σαμαρειτης - Noun / Adjective

Re: σαμαρειτης - Noun / Adjective

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 29th, 2012, 9:36 am

David Lim wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
David Lim wrote:Even English grammar recognises that some nouns can function as adjectives and some cannot.


Well, not the leading English grammars. For example, the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, p. 537, explicitly rejects this claim:
Traditional school grammar (though not scholarly traditional grammar) tends to analyse the underlined nouns [e.g. as in a government inquiry, the Clinton administration, a London park, the Caroline factor, etc.] here as adjectives -- or to say that they are 'nouns used as adjectives'. From our perspective, this latter formulation represents a confusion between categories and functions: they are not nouns used as adjectives, but nouns used as attributive modifiers. Apart from pronouns, just about any noun can appear in this function -- including proper nouns as in the London, Clinton, and Caroline examples. The words can all appear as head of an NP in subject or object function, where they are uncontroversially nouns; to analyse them as adjectives when they are functioning attributively would make the adjective category far too heterogeneous, and require an unwarranted and massive overlap between the adjective and noun categories.


All these show that these words can function as nouns or adjectives. None of them need to be classified as "fundamentally" nouns or adjectives or anything else, just as words like "first" and "such". But in the above examples of their usage they are indeed adjectives.


No, that is exactly not what Pullum and Huddleston are saying in the excerpt I took the trouble to locate and quote for you. If you're really serious about understanding this issue, I would invite you to read the literature I have been citing in this thread and reflect upon it.
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Re: σαμαρειτης - Noun / Adjective

Postby David Lim » May 30th, 2012, 12:38 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:[...]

No, that is exactly not what Pullum and Huddleston are saying in the excerpt I took the trouble to locate and quote for you. If you're really serious about understanding this issue, I would invite you to read the literature I have been citing in this thread and reflect upon it.


I am serious, and I reject prototype theory as a valid way of classifying words under word classes or means of identifying the grammatical and semantic function of words. There are many before me who have already mentioned the same problem with prototype theory on the same grounds as I did. The English examples I gave clearly show that it is not a viable alternative to proper lexicographic listing of all grammatical semantic functions. Also, we understand a phrase by matching it to a mental collection of grammatical semantic domains, which is why, if we are not aware of certain domains for a word, we will usually either find a phrase inscrutable or odd, depending on how well it can be forced into an incorrect other domain. So there is no spectrum in grammatical or semantic function at all.

If you read carefully what I tried to describe, I am not using a framework of word classes each of which contains all the words belonging to it. I am rather saying that each word references a set of domains, each of which has both grammatical function and semantic function. When a word is used it is typically (excluding constructions with double meanings) used in only one domain, which has to be inferred based on the context. Words do not inherently belong to any word class.

Anyway thanks a lot for your comments! :) If any others would like to share their thoughts, I would be glad to hear as well.
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Re: σαμαρειτης - Noun / Adjective

Postby MAubrey » May 30th, 2012, 1:20 am

David Lim wrote:I reject prototype theory as a valid way of classifying words under word classes or means of identifying the grammatical and semantic function of words. There are many before me who have already mentioned the same problem with prototype theory on the same grounds as I did.


Who?
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Re: σαμαρειτης - Noun / Adjective

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 30th, 2012, 1:40 am

David Lim wrote:I am serious, and I reject prototype theory as a valid way of classifying words under word classes or means of identifying the grammatical and semantic function of words.


Thank you for rather forcefully expressing your opinion, though I have to admit that I find it confused and, frankly, virtually incomprehensible. Perhaps this conversation would be more productive if we're both familiar with the same basic literature in linguistics. After all, this is a linguistics sub-forum.

Now, I've cited some literature I think would be relevant to a productive exchange, but I have no clue what theoretical linguistic framework, if any, informs your thinking. This may be related to your preference of reiterating your opinion in even stronger terms instead of doing something more useful such as citing your own sources or reading those which others have taken the trouble to cite. But that's just my own opinion of what it means to be serious.
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Re: σαμαρειτης - Noun / Adjective

Postby David Lim » May 30th, 2012, 2:09 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
David Lim wrote:I am serious, and I reject prototype theory as a valid way of classifying words under word classes or means of identifying the grammatical and semantic function of words.


Thank you for rather forcefully expressing your opinion, though I have to admit that I find it confused and, frankly, virtually incomprehensible. Perhaps this conversation would be more productive if we're both familiar with the same basic literature in linguistics. After all, this is a linguistics sub-forum.

Now, I've cited some literature I think would be relevant to a productive exchange, but I have no clue what theoretical linguistic framework, if any, informs your thinking. This may be related to your preference of reiterating your opinion in even stronger terms instead of doing something more useful such as citing your own sources or reading those which others have taken the trouble to cite. But that's just my own opinion of what it means to be serious.


I test a theory I come across against actual usage. In this case, the examples I gave with the word "wind" are sufficient to demonstrate the inadequacy of prototype theory. I will openly say that I am self-taught and have no academic qualification, however the way you want to consider my views because of this is up to you. Earlier in the thread all my conclusions were largely based on my own evidence, and I generally never rely on what others tell me to believe. Again, you are free to judge such an approach in whatever way you like, but unless you provide clear evidence or explanation of my counter-examples, I would not accept others' theories just like that. I would be glad if you would directly address my examples instead of saying that I am not serious. As it is, when writing my very last post I did look around and found a few articles online that state the same problem I have already found, one of which is http://www.iep.utm.edu/th-th-co/.
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Re: σαμαρειτης - Noun / Adjective

Postby Stephen Carlson » May 30th, 2012, 2:28 am

David Lim wrote:I test a theory I come across against actual usage.


One cannot test a theory without understanding it. And that requires reading the relevant literature about the theory. Otherwise, it's garbage in, garbage out.
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Re: σαμαρειτης - Noun / Adjective

Postby Jonathan Robie » May 30th, 2012, 4:49 pm

I've locked this thread and deleted the last few posts.

I think David disagrees with most of the posters in this thread. The last set of posts seems to be running in circles, with more heat than light. I don't think anyone can force anyone else to agree with them or to think the same way.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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