Exercise 3. A) Build up the lexical paradigm of nomination.

MODEL: high: high - height - heighten - highly (high)

1) fool, to criticize, slow, fast;

1) new, work, to fraud, out;

3) to cut, sleep, brief, hard;

4) down, beauty, to deceive, bright.

B) Build up the morphological paradigm of the words:

Speaker, this, he, little, work.



Noun as the central nominative lexemic unit of language. The categorial meaning of the noun is “substance” or “thingness”. Nouns directly name various phenomena of reality and have the strongest nominative force among notional parts of speech. Nouns denote things and objects proper (tree), abstract notions (love), various qualities (bitterness), and even actions (movement). All these words function in speech in the same way as nouns denoting things proper.

According to different principles of classification nouns fall into several subclasses:

1. According to the type of nomination they may be proper and common;

2. According to the form of existence they may be animateand inanimate. Animate nouns in their turn fall into human and non-human.

3. According to their quantitative structure nouns can be countableand uncountable.

This set of subclasses cannot be put together into one table because of the different principles of classification.

In accordance with the morphological structure of the stems all nouns can be classified into: simple, derived ( stem + affix, affix + stem – thingness); compound ( stem+ stem – armchair ) and composite ( the Hague ). The noun has morphological categories of number and case. Some scholars admit the existence of the category of gender.

The noun can be used un the sentence in all syntactic functions but predicate. Speaking about noun combinability, we can say that it can go into right-hand and left-hand connections with practically all parts of speech. That is why practically all parts of speech but the verb can act as noun determiners. However, the most common noun determiners are considered to be articles, pronouns, numerals, adjectives and nouns themselves in the common and genitive case.


The category of gender in English is a highly controversial subject in grammar. The overwhelming majority of linguists stick to the opinion that the category of gender existed only in Old English. They claim that, since formal gender marks disappeared by the end of the Middle English period and nouns no longer agree in gender with adjacent adjectives or verbs, there is no grammatical category of gender in modern English. They maintain that in modern English, the biological division of masculine and feminine genders is rendered only by lexical means: special words and lexical affixes, e.g.: man – woman, tiger – tigress, he-goat – she-goat, male nurse, etc. The category of gender in English linguistically may be either meaningful (or, natural), rendering the actual sex-based features of the referents, or formal (arbitrary). It is realized through obligatory correspondence of every noun with the 3rd person singular pronouns - he, she, or it: man – he, woman – she, tree, dog – it. For example: A woman was standing on the platform. She was wearing a hat. It was decorated with ribbons and flowers… Personal pronouns are grammatical gender classifiers in English. The category of gender is formed by two oppositions organized hierarchically. The first opposition is general and opposes human, or person nouns, distinguishing masculine and feminine gender (man – he, woman – she) and all the other, non-human, non-person nouns, belonging to the neuter gender (tree, dog – it). The second opposition is formed by the human nouns only: on the lower level of the opposition the nouns of masculine gender and of feminine gender are opposed. Gender is a constant feature category: it is expressed not through variable forms of words, but through nounal classification; each noun belongs to only one of the three genders. In addition, there is a group of nouns in English which can denote either a female or a male in different contexts; these nouns can be substituted by either ‘he’ or ‘she’, e.g.: president, professor, friend, etc. They constitute a separate group of nouns – the common gender nouns. For them the category of gender is a variable feature category.

There are no formal marks to distinguish the strong and the weak members in either of the gender oppositions. They can be distinguished semantically: nouns of the neuter gender in the upper level of the opposition is more abstract compared to masculine and feminine gender nouns; they are the weak member of the opposition and are naturally used in the position of neutralization.


The grammatical category of number is the linguistic representation of the objective category of quantity. The category of number is expressed by the paradigmatic opposition of two forms: the singular and the plural. The strong member in this opposition, the plural, is marked by special formal marks, the main of which is the productive suffix–(e)s which exists in three allomorphs - [s], [z], [iz], e.g.: cats, boys, roses. The term “productive” means that new nouns appearing in English form the plural with the help of this suffix. Non-productive means of expressing the plural are either historical relics of ancient number paradigms, or borrowed, e.g.: the suppletive forms with interchange of vowels (man – men, tooth – teeth), the archaic suffix –en (ox – oxen), a number of individual singular and plural suffixes of borrowed nouns (antenna – antennae, stratum – strata, nucleus – nuclei, etc.); in addition, a number of nouns have a plural form homonymous with the singular (sheep, fish, deer, etc.). The singular is regularly unmarked (possesses a “zero suffix”.

The grammatical meaning of the singular is traditionally defined in a simplified way as “one”, and the meaning of the plural – as “many (more than one)”. This is true for the bulk of the nouns, namely those denoting simple countable objects (table – tables). The grammatical meaning of number may not coincide with the notional quantity: the noun in the singular does not necessarily denote one object while the plural form may be used to denote one object consisting of several parts. The singular form may denote:

a) oneness (individual separate object – a cat);

b) generalization (the meaning of the whole class – The cat is a domestic animal);

c) indiscreteness (uncountableness - money, milk).

The plural form may denote:

a) the existence of several objects (cats);

b) the inner discreteness (pluralia tantum, jeans).

To sum it up, all nouns may be subdivided into three groups:

1. The nouns in which the opposition of explicit discreteness/indiscreteness is expressed : cat::cats;

The nouns in which this opposition is not expressed explicitly but is revealed by syntactical and lexical correlation in the context. There are two groups here:

2. Singularia tantum. It covers different groups of nouns: proper names, abstract nouns, material nouns, collective nouns;

3. Pluralia tantum. It covers the names of objects consisting of several parts (jeans), names of sciences (mathematics), names of diseases, games, etc.

The nouns with homogenous number forms. The number opposition here is not expressed formally but is revealed only lexically and syntactically in the context: e.g. Look! A sheep is eating grass. Look! The sheep are eating grass.


Caseis the morphological category of the noun manifested in the forms of noun declension and showing the relations of the nounal referent to other objects and phenomena.

The category of case in English constitutes a great linguistic problem. Linguists argue, first, whether the category of case really exists in modern English, and, second, if it does exist, how many case forms of the noun can be distinguished in English.

The case category in English is realized through the opposition: The Common Case:: The Possessive Case (sister :: sister’s). However, in modern linguistics the term “genitive case” is used instead of the “possessive case” because the meanings rendered by the “`s” sign are not only those of possession. The scope of meanings rendered by the Genitive Case is the following :

a) Possessive Genitive : Mary’s father – Mary has a father,

b) Subjective Genitive: The doctor’s arrival – The doctor has arrived,

c) Objective Genitive : The man’s release – The man was released,

d) Adverbial Genitive : Two hour’s work – X worked for two hours,

e) Equation Genitive : a mile’s distance – the distance is a mile,

f) Genitive of destination: children’s books – books for children,

g) Mixed Group: yesterday’s paper

The category of case of nouns is traditionally treated in correlation with the case of personal pronouns, which substitute for nouns. The following four case forms of personal pronouns are traditionally recognized: the nominative case (I, we, you, he, etc.), the objective case (me, us, you, him, etc.); to these the possessive pronouns are added in two forms: the conjoint form (my, our, your, his, etc.) and the absolute form (mine, ours, yours, his, etc.). The more advanced approach states that these forms no longer constitute the case forms of pronouns, because, first, they are incompatible with the system of nounal cases (the common case vs. the genitive case), and, second, they are no longer members of any productive declensional models (forms of the same pronouns) but rather individual groups of words, united in a lexical paradigmatic series, e.g.: I – me – my – mine, we – us – our – ours, etc. The pronounal declension system has completely disintegrated along with the inflectional declensional system of the nounal case.

Exercise 1. Characterize the following nouns according their lexico-grammatical characteristics.

E.g. doctor – proper, animate personal, countable, concrete.

John, despair, house, horse, music, water, cattle, sky.

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