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Noun and its categories
14.11.2011, 17:04
Seminar 3.
NOUN AND ITS CATEGORIES
1. The general characteristics of the noun as a part of speech. Classification of nouns.
2. The category of gender: the traditional and modern approaches to the category of gender. Gender in Russian and English.
3. The category of number. Traditional and modern interpretations of num-ber distinctions of the noun. Singularia Tantum and Pluralia Tantum nouns.
4. The category of case: different approaches to its interpretation. Case dis-tinctions in personal pronouns.
5. The category of article determination. The status of article in the language hierarchy. The opposition of articles and pronominal determiners.
6. The oppositional reduction of the nounal categories: neutralization and transposition in the categories of gender, of number, of case, and of arti¬cle determination.
7. The specific status of proper names. Transposition of proper names into class nouns.

Questions:
1. What are the "part of speech" properties of a noun?
2. What does the peculiarity of expressing gender distinctions in English consist in?
3. What differentiates the category of gender in English from that in Rus¬sian?
4. Why don't lexical gender markers annul the grammatical character of English gender?
5. Why is the interpretation of the categorial meaning of the nounal plural form as "more than one" considered not well grounded?
6. What is the modern interpretation of the categorial semantics of the plu-ral form of the noun?
7. What makes the category of case in English disputable?
8. What are the strong and weak points of the "prepositional", "position-al", and "postpositional" case theories?
9. What ensures a peculiar status of "-s"?

10. What are the main approaches to the treatment of the article?
11. What shows the intermediate (between the word and the morpheme) sta¬tus of the article?
12. What does the oppositional representation of the articles reveal?
13. What are the categorial meanings of the three articles?
I. Account for the article determination of the given casal phrases:
a) a soldier's bag, a ten miles' forest, the Prime Minister's speech;
b) Travolta's first role, expensive teenagers' T-shirts, the man who was run over yesterday's daughter;
c) week's work, a new men's deodorant, a hundred miles' run;
d) within a stone's throw, a child's dream, Christ's Church.

II. Define the casal semantics of the modifying component in the underlined phrases and account for their determination:

a)
1. Two Negroes, dressed in glittering livery such as one sees in pictures of royal processions in London, were standing at attention beside the car and as the two young men dismounted from the buggy they were greeted in some language which the guest could not understand, but which seemed to be an extreme form of the Southern Negro's dialect (Fitzgerald).
2. Home was a fine high-ceiling apartment hewn from the palace of a Re-naissance cardinal in the Rue Monsieur - the sort of thing Henry could not have afforded in America (Fitzgerald).
3. Wherefore it is better to be a guest of the law, which, though conducted by rules, does not meddle unduly with a gentleman's private affairs (O.Henry).
4. The two vivid years of his love for Caroline moved back around him like years in Einstein's physics (Fitzgerald).

5. "Isn't Ida's head a dead ringer for the lady's head on the silver dollar?" (O.Henry)
6. He had been away from New York for more than eight months and most of the dance music was unfamiliar to him, but at the first bars of the "Painted Doll", to which he and Caroline had moved through so much happiness and despair the previous summer, he crossed to Caro¬line's table and asked her to dance (Fitzgerald).

b)
1. And then followed the big city's biggest shame, its most ancient and rotten surviving canker... handed down from a long-ago century of the basest barbarity - the Hue and Cry (O.Henry).
2. He mentioned what he had said to the aspiring young actress who had stopped him in front of Sardi's and asked quite bluntly if she should per¬sist in her ambition to go on the stage or give up and go home (Saroyan).
3. The policeman's mind refused to accept Soapy even as a clue. Men who smash windows do not remain to parley with the law's minions (O.Henry).
4. I've heard you're very fat these days, but I know it's nothing serious, and anyhow I don't care what happens to people's bodies, just so the rest of them is O.K. (Saroyan).
5. "I dropped them flowers in a cracker-barrel, and let the news trickle in my ears and down toward my upper left-hand shirt pocket until it got to my feet." (O.Henry)
6. She turned and smiled at him unhappily in the dim dashboard light (Cheever).

III. Open the brackets and account for the choice of the casal form of the noun:
a)
1. Vivian Schnlitzer-Murphy had rubies as big as (hen + eggs), and sap¬phires that were like globes with lights inside them (Fitzgerald).
2. But as Soapy set foot inside the (restaurant + door) the (head + waiter + eye) fell upon his frayed trousers and decadent shoes (O.Henry).
3. A miserable cat wanders into the garden, sunk in spiritual and physical discomfort. Tied to its head is a small (straw + hat) - a (doll + hat) -and it is securely buttoned into a (doll + dress), from the skirts of which protrudes its long, hairy tail (Cheever).
4. Soapy straightened the (lady + missionary + ready-made + tie), dragged his shrinking cuffs into the open, set his hat at a killing cant and sidled towards the young woman (O.Henry).
5. "I'm afraid I won't be able to," he said, after a (moment + hesitation) (Fitzgerald).
b)
1. Of women there were five in Yellowhammer. The (assayer + wife), the (proprietress + the Lucky Strike Hotel), and a laundress whose wash-tub panned out an (ounce + dust) a day (O.Henry).
2. "The face," said Reineman, "is the (face + one + God + own angels)." (O.Henry)
3. The people who had come in were rich and at home in their richness with one another - a dark lovely girl with a hysterical little laugh he had met before; two confident men whose jokes referred invariably to last (night + scandal) and (tonight + potentialities)... (Fitzgerald).
4. His face was a sickly white, covered almost to the eyes with a stubble the (shade + a red Irish setter + coat) (O.Henry).
5. During the first intermission he suddenly remembered that he had not had a seat removed from the theatre and placed in his dressing room, so he called the (stage + manager) and told him to see that such a seat was instantly found somewhere and placed in his dress¬ing room (Saroyan).

c)
1. His eyes were full of hopeless, tricky defiance like that seen in a (cur) that is cornered by his tormentors (O.Henry).
2. The scene for his miserere mei Deus was, like (the waiting room + so many doctors + offices), a crude (token + gesture) toward the sweets of domestic bliss: a place arranged with antiques, (coffee + tables), potted plants, and (etchings + snow-covered bridges and geese in fight), al¬though there were no children, no (marriage + bed), no stove, even, in this (travesty + a house), where no one had ever spent the night and where the curtained windows looked straight onto a dark (air + shaft) (Cheever).
3. Their eyes brushed past (each other), and the look he knew so well was staring out at him from hers (Fitzgerald).
4. "Hello, Mitty," he said. "We're having the (devil + own time) with McMillan, the millionaire banker and close personal friend of Roosevelt." (Thurber)
5. "You know? Clayton, that (boy + hers), doesn't seem to get a job..." (Cheever)

Translate the sentences Into English and define the semantic type of the
casal phrase:
1. Никто не расслышал последние слова умирающего пациента.
2. Он купил новый офицерский китель.
3. Сестра подписалась на богато иллюстрированный дорогой жен-ский журнал.
4. Утомительный десятимильный переход, казалось, вымотал всех, кроме капрала.
5. Неожиданное двадцатипроцентное увеличение зарплаты удивило сотрудников фирмы, поскольку они уже привыкли к скупости сво-его шефа.

VI. Analyze the categorial features of the underlined wordforms:
MODEL: We had just finished the cocktails when the door was flung open and the Morstens's girl came in, followed by a boy.
the cocktails - the nounal form is marked by the expression of the categori¬al meanings of plurality and identification and is unmarked in the cat¬egories of gender and case;
the door - the nounal form is marked by the expression of the categorial meaning of identification of the referent, and is unmarked in the ex¬pression of the categories of case, number, and gender;
the Morstens's - the nounal form is marked by the expression of the catego¬rial meanings of plurality, of identification of the referent, of appurte¬nance, and of animateness (the strong member of the upper opposition of the category of gender);
the girl - the nounal form is marked by the expression of the categorial meanings of identification of the referent, and of the feminine gender. At the same time it is the unmarked member of the oppositions in the categories of case and number;
a boy - the nounal form is marked by the expression of the categorial mean¬ing of the masculine gender, and is the unmarked member of the oppo¬sitions in the categories of case, number, and article determination.

1. Intending to call Dr. Wilbur's home number, Sybil inserted a dime in the slot to ask for long distance but heard only a metallic nothingness. The telephone was dead (Schreiber).
2. Kate did not like having to learn lessons from this little waif of a Ter¬esa (Lawrence).
3. There's many a poor respectable mother who doesn't get half the fuss¬ing and attention which is lavished on some of these girls! (James)
4. In her grace, at once exquisite and hardy, she was that perfect type of American girl that makes one wonder if the male is not being sacrificed to it, much as, in the last century, the lower strata in England were sacrificed to produce the governing class (Fitzgerald).
5. He remembered reading - in a John D. MacDonald novel, he thought -that every modern motel room in America seems filled with mirrors (King). '
6. And I expect the whole place is bugged, and everybody knows every¬body else's most secret conversations (Christie).
7. The moon was rising, blood-red. The boy was looking at her thinking that he had never seen so red a moon (Galsworthy).
8. She shuddered. The child, his own child, was only an "it" to him (Lawrence).
9. When Alice was speaking to the Mouse, she noticed that he was trem¬bling all over with fright (Carroll).
10.The boy was devouring cakes, while the anxious-looking aunt tried to convince the Grahams that her sister's only son could do no mischief.

Additional exercises.
I. Dwell on the numerical features of the nouns:
1. The board of advisers have been discussing the agenda of the next meet-ing for an hour already.
2. Sonata is not played by an orchestra.
3. It was a tragedy that he died before he could enjoy the fruits of all his hard work.
4. The measles is infectious.
5. Sea-wasp is poisonous.
6. He bought another pair of scales.
7. The tropics are not pleasant to live in.
8. They produced a number of steels.
9. The machinery was due to arrive in March.
10. She dropped tear after tear but he didn't raise his head.
11. This was more like home. Yet the strangenesses were unaccountable.
II. Define the language means used to mark the gender distinctions of the nouns:
1. The tom-cat was sleeping on the window-sill.
2. Australia and her people invoke everyone's interest.
3. Next week we are going to speak about the continent of Australia: its climate and nature.
4. The tale says that the Mouse was courageous, he never let down his friends when they were in danger.
5. Something is wrong with my car, I can't start her.
6. I saw a car left on the beach; its windows were broken.
7. They have got five cows and a bull, two cocks and three dozen hens, a drake and ten ducks.
8. His new yacht is very expensive; he paid about a million dollars for her.
9. A woman-doctor was to operate on the patient.
10. A he-goat is more difficult to tame than a she-goat.
III. Arrange the phrases into two columns according to the type of their casal
semantics (on the principle of differentiating between possession and
qualification) and use the proper articles with them:
officer's cap, young man's thesis, tomorrow's important press-confer¬ence, mile's distance, Wilde's last epigram, yesterday's unexpected storm, hour's walk, last poem of Shelley, new children's shop, two weeks' jour¬ney, day's work, in ... two months' period, nice children's caps, new women's magazine, boys who played yesterday in the yard's toys, three hours' walk.
IV. Open the brackets and account for the choice of the casal form of the
noun:
1. [The plane + safety] was not proved.
2. [For + convenience + sake] he decided to travel light.
3. [Birds + killing] is barbarous.
4. [Delegation + arrival] was unexpected.
5. No one managed to swim [five miles + distance] in such nasty weather.
6. [Bride + bridegroom + their relatives] luggage was so bulky that they had to hire another car.
7. [Boy + Smith] broke a leg.
8. You'd better go to [nearest + greengrocer].

V. Account for the use of the articles:
1. The dog was tamed by man a long time ago.
2. He felt pity as he knew that living with him didn't give her pleasure. It would have been a surprise to hear that she felt attached to him.
3. A group of boys were playing volleyball.
4. The woman who teaches us Italian now is not a teacher.
5. The theatre showed us a new Oscar Wilde, not the great Wilde, but a man in despair, full of doubts.
6. It was better to have a sulky Arthur than no Arthur at all.
7. She was no woman, she was servant.
8. Hollowquay was a has-been if there ever was. Developed first as a fish¬ing village and then further developed as an English Riviera - and now a mere summer resort, crowded in August.
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