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nouns (substantive and adjective) [was: verbs = nouns?]

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Thursday, January 11, 2001, 21:09
At 3:56 pm -0500 10/1/01, H. S. Teoh wrote:
>Well, OK, so it didn't say adjectives were *distinct* from nouns, but they >were treated separately in the textbook so I assumed they were different.
Beware of making assumptions from the treatment of grammar in text books :) Authors have a habit of churning out stuff in a particular way simply because that was the way they were taught. Indeed, in some case, e.g. classical Greek & Latin verse prosody, I've regretably seen misunderstandings unquestioningly repeated from one author to another :=( The distinction between substantive & adjective is IMO very tenuous and in Greek & Latin. -------------------------------------------------------------------- At 4:10 pm -0500 10/1/01, Nik Taylor wrote:
>Raymond Brown wrote: >> The noun covers both what we now ('traditionally') call adjective as well >> as what we now call noun; > >Oh, yeah - I got "noun" and "substantive" reversed, and was thinking >that "substantive" had been used for both noun and adjective. > >Nevertheless, my point stands that today people don't usually call >adjectives "nouns" in IE langs.
True - but there was once a tradition to do so. Now, indeed, it could be misleading to use 'noun' that way; but I think an unambiguous term corresponding to the 19th cent. (and earlier) "noun" would be useful.
>So, to be consistent, one should either >count adjectives as a separate category in both IE langs and langs like >Chinese and Japanese, or count them as nouns in IE langs and as verbs in >Chinese.
I do, in effect.
>Considering it a separate category makes cross-linguistic >comparison easier.
Yes, I agree - but this is a functional category and the former are morphological categories. I tend to think of this rather like intersectings sets which, alas, the contraints of ASCII do not allow me to show; but I guess you know what I'm getting at. ------------------------------------------------------------------ At 8:48 pm -0500 10/1/01, Steg Belsky wrote:
>On Wed, 10 Jan 2001 20:28:43 +0000 Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...> >writes: >> I have a old "Catechism of Hebrew, Greek & Latin Grammar" which, >> unfortunately, is not dated, but someone has written the date 1885 >> in it by hand. > >> Ray. >- > >What does it say about "sustantive nouns" and "adjective nouns" in >Hebrew?
The Hebrew section is quite different from the Greek & Latin. It starts with pages of stuff about alphabet, pronunciation, syllabification etc, then after a brief bit on pronouns it goes into page after page on verbs! Eventually it does get round to nouns and we find: Q. How are nouns (substantive and adjective) divided? A. Into _primatives_ and _derivatives_; the latter again either come from a verb, _verbals_, or from a noun, _denominatives_. Then, much later in the section on Syntax, we find: Q. When is the substantive used for the adjective? A. 1. The substantive of _property_ often stands in the genitive for the adjective; so always of _material_, for which there is almost a total lack of adjectives, e.g. [Hebrew chars.] _silver vessels_ or _vessels of silver_, [Hebrew chars.] _the holy garments_. [I assume the Hebrew is literally 'the garments of holiness'] 2. Also adjectives denoting a _possession_, _quality_, _habit_, are often expressed periphrastically by particular substantives [Heb.chars] _man_, [Heb.chars] _men_, [Heb.chars] _lord_, [Heb.chars] _son_ and [Heb.chars] _daughter_, e.g. [Heb.chars] _a son of worth_ for _worthy_. Q. Do adjectives ever stand for substantives? A. Yes, chiefly to express an abstract idea. But no examples are given of the latter and no more is said about this; but it reminds me of Greek use of the adjective in, e.g. _to agathon_ = goodness [as an abstract quality]. The next question goes onto ask about Hebrew use of singular & plural. I must apologize for not giving the Hebrew. I'm not fluent at reading the Hebrew alphabet nor do I know the ASCII convention for representing some of the letters. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================