Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cognitive GrammarA Basic Introduction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ronald Langacker

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 27 June 2019

Grammatical Classes

Grammatical Classes

Chapter:
(p.93) 4 Grammatical Classes
Source:
Cognitive Grammar
Author(s):

Ronald W. Langacker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.003.0004

The standard doctrine that basic grammatical classes (parts of speech) are not semantically definable rests on erroneous assumptions about the nature of linguistic meaning. With a proper view of meaning, basic categories—notably noun and verb—have plausible conceptual characterizations at both the prototype level (for typical examples) and the schema level (valid for all instances). The prototypes are based on conceptual archetypes: objects for nouns, and actions for verbs. The schemas are independent of any particular conceptual content, residing instead in basic cognitive abilities immanent in the archetypes: for nouns, grouping and reification; in the case of verbs, the ability to apprend relationships and to track their evolution through time. An expression's grammatical category specifically depends on the nature of its profile (not its overall content). Thus a noun profiles a thing (defined abstractly as any product of grouping and reification), while a verb profiles a process (a relationship tracked through time). Expressions that profile non-processual relationships include adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, infinitives, and participles. Relational expressions can be categorized in different ways, depending on factors like the number and type of focused participants, whether the profiled relation is simplex or complex, and whether it is apprehended holistically or sequentially. These characterizations prove efficacious in describing how relational expressions function as noun modifiers and in clausal organization.

Keywords:   adjective, adverb, clause structure, conceptual archetype, grammatical category, grammatical class, grouping, infinitive, noun, noun modifier, participle, parts of speech, preposition, process, profile, prototype, reification, relational participant, relationship, schema, thing, verb

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .