same person. For a precise definition of identity criteria, see Gupta.[7]


Recently, the linguist Mark Baker[8] has proposed that Geach's definition of nouns in terms of identity criteria allows us to explain the characteristic properties of nouns. He argues that nouns can co-occur with (in-)definite articles and numerals, and are "prototypically referential" because they are all and only those parts of speech that provide identity criteria. Baker's proposals are quite new, and linguists are still evaluating them. Mark Baker can refer several people including: Mark Baker (Religious Prophet) Mark Baker (animator) Mark Baker (author) Mark Baker (basketball) - Dayton Jets head basketball coach and former Ohio State University player Mark M. Baker (attorney) Category: ... In grammar, a part of speech or word class is defined as the role that a word (or sometimes a phrase) plays in a sentence. ...


Classification of nouns in English

Proper nouns and common nouns

Proper nouns (also called proper names) are nouns representing unique entities (such as London or John), as distinguished from common nouns which describe a class of entities (such as city or person)[9]. A proper name [is] a word that answers the purpose of showing what thing it is that we are talking about writes John Stuart Mill in A System of Logic (1. ...


In English and most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, proper nouns are usually capitalised.[10] Languages differ in whether most elements of multiword proper nouns are capitalised (e.g., English House of Representatives) or only the initial element (e.g., Slovenian Državni zbor 'National Assembly'). In German, nouns of all types are capitalised. The convention of capitalising all nouns was previously used in English, but ended circa 1800. In America, the shift in capitalisation is recorded in several noteworthy documents. The end (but not the beginning) of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and all of the Constitution (1787) show nearly all nouns capitalised, the Bill of Rights (1789) capitalises a few common nouns but not most of them, and the Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment (1865) only capitalises proper nouns. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... This article is about capitalization in written language. ... The United States Declaration of Independence was an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies were independent of Great Britain. ... Image of the United States Bill of Rights from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. ... Amendment XIII in the National Archives The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished, and continues to prohibit, slavery, and, with limited exceptions, those convicted of a crime, prohibits involuntary servitude. ...


Sometimes the same word can function as both a common noun and a proper noun, where one such entity is special. For example: "There can be many gods, but there is only one God." This is somewhat magnified in Hebrew where EL means god (as in a god), God (as in the God), and El (the name of a particular Canaanite god). Another example is the word "Internet." In the vast majority of usage, it is a proper noun, and thus capitalized. However, it can be used as a common noun when talking about "internet technologies" (TCP/IP, DNS, HTTP) that are not necessarily in use on "the Internet," which is a specific global information network. Incorrect capitalization of the proper noun is frequent, even in respected newspapers and magazines. Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... Ēl (אל) is a Northwest Semitic word and name translated into English as either god or God or left untranslated as El, depending on the context. ... For other uses, see Canaan (disambiguation). ...


The common meaning of the word or words constituting a proper noun may be unrelated to the object to which the proper noun refers. For example, someone might be named "Tiger Smith" despite being neither a tiger nor a smith. For this reason, proper nouns are usually not translated between languages, although they may be transliterated. For example, the German surname Knödel becomes Knodel or Knoedel in English (not the literal Dumpling). However, the translation of place names and the names of monarchs, popes, and non-contemporary authors is common and sometimes universal. For instance, the Portuguese word Lisboa becomes Lisbon in English; the English London becomes Londres in French; and the Greek Aristotelēs becomes Aristotle in English. For other uses, see Tiger (disambiguation). ... Look up smith, Smith in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up translate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Transliteration is the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system. ... For other uses, see Monarch (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Pope (from Latin... Authorship redirects here. ... Location    - Country Portugal    - Region Lisboa  - Subregion Grande Lisboa  - District or A.R. Lisbon Mayor Carmona Rodrigues  - Party PSD Area 84. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ...


Count nouns and mass nouns

Main articles: Count noun and Mass noun

Count nouns (or countable nouns) are common nouns that can take a plural, can combine with numerals or quantifiers (e.g. "one", "two", "several", "every", "most"), and can take an indefinite article ("a" or "an"). Examples of count nouns are "chair", "nose", and "occasion". A count noun is a noun which is itself counted, or the units which are used to count it. ... It has been suggested that Count noun be merged into this article or section. ... A count noun is a noun which is itself counted, or the units which are used to count it. ... Look up plural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A numeral is a symbol or group of symbols that represents a number. ... In language and logic, quantification is a construct that specifies the extent of validity of a predicate, that is the extent to which a predicate holds over a range of things. ...


Mass nouns (or non-countable nouns) differ from count nouns in precisely that respect: they can't take plural or combine with number words or quantifiers. Examples from English include "laughter", "cutlery", "helium", and "furniture". For example, it is not possible to refer to "a furniture" or "three furnitures". This is true, even though the furniture referred to could, in principle, be counted. Thus the distinction between mass and count nouns shouldn't be made in terms of what sorts of things the nouns refer to, but rather in terms of how the nouns present these entities.[11][12] The separate page for mass noun contains further explanation of this point. It has been suggested that Count noun be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that Count noun be merged into this article or section. ...


Some words function in the singular as a count noun and, without a change in the spelling, as a mass noun in the plural: she caught a fish, we caught fish; he shot a deer, they shot some deer; the craft was dilapidated, the pier was chockablock with craft.


Collective Nouns

Main article: Collective noun

Collective nouns are nouns that refer to groups consisting of more than one individual or entity, even when they are inflected for the singular. Examples include "committee," "herd" and "school" (of herring). These nouns have slightly different grammatical properties than other nouns. For example, the noun phrases that they head can serve as the subject of a collective predicate, even when they are inflected for the singular. A collective predicate is a predicate that normally can't take a singular subject. An example of the latter is "talked to each other." In linguistics, a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, where objects can be people, animals, inanimate things, concepts, or other things. ... In linguistics, grammatical number is a morphological category characterized by the expression of quantity through inflection or agreement. ... In linguistics, a noun phrase is a phrase whose Head is a noun. ... According to a tradition that can be tracked back to Aristotle, every sentence can be divided in two main constituents, one being the subject of the sentence and the other being its predicate. ...

Good: The boys talked to each other.
Bad: *The boy talked to each other.
Good: The committee talked to each other.

Concrete nouns and Abstract nouns

Concrete nouns refer to definite objects which you use at least one of your senses to observe. For instance, "chair", "apple", or "Janet". Abstract nouns on the other hand refer to ideas or concepts, such as "justice" or "hate". While this distinction is sometimes useful, the boundary between the two of them is not always clear. In English, many abstract nouns are formed by adding noun-forming suffixes ("-ness", "-ity", "-tion") to adjectives or verbs. Examples are "happiness", "circulation" and "serenity". Senses are the physiological methods of perception. ...


Nouns and Pronouns

Noun phrases can typically be replaced by pronouns, such as "he", "it", "which", and "those", in order to avoid repetition or explicit identification, or for other reasons. For example, in the sentence "Janet thought that he was weird", the word "he" is a pronoun standing in place of the name of the person in question. The English word one can replace parts of noun phrases, and it sometimes stands in for a noun. An example is given below: In linguistics, a noun phrase is a phrase whose Head is a noun. ... In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase with or without a determiner, such as you and they in English. ... In linguistics, a noun phrase is a phrase whose Head is a noun. ...

John's car is newer than the one that Bill has.

But one can also stand in for bigger subparts of a noun phrase. For example, in the following example, one can stand in for new car.

This new car is cheaper than that one.

Substantive as a word for "noun"

Starting with old Latin grammars, many European languages use some form of the word substantive as the basic term. Nouns in the dictionaries of such languages are demarked by the abbreviation "s" instead of "n", which may be used for proper nouns instead. This corresponds to those grammars in which nouns and adjectives phase into each other in more areas than, for example, the English term predicate adjective entails. In French and Spanish, for example, adjectives become nouns referring to people who have the characteristics of the adjective. An example in English is: Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually making its meaning more specific. ...

The poor you have always with you.

Similarly, an adjective can also be used for a whole group or organization of people:

The Socialist International.

Hence, these words are substantives that are usually adjectives in English.

 a noun is something stupid. 

References

  1. ^ Lexical categories and argument structure : a study with reference to Sakha. Ph.D. diss. University of Utrecht.
  2. ^ Davidson, Donald. 1967. The logical form of action sentences. In Nicholas Rescher, ed., The Logic of Decision and Action, Pittsburgh, Pa: University of Pittsburgh Press.
  3. ^ Parsons, Terence. 1990. Events in the semantics of English: a study in subatomic semantics. Cambridge, Mass.:MIT Press
  4. ^ Croft, William. 1993. "A noun is a noun is a noun - or is it? Some reflections on the universality of semantics." Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, ed. Joshua S. Guenter, Barbara A. Kaiser and Cheryl C. Zoll, 369-80. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society.
  5. ^ Geach, Peter. 1962. Reference and Generality. Cornell University Press.
  6. ^ Gupta, Anil. 1980, The logic of common nouns. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
  7. ^ Gupta, Anil. 1980, The logic of common nouns. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
  8. ^ Baker, Mark. 2005. Lexical Categories - Verbs, nouns and adjectives. Cambridge University Press.
  9. ^ proper noun. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved on 2007-03-23.
  10. ^ The Proper Noun. EnglishForums.com. Retrieved on 2007-03-23.
  11. ^ Krifka, Manfred. 1989."Nominal Reference, Temporal Constitution and Quantification in Event Semantics". In R. Bartsch, J. van Benthem, P. von Emde Boas (eds.), Semantics and Contextual Expression, Dordrecht: Foris Publication.
  12. ^ Borer, Hagit. 2005. In Name Only. Structuring Sense, Volume I. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 82nd day of the year (83rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 82nd day of the year (83rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Bibliography

See also

Look up Noun in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
 
What is a Noun? (1986 words)
A common noun is the opposite of a proper noun.
A concrete noun is the opposite of a abstract noun.
A non-countable noun (or mass noun) is a noun which does not have a plural form, and which refers to something that you could (or would) not usually count.
The Noun (658 words)
Nouns have different classes: proper and common, concrete and abstract, count and noncount, and collective.
Proper nouns always begin with capital letters; common nouns, on the other hand, only require capitalization if they start the sentence or are part of a title.
You classify concrete and abstract nouns by their ability to register on your five senses.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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