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Adverbs

Adverbs form an open class Like lexical verbs , nouns and adjectives, adverbs constitute an open class. This means that the membership of the class can increase as new adverbs are coined and added. Some recently added (or re-adopted) adverbs include: Right-angularly: at right…

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Adjectives

Adjectives form an open class Like lexical verbs, nouns and adverbs, adjectives constitute an open class of words, i.e. the number of adjectives can increase as people either invent new ones or reclaim old ones that have fallen into disuse. Some relatively recently added adjectives…

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Nouns

Nouns belong to an open class Nouns compose by far the largest class of words. This is because they are generally used to name things. As there is an almost infinite number of things to be named the class is expansive. In addition, as humankind progresses, discovers and…

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Future Time

No future tense in English We have seen elsewhere (see Lexical Verbs) that English verb forms only mark two aspects of time, the present and the past, i.e. there is no future tense form of English verbs. Some languages do mark future tense with a particular verb…

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Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary verbs form a closed class As well as the huge number of lexical verbs, there is a limited number of so-called auxiliary verbs. As the membership is restricted and as it is not easy to add new ones, auxiliary verbs (like numerals, determiners, pronouns,…

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Lexical Verbs

Lexical verbs form an open class We know that lexical words are the main carriers of meaning in a spoken utterance or written sentence. They are the most numerous type of word and they are all members of open classes, i.e. more lexical words can be invented…

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Verbs

Three classes of verb So-called main verbs are typically the most important element in a clause, taking the central role. In contrast, auxiliary verbs are usually placed before a main verb and serve to qualify the meaning of the main verb. The word class of verbs can be…

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Grammar of Spoken Language

The grammar of spoken language differs in several respects from that of written language. Its use of heads, tails, ellipsis, boundary markers, and other features used in formal and informal speech, suggests that spoken language has its own grammar.

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