The Category of Number of English Nouns

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Факультет: Иностранных языков Специальность: Перевод и переводоведение Курсовая работа Дисциплина: Теоретическая грамматика Тема: The Category of Number of English Nouns Липецк 2009 Contents Introduction 1. What is Noun? 2. Semantical Characteristics of English Nouns 3. The Category of Number of English Nouns Conclusion Bibliography Introduction The theme of my course paper sounds as following: «The number category of English noun ». Before beginning of investigation in our theme, I would like to say some words dealt with the theme of my course paper. The noun is a word expressing substance in the widest sense of the word. In the concept of substance we

include not only names of living beings (e.g. boy, girl, bird) and lifeless things (e.g. table, chair, book), but also names of abstract notions, i.e. qualities, slates, actions (kindness, strength, sleep, fear, conversation, fight), abstracted from their bearers. In speech these types of nouns are treated in different ways, so one, who does not know ways of treatment, can make mistakes in his speech. Standing on such ground, I would like to point out tasks and aims of my work 1. The first task of my work is to give definition to term «Noun». 2. Second task is to describe main features of English nouns. 3. And the last task is to describe grammatical categories that nouns possesses. The present course paper consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and

bibliography. Within the introduction part, which includes two items we gave the brief description of our qualification work (the first item) and gave general notion of the word «noun». The main part of our qualification work includes several items. There we discussed such problems as definition of nouns, main features of English nouns, their grammatical categories. In the conclusion to our qualification work we tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the main part of our qualification work. In bibliography part we mentioned more than 20 sources of which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources. 1.

What is Noun? The word «noun» comes from the Latin nomen meaning «name». Word classes like nouns were first described by Sanskrit grammarian Panini and ancient Greeks like Dionysius Thorax, and defined in terms of their morphological properties. For example, in Ancient Greece, 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 our notions of verbs and nouns. In her dissertation, Vinokurova has a more detailed discussion of the historical origin of the notion of a noun. 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 disadvandage 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.