Tải bản đầy đủ

a study on semantic features of english adjectives denoting “big” with reference to their vietnamese equivalents

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNVERSITY

+

PHÙNG THỊ THANH THỦY

A STUDY ON SEMANTIC FEATURES
OF ENGLISH ADJECTIVES DENOTING “BIG” WITH
REFERENCE TO THEIR VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
(NGHIÊN CỨU VỀ ĐẶC TRƯNG NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA
TÍNH TỪ TIẾNG ANH BIỂU THỊ KHÁI NIỆM “TO LỚN” VÀ
LIÊN HỆ VỚI TIẾNG VIỆT)

M.A. THESIS

Hanoi, 2016


MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNVERSITY


PHÙNG THỊ THANH THỦY
A STUDY ON SEMANTIC FEATURES
OF ENGLISH ADJECTIVES DENOTING “BIG” WITH
REFERENCE TO THEIR VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
(NGHIÊN CỨU VỀ ĐẶC TRƯNG NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA
TÍNH TỪ TIẾNG ANH BIỂU THỊ KHÁI NIỆM “TO LỚN” VÀ
LIÊN HỆ VỚI TIẾNG VIỆT)
M.A. THESIS
Field: English Language
Code: 60220201
Supervisor: Ph.D. Lưu Thị Phương Lan

Hanoi, 2016


CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY
I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report
entitled A Study on Semantic features of English Adjectives denoting “Big”
with reference to Vietnamese equivalents submitted in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Master in English Language. Except where
the reference is indicated, no other person’s work has been used without due
acknowledgement in the text of the thesis.
Hanoi, 2016

Phùng Thị Thanh Thủy
Approved by
SUPERVISOR

Lưu Thị Phương Lan

Date: 28/ 11/ 2016

i


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This thesis could not have been completed without the help and support
from a number of people.
First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to


Ph.D. Lan Luu Thi Phuong, my supervisor, who has patiently and constantly
supported me through the stages of the study, and whose stimulating ideas,
expertise, and suggestions have inspired me greatly through my growth as an
academic researcher.
A special word of thanks goes to colleagues and many others, without
whose support and encouragement it would never have been possible for me
to have this thesis accomplished.
Last but not least, I am greatly indebted to my family, especially my
mother for the sacrifice they have devoted to the fulfillment of this
academic work.

ii


ABSTRACT
English is, at this moment, the most common language in the world.
Therefore, there has been a lot of research to make comparison between the
meaning of the word in English and corresponding in Vietnamese. The
comparison range means “Big” of the adjective would more practical
applications, especially, in teaching. Indeed, the adjectives, however, cannot
occur in just any order, and native speakers of English have very particular
intuitions about what order is more correct, even if they have never been
explicitly taught ordering rules. In this study, I describe the adjective have
meaning denoting “Big” and compare with synonym in Vietnamese. After
learning and researching about my thesis, I prove the existence of using
English adjectives denoting “Big” with reference to their Vietnamese
equivalents. Additionally, I want to give a briefly discussion about the
prosodic differences between English and Vietnamese adjectives as well as a
development about semantic theory that describes how pre-nominal adjectives
are ordered based on their semantic properties, with adjectives that depict
“intrinsic” properties closer to the noun, and adjectives that are “speaker
relative” in a more distant position. In the theory, the use of multiple
adjectives is described as being equivalent to a sequential series of restrictions
placed on the set of properties for a given noun.

iii


TABLE OF CONTENT
CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY ...............................................................................................i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .............................................................................................. ii
ABSTRACT .................................................................................................................... iii
TABLE OF CONTENT ................................................................................................... iv
LIST OF TABLE ........................................................................................................... vii
Chapter 1 ......................................................................................................................... 1
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................ 1
1.1. Rationale for the research ........................................................................................ 1
1.2. Aims of the research ................................................................................................. 3
1.3. Objectives of the research ........................................................................................................ 3
1.4. Scope of the research ................................................................................................ 3
1.5. Significance of the research ...................................................................................................... 4
1.6. Structure of thesis ..................................................................................................... 4
Chapter 2 ......................................................................................................................... 6
LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................................................. 6
2.1. Review of previous studies........................................................................................................ 6
2.1.1. Previous studies overseas ......................................................................................................... 6
2.1.2. Previous studies in Vietnam ................................................................................... 10
2.2. Theoretical background .......................................................................................... 11
2.2.1. Theory of semantics ............................................................................................... 11
2.2.2. Theory of adjectives .............................................................................................. 12
2.2.2.1. Definitions of adjectives ..................................................................................... 12
2.2.2.2 Adjective Ordering .............................................................................................. 14
2.2.3. Synonyms .............................................................................................................. 23
2.2.4. Context .................................................................................................................. 25

iv


2.2.5. Collocation Range ................................................................................................. 26
Chapter 3 ....................................................................................................................... 31
METHODOLOGY ......................................................................................................... 31
3.1. Research-governing orientations ............................................................................ 31
3.1.1. Research approaches .............................................................................................. 31
3.2. Research methods ................................................................................................... 35
3.2.1. Major methods and supporting methods ................................................................. 35
3.2.3. Data analysis techniques ........................................................................................ 36
3.3. Summary .................................................................................................................................. 37
Chapter 4 ........................................................................................................................................ 38
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION ................................................................................................... 38
4.1. Preamble ................................................................................................................. 38
4.1.1. Adjectives in English ............................................................................................. 38
4.1.2. Adjectives in Vietnamese ....................................................................................... 39
4.2. Semantic features of adjectives denoting “Big” in English ................................................. 40
4.2.1. “Big” in Size, Dimension, or Space ........................................................................ 40
4.2.2. “Big” in Number or Amount .................................................................................. 42
4.2.3. “Big” in Degree ..................................................................................................... 44
4.2.4 “Big” in Value, Significance or Importance ............................................................ 46
4.3. Relative frequency of occurrence of adjectives denoting “Big” in English ........... 49
4.3.1. Frequency of Occurrence of Adjectives Denoting “Big” in English ................... 49
4.3.2. Trend .................................................................................................................... 50
4.4. Discussion of findings.............................................................................................................. 51
4.4.1 English Adjectives Denoting “Big” and Their Vietnamese Equivalents ................................ 51
4.4.2. Conclusion ............................................................................................................. 53
Chapter 5 ....................................................................................................................... 54
CONCLUSION............................................................................................................... 54

v


5.1. Recapitulation.......................................................................................................................... 54
5.2. Concluding remarks ................................................................................................ 55
5.3. Limitations of the current research ....................................................................................... 56
5.4. Some implications for teaching and translating English adjectives denoting “Big”
........................................................................................................................................ 56
5.4.1. Implication on the language teaching ..................................................................... 56
5.4.2 Implication on translation work .............................................................................. 57
5.5. Suggestions for further study ................................................................................. 58
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................... 59
BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................................................................................................... 62

vi


LIST OF TABLE
Table 2.1. Inherent and non-inherent adjective………………………………..……...…..21
Table 4.1. “Big” in Size, Dimension and Space in English and Vietnamese…..............................….41
Table 4.2. “Big” in Number and Amount in English and Vietnamese………............…..43
Table 4.3. “Big” in Degree in English and Vietnamese…………………...…………….45
Table 4.4. “Big” in Value, Significance or Importance in English and Vietnamese…….48
Table 4.5. The frequency of occurrence of value adjectives denoting “Big”……………50
Table 4.6. The summarizing table of adjectives denoting “Big” both in English and
Vietnamese………………………………………………………………………………..52

vii


Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION
1.1. Rationale for the research
Many writers across the world agree that English is the “queen of
languages”. Indeed, English is generally acknowledged to be the world’s most
important language. There are thousands of different languages in the world,
and each will seem uniquely important to those who speak it as their native
language, the language they acquired at their mother’s knee, but English is
still the world’s most widely used language.
It is indispensible that an English word often has various meanings
depending on the context, and adjectives in English are no exceptions. They
can be appropriately applied to fully transmit the speaker’s thoughts and
ideas. Nevertheless, it is not easy for those who learn English as a second
language to use them correctly and effectively. In fact, most learners often
feel confused with adjectives of the same denotation especially when they are
used in various contexts since they fail to grasp the contextual meanings that
are central to the interpretation of meaning. There can be no denying that a
general sense of one adjective can be adjusted by virtue of contextual factors
and each context can make certain aspects of meaning vary interestingly.
Big is one of the most commonly used adjectives, and is used to modify
or describe nouns both in colloquial and in scientific or academic discourses.
In some different contexts, the meaning of “Big” can be represented by virtue
of different lexical devices. Indeed, there are many English adjectives
denoting the meaning of “Big” when used in varying contexts. We use
adjective Big in every day conversations with its common and general

1


meaning. Big is used to describe something or someone with a large shape,
size, or building. In particular contexts, however, the meaning of “Big” is
implied by other adjectives such as big, huge, enormous, tremendous, etc. For
example, a big house (một ngôi nhà lớn), tremendous efforts (nỗ lực lớn),
radical changes (những thay đổi lớn), or a sweeping view (quang cảnh rộng).
On the contrary, Vietnamese has phrases like mưa to, gió lớn whereby the
meaning of “Big” is realized by various lexical items, i.e, “to”, and “lớn”, and
their English equivalents should be “heavy rain”, and “strong wind”, rather
than being literally translated as big rain, or big wind. Although “lớn” or “to
lớn” is the main aspect of meaning of “Big”, yet upon being rendered into
English, there are several different adjectives belonging to the semantic field
of “Big”.
In addition, adjectives in English have attracted the attention of both
English and Vietnamese researchers. In fact, attempts have been made to
study single adjectives like good, bad, nice or a group of adjectives denoting
color, and the like. However, there has yet been any research done into
adjectives in the school meaning of “Big”, which is supposed to be an
exciting but problematic area of study. For this reason, I would like to focus
my paper on the topic: “A study on semantic features of English adjectives
denoting “Big” with reference to their Vietnamese equivalents”. On that
foundation, I would like to study and compare the collocation range of “Big”
and of other common generic size adjectives such as great, large, huge, etc.
By doing so, the study can help equip English learners with some critical
knowledge of adjectives in the school meaning of “Big” while at the same
time suggesting some possible Vietnamese translational equivalents.
Hopefully, once learners of English have a good grasp of these
adjectives, they will possibly achieve their communicative target and their
2


studying English will become an easier and more interesting experience.
1.2. Aims of the research
The study aims to:
- Show the semantic features of Adjectives denoting “Big”.
- Provide English learners with a better insight into the meaning Big and
the way it is represented by means of different lexical devices – or rather of
adjectives in the same field of meaning.
1.3. Objectives of the research
To achieve the aims mentioned above, following objectives are put
forward:
(i) Identifying a range of adjectives denoting “Big”.
(ii) Examining semantic differences of the adjectives denoting “Big” in
various contexts.
(iii) Finding out the Vietnamese equivalents of English adjectives
denoting “Big”.
(iv) Putting forward some suggestions for teaching and learning as well
as translating adjectives denoting “Big”.
1.4. Scope of the research
(i) Academic scope
This research is restrict to English adjectives denoting “Big” in English
such descriptive adjectives as big, great, large, huge, enormous, tremendous
and valuable adjectives like big, great, important, considerable. The
contrastive analysis is based on the source language English with reference to
Vietnamese equivalents.

3


(ii) Social scope
To carry out the research thesis, all the material collection of English
adjectives denoting “Big” and their Vietnamese equivalents are selected from
some reliable dictionaries in both languages: English and Vietnamese.
It is hoped that the outcomes of this thesis, to some extent, can make a
certain contribution to enhance knowledge and quality of communication for
language learners at Hanoi Open University.
1.5. Significance of the research
(i) Theoretical significance
In terms of theoretical significance, the research is expected to
contribute some literature to the repertoire of adjectives after analyzing
their semantic features.
(ii) Practical significance
In terms of practical significance, adjectives denoting “Big” are used
popularly in daily life, but so far, there have been no studies about this topic.
As a result, this research is conducted in an attempt to provide Vietnamese
learners with better mastering about semantic features of English adjectives
denoting “Big”. From the findings, Vietnamese learners of English will
enhance knowledge about adjectives as well as apply this kind of adjectives
denoting “Big” in sensible ways in communication. The study is hoped to
make a major contribution to the process of teaching and learning English.
1.6. Structure of thesis
The thesis is designed with five chapters:
Chapter 1: Introduction – provides an overview of the issues, the aims,
the specific objectives, the scope, the significance and the structural

4


organization of the research are also mentioned in this chapter.
Chapter 2: Literature review – discusses the previous studies on
adjectives relating to the area of the research and presents some theoretical
preliminaries that could be used as foundation for the process of conducting
the research.
Chapter 3: Methodology – presents the research questions, the major
methods, the minor methods and the techniques employed in the research.
The chapter also describes the way the data are collected and analyzed.
Chapter 4: Findings and discussion – describes and analyses the
semantic features of adjectives denoting “Big” in English and Vietnamese to
find out the similarities and differences in terms of semantic features.
Chapter 5: Conclusions – summaries major findings found out from the
investigation and data analysis, presents the limitations of the study, and
provides some suggestions for further research.
References come at the end of the study.

5


Chapter 2
LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. Review of previous studies
The prosperity of language in form and content not only has the beauty
of language but also deeply contributes to successful daily communications.
Every language in the world has large numbers of adjectives. Indeed,
adjective always takes an important role in enriching language by its
abundance and potentially descriptive qualities and characteristics. In
English, the adjective is multi – functional. It is used essentially to describe
an object but, in general, it is meant to enrich and clarify ideas and lead the
interlocutors to communicate eloquently. Being aware of the important role
of adjectives denoting “Big” in the daily communication in the society as
well as teaching and learning languages, many researchers have taken
studies on adjectives denoting in various field such as syntax, semantics and
translation, etc.
2.1.1. Previous studies overseas
In recent decades, the semantic aspects of English adjectives have
become one of the major focusing in studies of language use. So it said above
that adjectives introduce properties. Two kinds of facts suggest that adjectives
also denote properties. First, as people have already seen, adjectives may
provide the main predicate in a sentence. Second, they often see entailments
from the attributive form to the predicative form.
A number of researchers, including Creswell (1973), Lewis (1970) and
Montague (1974) have taken the existence of non-intersective interpretations
of adjectives as evidence that adjectives do not denote properties, but rather

6


must be analyzed as expressions that map properties into new properties.
(Others have adopted a more nuanced view whereby attributive uses involve
such a meaning, while predicative uses denote properties; see Siegel 1976 for
a sophisticated implementation of this kind of account, and the kind of
linguistic data that can be brought to bear to support it). In some cases (the
intersective adjectives), the output is just the conjunction of the input with a
property introduced by the adjective; in others (the non-intersective ones), the
adjective determines the output property in a more complex way, as we have
seen. Furthermore, apparent predicative uses of adjectives are analyzed as
deriving from an underlying attributive source, so that what is predicated of
the subject. The advantage of such an approach is that it allows for a general
theory of lexical types and compositional operations, and if the general goal is
to show that the semantic properties of natural language can be accounted for
within a compositional framework, the strategy is a reasonable one. The
disadvantage of such an approach is that in effectively building noundependency into the meaning of the adjective, the uniformity hypothesis
doesn’t leave much space for complex structural effects on meaning of the
sort we observed in the previous section for adjectives like visible. At the
same time, it can lead to an over-simplistic assessment of the data, when a
more sophisticated analysis of both noun and adjective meaning can provide
us with ways of explaining patterns like those above without adopting the
attributive analysis of adjective meaning.
Adjectives have played a prominent role in a number of philosophical
discussions of aspects of human language, as I will document in this section,
but perhaps the most prominent is their role in the characterization and
analysis of vagueness (chapter 4.3). The problem of vagueness is essentially
the problem of being unable or unwilling to say of any single point along an

7


ordering generated by the meaning of a particular term whether that point
separates the things that the term is true of from the things that it is false of.
Vagueness is not a feature of adjectives alone, but adjectives provide a
particularly rich empirical ground for investigating it, because so many of
them fall into the class of gradable adjectives discussed in the previous
section, and so (in their basic, unmodified forms) introduce properties that are
true of false of objects depending on their position on a scale.
A central question in work on gradable adjectives and vagueness is
whether vagueness is the defining characteristic of the class, with their other
significant properties, such as the possibility of forming comparative
constructions, arising as a result of this feature, or whether vagueness is
derived. The first view is seen in the work of Kamp (1975), Klein (1980), van
Benthem (1982) and most recently by van Rooij (in press), who provide
compositional

semantic

analyses

of various

kinds

of comparative

constructions in terms of an initial analysis of gradable adjectives as vague
property terms. This approach has the advantage of explaining the apparent
morphological universal mentioned at the end of the previous section: if there
is a difference in morphosyntactic complexity between the positive and
comparative form of an adjective, it is always the latter that is complex.
(Though it should be noted that many languages - probably the majority – do
not make a morphosyntactic distinction between the forms.)
The second view is associated with degree-based analyses of gradable
adjectives of the sort discussed in the previous section: since adjectives do not
denote properties at all, but rather relations between individuals and degrees,
there is no sense in which the basic meanings of the terms are vague. Instead,
vagueness is introduced compositionally through the mapping of such
relations to properties. In particular, if this mapping is achieved through
8


composition with a phonologically null “positive” morpheme, as described
above, this opens up the analytical possibility of associating vagueness with
the particular semantic features of this morpheme, a move advocated and
justified by Fara (2000) and Kennedy (2007).
Adjectives have also played an important role in discussions of the
implications of variable judgments about truth for theories of meaning.
Recent work on semantic relativism has focused extensively on differences in
truth judgments of sentences containing adjectives of personal taste like tasty
and fun (see e.g. Cappelen and Hawthorne 2009; Lasersohn 2005;
MacFarlane 2005; Stephenson 2007; Richard 2004;), and researchers
interested in motivating contextualist semantic analyses have often used facts
involving gradable adjectives (recall the judgments in which show that the
threshold for what “counts as” tall can change depending on whether we are
talking about jockeys or basketball players) to develop arguments about the
presence (or absence) of contextual parameters in other types of
constructions, such as knowledge statements (see e.g. Cohen 1999; Lewis
1979; Stanley 2004; Unger 1975). Other researchers have attempted to
account for the apparent context sensitivity of these examples without
importing context dependence into the semantics (see e.g. Cappelen and
Lepore 2005).
More radically, Travis (1997; 1985; 1994) has used judgments about the
truth of sentences containing color adjectives to argue against the view that
sentences determine truth conditions. Instead, according to him, the semantic
value of a sentence at most imposes some necessary conditions under which it
may be true (as well as conditions under which it may be used), but those
conditions need not be sufficient, and the content of the sentence does not
define a function from contexts to truth. However, Travis’ argument goes
9


through only if it is the case if the truth conditional variability introduced by
color adjectives cannot be linked to a context-dependent element in its logical
form or to an underlying ambiguity. Indeed, there are responses to his work
which argue for each of these positions based on careful and sophisticated
linguistic analysis of color adjectives.
2.1.2. Previous studies in Vietnam
Adjectives are also a matter of concern to many Vietnamese researchers.
Vietnamese adjectives also prove significant in the Vietnamese language, and
several native linguists have been trying to collect them and to detect their
special peculiarities. Adjectives are also a matter of concern to many
Vietnamese researchers. Take example, Cao Xuân Hạo (1998), Đinh Văn Đức
(1986), Phạm Hồng Hải (2012), Nguyễn Hữu Quỳnh (2001), Nguyễn Tài Cẩn
(1999), etc.
According to Dinh (1986) in Ngữ Pháp Tiếng Việt, “General speaking,
adjectives are the kind of words that shows the characteristic of all these
concepts can be expressed in nouns and verbs”.
It can be said that the above – mentioned authors appear to have made
good use of adjectival characteristics in the hope of bringing about their
semantic and pragmatic recognition profoundly. Though linguist have written
much on adjectives, and chiefly focused on their meaning and use. However,
there so far has not been a specific study which is designed for semantic
features of a range of adjectives denoting the meaning of “Big”; for these
reasons, I have made my attempt to make an investigation into this matter.

10


2.2. Theoretical background
2.2.1. Theory of semantics
After searching a large amount of reliable sources, I have found some
theories of semantics which are helpful for analyzing the semantics features
of English and Vietnamese adjectives of comparisons.
Semantics (as the study of meaning) is central to the study of
communication and as communication becomes more and more a crucial
factor in social organization, the need to understand it becomes more and
more pressing. Semantics is also at the center of the study of the human mind
– thought processes, cognition, conceptualization – all these are intricately
bound up with the way in which we classify and convey out experience of the
world through language.
Because it is, in these two ways, a focal point in man’s study of man,
semantics has been the meeting place of various cross-currents of thinking
and various disciplines of study. Philosophy, psychology, and linguistics all
claim a deep interest in the subject. Semantics has often seemed baffling
because there are many different approaches to it, and the ways in which they
are related to one another are rarely clear, even to writers on the subject
(Leech 1990: IX).
According to Thomason (1966), semantics is the study of the meaning
of linguistic expressions. The language can be a natural language, such as
English or Navajo, or an artificial language, like a computer programming
language. Meaning in natural language is mainly studied by linguists. In fact,
semantics is one of the main branches of contemporary linguistics.
Theoretical computer scientists and logicians think about artificial languages.
In some areas of computer science, these divisions are crossed. In machine

11


translation, for instance, computer scientist may want to relate natural
language texts to abstract representations of their meanings; to do this, they
have to design artificial languages for representing meanings.
From my point of view, generally, semantics is the study of meaning. It
is a wide subject within the general study of language. An understanding of
semantics is essential to the study of language acquisition (how language
users acquire a sense of meaning, as speakers and writers, listeners and
readers) and of language change (how meanings alter over time). It is
important to understand language in social contexts, as these are likely to
affect meaning, and for understanding varieties of English and effects of style.
It is thus one of the most fundamental concepts in linguistics. The study of
semantics includes the study of how meaning is constructed, interpreted,
clarified, obscured, illustrated, simplified, negotiated, contradicted and
paraphrased.
2.2.2. Theory of adjectives
2.2.2.1. Definitions of adjectives
When researching about adjectives, many grammarians have different
definitions.
According to L. G. Alexander (1998, 106), a word is considered as an
adjective when it describes a person or a thing … which a noun refers to or
describes the ideas contained in the whole group of words, as in:
Professor Robert’s lecture on environment was fascinating.
Many adjectives can answer the question What …like?
What’s Tom like? (ask for the appearance)
He is dark/ short/ tall.

12


(Alexander, 1998, p. 106)
However, as the opinions of Quirk et al., “We usually cannot tell a
word is an adjective by looking at it in isolation because the form of a word
doesn’t necessarily indicate its syntactic function. Nor can we identify a word
as an adjective merely from its potentials for inflexion” (1973, 114).
In The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, adjectives are
characterized as expressions “that alter, clarify, or adjust the meaning
contributions of nouns”, in order to allow for the expression of “finer
gradations of meaning” than are possible through the use of nouns alone
(Huddleston and Pullum 2002, p. 526). At a general level, adjectives gain this
capability in virtue of two main characteristics, one of which is semantic and
one of which is syntactic. On the semantic side, they introduce properties.
(Whether they actually denote properties is a question we will address in
detail below.) On the syntactic side, they are able to function as modifiers,
and so may (with some restrictions) combine recursively with nouns. The
result of this combination is a new property which is typically (though not
always) true of a subset of the entities that the original properties are true of,
thereby providing a “finer gradation of meaning” than is possible using the
noun alone. This simple picture hides many important and interesting
complexities, however, which provide insights on several topics of central
interest

to

both

linguists

and

philosophers,

including:

vagueness,

contextualism, relativism, compositionality, and the semantic analysis of
significant phenomena such as modality. I begin with an examination of the
distributional properties of adjectives, then summarize the most prominent
analyses of their meanings, and finally conclude with a look at some of the
roles that adjectives have played in reasoning about the issues and phenomena

13


mentioned above.
Adjective is one of the most common categories of the English words.
Adjectives can simply be defined by Richard et al (1993) as 'a word that
describes a noun', or referred to a more specific notion as 'a word that
describes the thing, quality, state or action which a noun refers to'.
An adjective is a part of speech which describes, identifies, or quantifies
a noun or a pronoun. So basically, the main function of an adjective is to
modify a noun or a pronoun so that it will become more specific and
interesting. Instead of just one word, a group of words with a subject and a
verb, can also function as an adjective. When this happens, the group of
words is called an adjective clause.
So the English adjective is various. They typically denote properties most centrally in the domains of opinion, size, age and origin. Hence, the
learners have many choices of using adjectives based on their purposes.
To sum up, adjective is one of four elements of open class items (noun,
adjective, adverb, and verb) which belongs to part of speech in English
grammar, and adjectives are describing words expressing quality, quantity,
size, color, characteristics, etc.
2.2.2.2 Adjective Ordering
Almost all languages allow attributive adjectives to modify nouns; in
fact, in many languages this is the only or primary function. In some
languages, attributive modification is limited to a single adjective phrase;
additional adjectives must be coordinated, introduced by apposition, or
introduced in relative clauses. In other languages, such as English, multiple
adjectives are possible, and in such languages there are very clear cross-

14


linguistic tendencies in the ordering of attributive adjectives. By and large, the
order of pre-nominal adjectives tends to be similar cross-linguistically, for
example size before color. In many cases, there is a preferred ordering and a
marked ordering, or two different interpretations for two different orders.
In this theory, the semantic subcategories of adjectives (shape, color,
size, etc.) are further categorized into broader “spheres,” where sphere 1
contains adjectives that are decreasing in intransitivity as they increase in
distance from a noun. Sphere 1 adjectives are also less likely to be found out
of order. Sphere 2 adjectives are internally relative, and internally
comparative, and when found out of order, result in a semantic shift from the
underlying order. Sphere 3 adjectives are externally comparative, and involve
the speaker’s opinion and perspective. Sphere 3 adjectives are more likely to
be found in inverse position, and the semantic shifts that occur when this is
done. Lastly, the category of scope-taking adjectives, which move more freely
and have a more “adverbial” quality.
Scope-taking adjectives are capable of taking the noun and all of the
adjectives that modify it and modify all of them further. How adjectives from
identical semantic categories behave when they interact and the semantic
differences between ordered pairs and their inverses.
Across languages, which was successful in some languages, but not as
much so in English translating. My cross-linguistic analysis is clearly very
limited; I did not have extensive data or access to many native speakers, so
naturally, it was very difficult to test the semantic and syntactic features of
English adjectives denoting with reference to their Vietnamese equivalents in
the other languages, as I will able to do in English. In the future, I believe this
would be an interesting study to do.

15


Additionally, I would be interested in exploring in more detail the
relationship between scope-taking adjectives and the adjectives within the
other spheres; these adjectives seem to behave in an interesting way that is
easy to understand in English.
The free nature of these adjectives makes them naturally more likely to
vary cross-linguistically, and I would be very interested to analyze the
semantic and syntactic features of English adjectives denoting with reference
to their Vietnamese equivalents in the other languages.
In general, however, one thing that is never seen cross-linguistically,
despite the controversy about the placement of the noun, is a clear violation
of the underlying. The adjectives consistently remain in the same order in
relation to one another, whether in mirror image or not, which is a very
robust finding. Having consistent cross-linguistic relative adjective order as
predicted by a semantic theory may be evidence that a semantic theory will
also suffice in explaining cross-linguistic variation among the syntactic
relationships between the placement of a noun and the adjectives that
modify it.
It is of paramount importance to learn the pattern of adjective order if it
is not part of what you naturally bring to the language. The royal order of
adjectives can be seen in this part. In conclusion, adjectives are words used to
describe or modify nouns. They give the reader more information about noun
and make our writing more interesting.
2.2.2.3. Semantic features of English adjectives
Based on A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language of
Randolph Quirk published in 1985 and English Grammar of Dave Willis, the
writer found that adjectives are classified into stative and dynamic, gradable
and non – gradable.

16


Tài liệu bạn tìm kiếm đã sẵn sàng tải về

Tải bản đầy đủ ngay

×