Case is a special grammatical category of a noun, adjective, participle or numeral whose value reflects the grammatical function performed by that word in a phrase, clause or sentence. In some languages, pronouns, determiners, prepositions, numerals and their modifiers take different inflected forms, depending on their case; as a language evolves, cases can merge, a phenomenon formally called syncretism. English has lost its inflected case system although personal pronouns still have three cases, which are simplified forms of the nominative and genitive cases, they are used with personal pronouns: objective case and possessive case. Forms such as I, he and we are used for the subject, forms such as me, him and us are used for the object. Languages such as Ancient Greek, Assamese, Belarusian, Czech, Finnish, Icelandic, Korean, Lithuanian, Romanian, Sanskrit, Slovak, Tibetan, Turkish and most Caucasian languages have extensive case systems, with nouns, pronouns and determiners all inflecting to indicate their case.
The number of cases differs between languages: Esperanto has two. Encountered cases include nominative, accusative and genitive. A role that one of those languages marks by case is marked in English with a preposition. For example, the English prepositional phrase with foot might be rendered in Russian using a single noun in the instrumental case or in Ancient Greek as τῷ ποδί with both words changing to dative form. More formally, case has been defined as "a system of marking dependent nouns for the type of relationship they bear to their heads". Cases should be distinguished from thematic roles such as patient, they are closely related, in languages such as Latin, several thematic roles have an associated case, but cases are a morphological notion, thematic roles a semantic one. Languages having cases exhibit free word order, as thematic roles are not required to be marked by position in the sentence, it is accepted that the Ancient Greeks had a certain idea of the forms of a name in their own language.
A fragment of Anacreon seems to prove this. It cannot be inferred that the Ancient Greeks knew what grammatical cases were. Grammatical cases were first recognized by the Stoics and from some philosophers of the Peripatetic school; the advancements of those philosophers were employed by the philologists of the Alexandrian school. The English word case used in this sense comes from the Latin casus, derived from the verb cadere, "to fall", from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱad-; the Latin word is a calque of the Greek πτῶσις, ptôsis, lit. "falling, fall". The sense is; this picture is reflected in the word declension, from Latin declinere, "to lean", from the PIE root *ḱley-. The equivalent to "case" in several other European languages derives from casus, including cas in French, caso in Spanish and Kasus in German; the Russian word паде́ж is a calque from Greek and contains a root meaning "fall", the German Fall and Czech pád mean "fall", are used for both the concept of grammatical case and to refer to physical falls.
The Finnish equivalent is sija, whose main meaning is "position" or "place". Although not prominent in modern English, cases featured much more saliently in Old English and other ancient Indo-European languages, such as Latin, Old Persian, Ancient Greek, Sanskrit; the Indo-European languages had eight morphological cases, though modern languages have fewer, using prepositions and word order to convey information, conveyed using distinct noun forms. Among modern languages, cases still feature prominently in most of the Balto-Slavic languages, with most having six to eight cases, as well as Icelandic and Modern Greek, which have four. In German, cases are marked on articles and adjectives, less so on nouns. In Icelandic, adjectives, personal names and nouns are all marked for case, making it, among other things, the living Germanic language that could be said to most resemble Proto-Germanic; the eight historical Indo-European cases are as follows, with examples either of the English case or of the English syntactic alternative to case: All of the above are just rough descriptions.
Case is based fundamentally on changes to the noun to indicate the noun's role in the sentence – one of the defining features of so-called fusional languages. Old English was a fusional language. Modern English has abandoned the inflectional case system of Proto-Indo-European in favor of analytic constructions. The
Part of speech
In traditional grammar, a part of speech' is a category of words which have similar grammatical properties. Words that are assigned to the same part of speech display similar behavior in terms of syntax—they play similar roles within the grammatical structure of sentences—and sometimes in terms of morphology, in that they undergo inflection for similar properties. Listed English parts of speech are noun, adjective, pronoun, conjunction and sometimes numeral, article, or determiner. Other Indo-European languages have all these word classes. Beyond the Indo-European family, such other European languages as Hungarian and Finnish, both of which belong to the Uralic family lack prepositions or have only few of them. Other terms than part of speech—particularly in modern linguistic classifications, which make more precise distinctions than the traditional scheme does—include word class, lexical class, lexical category; some authors restrict the term lexical category to refer only to a particular type of syntactic category.
The term form class is used, although this has various conflicting definitions. Word classes may be classified as open or closed: open classes acquire new members while closed classes acquire new members infrequently, if at all. All languages have the word classes noun and verb, but beyond these two there are significant variations among different languages. For example, Japanese has as many as three classes of adjectives; because of such variation in the number of categories and their identifying properties, analysis of parts of speech must be done for each individual language. The labels for each category are assigned on the basis of universal criteria; the classification of words into lexical categories is found from the earliest moments in the history of linguistics. In the Nirukta, written in the 5th or 6th century BC, the Sanskrit grammarian Yāska defined four main categories of words: नाम nāma – noun आख्यात ākhyāta – verb उपसर्ग upasarga – pre-verb or prefix निपात nipāta – particle, invariant word These four were grouped into two larger classes: inflectable and uninflectable.
The ancient work on the grammar of the Tamil language, Tolkāppiyam, argued to have been written around 2,500 years ago, classifies Tamil words as peyar, vinai and uri. A century or two after the work of Nirukta, the Greek scholar Plato wrote in his Cratylus dialog that "... sentences are, I conceive, a combination of verbs and nouns ". Aristotle added another class, "conjunction", which included not only the words known today as conjunctions, but other parts. By the end of the 2nd century BC grammarians had expanded this classification scheme into eight categories, seen in the Art of Grammar, attributed to Dionysius Thrax: Noun: a part of speech inflected for case, signifying a concrete or abstract entity Verb: a part of speech without case inflection, but inflected for tense and number, signifying an activity or process performed or undergone Participle: a part of speech sharing features of the verb and the noun Article: a declinable part of speech, taken to include the definite article, but the basic relative pronoun Pronoun: a part of speech substitutable for a noun and marked for a person Preposition: a part of speech placed before other words in composition and in syntax Adverb: a part of speech without inflection, in modification of or in addition to a verb, clause, sentence, or other adverb Conjunction: a part of speech binding together the discourse and filling gaps in its interpretationIt can be seen that these parts of speech are defined by morphological and semantic criteria.
The Latin grammarian Priscian modified the above eightfold system, excluding "article", but adding "interjection". The Latin names for the parts of speech, from which the corresponding modern English terms derive, were nomen, participium, praepositio, adverbium and interjectio; the category nomen included substantives and numerals. This is reflected in the older English terminology noun substantive, noun adjective and noun numeral; the adjective became a separate class, as did the numerals, the English word noun came to be applied to substantives only. Works of English grammar follow the pattern of the European tradition as described above, except that participles are now regarded as forms of
A homophone is a word, pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. A homophone may differ in spelling; the two words may be spelled the same, such as rose and rose, or differently, such as carat, carrot, or to, too. The term "homophone" may apply to units longer or shorter than words, such as phrases, letters, or groups of letters which are pronounced the same as another phrase, letter, or group of letters. Any unit with this property is said to be "homophonous". Homophones that are spelled the same are both homographs and homonyms. Homophones that are spelled differently are called heterographs. "Homophone" derives from the Greek homo-, "same", phōnḗ, "voice, utterance". Homophones are used to create puns and to deceive the reader or to suggest multiple meanings; the last usage is common in creative literature. An example of this is seen in Dylan Thomas's radio play Under Milk Wood: "The shops in mourning" where mourning can be heard as mourning or morning. Another vivid example is Thomas Hood's use of "birth" and "berth" and "told" and "toll'd" in his poem "Faithless Sally Brown": His death, which happen'd in his berth, At forty-odd befell: They went and told the sexton, The sexton toll'd the bell.
In some accents, various sounds have merged in that they are no longer distinctive, thus words that differ only by those sounds in an accent that maintains the distinction are homophonous in the accent with the merger. Some examples from English are: pen in many southern American accents. Merry and Mary in most American accents; the pairs do, due and forward, foreword are homophonous in most American accents but not in most English accents. The pairs talk and court, caught are distinguished in rhotic accents such as Scottish English and most dialects of American English, but are homophones in many non-rhotic accents such as British Received Pronunciation. Wordplay is common in English because the multiplicity of linguistic influences offers considerable complication in spelling and meaning and pronunciation compared with other languages. Malapropisms, which create a similar comic effect, are near-homophones. See Eggcorn. Homophones of multiple words or phrases are known as "oronyms"; this term was coined by Gyles Brandreth and first published in his book The Joy of Lex, it was used in the BBC programme Never Mind the Full Stops, which featured Brandreth as a guest.
Examples of "oronyms" include: "ice cream" vs. "I scream" "euthanasia" vs. "Youth in Asia" "depend" vs. "deep end" "Gemini" vs. "Jim and I" vs. "Jem in eye" "the sky" vs. "this guy" "four candles" vs. "fork handles" "sand, there" vs. "sandwiches there" "philanderer" vs. "Flanders" "example" vs. "egg sample" "some others" vs. "some mothers" vs. "smothers" "minute" vs. "my newt" "vodka" vs. "Ford Ka" "foxhole" vs. "Vauxhall" "big hand" vs. "began" "real eyes" vs. "realize" vs. "real lies" "a dressed male" vs. "addressed mail" "them all" vs. "the mall" "Isle of Dogs" vs. "I love dogs."In his Appalachian comedy routine, American comedian Jeff Foxworthy uses oronyms which play on exaggerated "country" accents. Notable examples include: Initiate: "My wife ate two sandwiches, initiate a bag o' tater chips."Mayonnaise: "Mayonnaise a lot of people here tonight."Innuendo: "Hey dude I saw a bird fly innuendo."Moustache: "I Moustache you a question." There are sites, for example, this archived page, which have lists of homonyms or rather homophones and even'multinyms' which have as many as seven spellings.
There are differences in such lists due to dialect pronunciations and usage of old words. In English, there are 88 triples; the septet is: raise, rase, rehs, res, réisOther than the three common words, there are: rase – a verb meaning "to erase". If proper names are allowed a nonet is Ayr, Eyre, air, ere, e'er, are. There are a large number of homophones in Japanese, due to the use of Sino-Japanese vocabulary, where borrowed words and morphemes from Chinese are used in Japanese, but many sound differences, such as words' tones, are lost; these are to some extent disambiguated via Japanese pitch accent, or from context, but many of these words are or exclusively used in writing, where they are distinguished as they are written with different kanji. An extreme example is kikō, the pronunciation of at least 22 words, including: 機構, 紀行, 稀覯, 騎行, 貴校 (, 奇功, 貴公, 起稿, 奇行, 機巧, 寄港, 帰校, 気功 (breathing exercise/qigo
In linguistics, a word is the smallest element that can be uttered in isolation with objective or practical meaning. This contrasts with a morpheme, the smallest unit of meaning but will not stand on its own. A word may consist of a single morpheme, or several, whereas a morpheme may not be able to stand on its own as a word. A complex word will include a root and one or more affixes, or more than one root in a compound. Words can be put together to build larger elements of language, such as phrases and sentences; the term word may refer to a spoken word or to a written word, or sometimes to the abstract concept behind either. Spoken words are made up of units of sound called phonemes, written words of symbols called graphemes, such as the letters of the English alphabet; the difficulty of deciphering a word depends on the language. Dictionaries categorize a language's lexicon into lemmas; these can be taken as an indication of what constitutes a "word" in the opinion of the writers of that language.
The most appropriate means of measuring the length of a word is by counting its syllables or morphemes. When a word has multiple definitions or multiple senses, it may result in confusion in a debate or discussion. Leonard Bloomfield introduced the concept of "Minimal Free Forms" in 1926. Words are thought of as the smallest meaningful unit of speech; this correlates phonemes to lexemes. However, some written words are not minimal free forms; some semanticists have put forward a theory of so-called semantic primitives or semantic primes, indefinable words representing fundamental concepts that are intuitively meaningful. According to this theory, semantic primes serve as the basis for describing the meaning, without circularity, of other words and their associated conceptual denotations. In the Minimalist school of theoretical syntax, words are construed as "bundles" of linguistic features that are united into a structure with form and meaning. For example, the word "koalas" has semantic features, category features, number features, phonological features, etc.
The task of defining what constitutes a "word" involves determining where one word ends and another word begins—in other words, identifying word boundaries. There are several ways to determine where the word boundaries of spoken language should be placed: Potential pause: A speaker is told to repeat a given sentence allowing for pauses; the speaker will tend to insert pauses at the word boundaries. However, this method is not foolproof: the speaker could break up polysyllabic words, or fail to separate two or more linked words. Indivisibility: A speaker is told to say a sentence out loud, is told to say the sentence again with extra words added to it. Thus, I have lived in this village for ten years might become My family and I have lived in this little village for about ten or so years; these extra words will tend to be added in the word boundaries of the original sentence. However, some languages have infixes; some have separable affixes. Phonetic boundaries: Some languages have particular rules of pronunciation that make it easy to spot where a word boundary should be.
For example, in a language that stresses the last syllable of a word, a word boundary is to fall after each stressed syllable. Another example can be seen in a language that has vowel harmony: the vowels within a given word share the same quality, so a word boundary is to occur whenever the vowel quality changes. Not all languages have such convenient phonetic rules, those that do present the occasional exceptions. Orthographic boundaries: See below. In languages with a literary tradition, there is interrelation between orthography and the question of what is considered a single word. Word separators are common in modern orthography of languages using alphabetic scripts, but these are a modern development. In English orthography, compound expressions may contain spaces. For example, ice cream, air raid shelter and get up each are considered to consist of more than one word. Not all languages delimit words expressly. Mandarin Chinese is a analytic language, making it unnecessary to delimit words orthographically.
However, there are many multiple-morpheme compounds in Mandarin, as well as a variety of bound morphemes that make it difficult to determine what constitutes a word. Sometimes, languages which are close grammatically will consider the same order of words in different ways. For example, reflexive verbs in the French infinitive are separate from their respective particle, e.g. se laver, whereas in Portuguese they are hyphenated, e.g. lavar-se, in Spanish they are joined, e.g. lavarse. Japanese uses orthographic cues to delim
In linguistics, morphology is the study of words, how they are formed, their relationship to other words in the same language. It analyzes the structure of words and parts of words, such as stems, root words and suffixes. Morphology looks at parts of speech and stress, the ways context can change a word's pronunciation and meaning. Morphology differs from morphological typology, the classification of languages based on their use of words, lexicology, the study of words and how they make up a language's vocabulary. While words, along with clitics, are accepted as being the smallest units of syntax, in most languages, if not all, many words can be related to other words by rules that collectively describe the grammar for that language. For example, English speakers recognize that the words dog and dogs are related, differentiated only by the plurality morpheme "-s", only found bound to noun phrases. Speakers of English, a fusional language, recognize these relations from their innate knowledge of English's rules of word formation.
They infer intuitively. By contrast, Classical Chinese has little morphology, using exclusively unbound morphemes and depending on word order to convey meaning; these are understood as grammars. The rules understood by a speaker reflect specific patterns or regularities in the way words are formed from smaller units in the language they are using, how those smaller units interact in speech. In this way, morphology is the branch of linguistics that studies patterns of word formation within and across languages and attempts to formulate rules that model the knowledge of the speakers of those languages. Phonological and orthographic modifications between a base word and its origin may be partial to literacy skills. Studies have indicated that the presence of modification in phonology and orthography makes morphologically complex words harder to understand and that the absence of modification between a base word and its origin makes morphologically complex words easier to understand. Morphologically complex words are easier to comprehend.
Polysynthetic languages, such as Chukchi, have words composed of many morphemes. The Chukchi word "təmeyŋəlevtpəγtərkən", for example, meaning "I have a fierce headache", is composed of eight morphemes t-ə-meyŋ-ə-levt-pəγt-ə-rkən that may be glossed; the morphology of such languages allows for each consonant and vowel to be understood as morphemes, while the grammar of the language indicates the usage and understanding of each morpheme. The discipline that deals with the sound changes occurring within morphemes is morphophonology; the history of morphological analysis dates back to the ancient Indian linguist Pāṇini, who formulated the 3,959 rules of Sanskrit morphology in the text Aṣṭādhyāyī by using a constituency grammar. The Greco-Roman grammatical tradition engaged in morphological analysis. Studies in Arabic morphology, conducted by Marāḥ al-arwāḥ and Aḥmad b. ‘alī Mas‘ūd, date back to at least 1200 CE. The linguistic term "morphology" was coined by August Schleicher in 1859; the term "word" has no well-defined meaning.
Instead, two related terms are used in morphology: word-form. A lexeme is a set of inflected word-forms, represented with the citation form in small capitals. For instance, the lexeme eat contains the word-forms eat, eats and ate. Eat and eats are thus considered. Eat and Eater, on the other hand, are different lexemes. Thus, there are three rather different notions of ‘word’. Here are examples from other languages of the failure of a single phonological word to coincide with a single morphological word form. In Latin, one way to express the concept of'NOUN-PHRASE1 and NOUN-PHRASE2' is to suffix'-que' to the second noun phrase: "apples oranges-and", as it were. An extreme level of this theoretical quandary posed by some phonological words is provided by the Kwak'wala language. In Kwak'wala, as in a great many other languages, meaning relations between nouns, including possession and "semantic case", are formulated by affixes instead of by independent "words"; the three-word English phrase, "with his club", where'with' identifies its dependent noun phrase as an instrument and'his' denotes a possession relation, would consist of two words or just one word in many languages.
Unlike most languages, Kwak'wala semantic affixes phonologically attach not to the lexeme they pertain to semantically, but to the preceding lexeme. Consider the following example:kwixʔid-i-da bəgwanəmai-χ-a q'asa-s-isi t'alwagwayu Morpheme by morpheme translation: kwixʔid-i-da = clubbed-PIVOT-DETERMINERbəgwanəma-χ-a = man-ACCUSATIVE-DETERMINERq'asa-s-is = otter-INSTRUMENTAL-3SG-POSSESSIVEt'alwagwayu = club"the man clubbed the otter with his club."That is, to the speaker of Kwak'wala, the sentence does not contain the "words"'him-the-otter' or'with-his-club' Instead, the markers -i-da, referring to "man", attaches not to the noun bəgwanəma but to the verb.