Adjectives. Adjectives. Adjectives. Semantic characteristics: Modify noun/pronoun Gradable Gives more info.

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1 Adjectives Adjectives Semantic characteristics: What s it like? Describe Modify noun/pronoun Gradable Gives more info. Cf. Articles! Relative clauses ( Adjective clauses ) Prepositional phrases Adjectives Morphological characteristics: Simple form: ugly, poor, weak, cheap Complex form: Affixes/derivation N Adj: beauty-ful, wealth-y, in-expens- ive V Adj:attract-ive, in-digest-ible, unaccept-able Participial: amaz-ing ; amazed Compound: good-looking; INVARIABLE never change in form! But: cf. comparative & superlative constructions 1

2 Adjectives Adjectives (gradable) can be compared! Regular forms of comparison: POSITIVE COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE rich richer richest lovely lovelier loveliest beautiful more beautiful most beautiful Adjectives Irregular forms of comparison: POSITIVE COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE good better best bad worse worst little less least far further furthest much many more most some Adjectives Morphological characteristics: -ed and ing adjectives: describing feelings & things 'My holiday was relaxing. I felt really relaxed. Participial Adjs. 2

3 Adjectives feel '-ed' annoyed bored confused depressed excited frightened frustrated satisfied shocked describe '-ing' annoying boring confusing depressing exciting frightening frustrating satisfying shocking Adjectives Syntactic characteristics: Head of an adjectice phrase e.g. very dark, eager to help Precede noun skinny girl, chubby kid, warm sweater attributive Follow verb She is skinny Maria is responsive She declares herself bankrupt predicative Adjectives position function OCD is a disabling condition. This condition is disabling. ATTRIBUTIVE PREDICATIVE 3

4 Adjective collocations! To be good at statistics To be vague about To be allergic to To be aware that + clause To be furious that someome cheated on you To be furious to learn that someone cheated on you To be highly interesting To be deeply/thoroughly ashamed of oneself Etc. Cf. Unit 4 BBI workbook is correct vs. is not correct! e.g. wooden red ugly box ugly red wooden box is correct vs. is not correct! e.g. wooden red ugly box ugly red wooden box 4

5 rule Find head (noun) Adj. => general to specific => less inherent to more inherent => subjective to objective Determiner! Opinion/judgement Size Age Shape Colour Nationality Material Purpose/qualifier Determiner! Opinion/judgement (interesting, nice) Size (tall, small) Age (young, old, new, historic, ancient) Shape (round, square) Colour Nationality (e.g. Finnish, with capital F!) Material Purpose/qualifier (e.g. fishing boat, racing car) 5

6 Order dictated by intended meaning, though strongly influenced by type of pre-modifiers (Biber et al. 1999: 598) Preferred order: Adv + Adj + Colour Adj + Participle + N + head N No absolute rules! BUT tendencies Compare: The RED BIG BIG RED fox size colour Compare: The red [big fox] The big [red fox] 6

7 Compare & discuss Mary s old good recipes Mary s good old recipes Moldwarp s brilliant new geological hypotheses Moldwarp s new brilliant geological hypotheses Task tall a tree ancient oak army several officers brilliant great those brown eyes light Spanish boots riding red leather Chinese beautiful we those boxes bought Answer a tall ancient oak tree several brilliant army officers those great [light brown] eyes Spanish [red leather] riding boots those beautiful Chinese boxes we bought 7

8 Idiomatic pairs of adjectives E.g. cut and dried cut + dried settled/final Idiom: number of words which, when taken together, have a different meaning from the individual meaning of each word (Seidl & McMordie 1988: 13) Seidl, J., & McMordie, W. (1988). English Idioms. Oxford: OUP (5th ed.). What does it mean? fair and square What does it mean? Let s settle the bill for the damage fair and square. We were both at fault, so we ll both pay half. He raised his fist and hit him fair and square on the chin. 8

9 What does it mean? Let s settle the bill for the damage fair and square. We were both at fault, so we ll both pay half. 1. in a fair way He raised his fist and hit him fair and square on the chin. 2. exactly, directly Multiple choice! I can t tell you how to use prepositions correctly, but I can give you a few --- rules. safe and sound rough & ready free and easy bright and early Multiple choice! I can t tell you how to use prepositions correctly, but I can give you a few --- rules. safe and sound rough & ready free and easy bright and early 9

10 Multiple choice! I can t tell you how to use prepositions correctly, but I can give you a few --- rules. safe and sound > unharmed rough & ready > only approximate, not exact free and easy > casual, relaxed bright and early > very early in the morning Multiple choice! I hope it won t be formal dress for dinner in the hotel I like to be --- when I m on holiday safe and sound rough & ready free and easy bright and early Multiple choice! I hope it won t be formal dress for dinner in the hotel I like to be --- when I m on holiday safe and sound rough & ready free and easy bright and early 10

11 Multiple choice! I hope it won t be formal dress for dinner in the hotel I like to be --- when I m on holiday safe and sound > unharmed rough & ready > only approximate, not exact free and easy > casual, relaxed bright and early > very early in the morning What do they mean? good and nice and Furthermore, we'll end this conversation when I'm good and ready. Good for your teeth. Makes your teeth nice and strong. There are many good and prosperous people here. What do they mean? Some adjectives are conjoined with good or nice in order to intensify the meaning of the adjective (Biber at al. 2002: 198) E.g. Good and sorry = very sorry > good does not add its individual meaning When? Only if the good and sequence occurs in predicative rather than attributive position 11

12 What does it mean? Funny She sounds funny on the phone. Told you about her having that - dish - and it went funny. What's funny about me is that I'm very much affectionate. What does it mean? Funny She sounds funny [strange or unusual and not what you expect] on the phone. Told you about her having that - dish - and it went funny [bad]. What's funny [noteworthy] about me is that I'm very much affectionate. 12

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