(redirected from Singular nouns)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Singular nouns: Collective nouns, Plural nouns


Nouns are words that indicate a person, place, or thing.
In a sentence, nouns can function as the subject or the object of a verb. Nouns can also follow linking verbs to rename or re-identify the subject of a sentence or clause; these are known as predicate nouns.
Continue reading...


[Lat.,=name], in English, part of speechpart of speech,
in traditional English grammar, any one of about eight major classes of words, based on the parts of speech of ancient Greek and Latin. The parts of speech are noun, verb, adjective, adverb, interjection, preposition, conjunction, and pronoun.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of vast semantic range. It can be used to name a person, place, thing, idea, or time. It generally functions as subject, object, or indirect object of the verb in the sentence, and may be distinguished by a number of formal criteria. A noun may be recognized by inflectioninflection,
in grammar. In many languages, words or parts of words are arranged in formally similar sets consisting of a root, or base, and various affixes. Thus walking, walks, walker have in common the root walk and the affixes -ing, -s, and -er.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (e.g., -'s and -s) or by derivation (e.g., -ness, -ity, and -tion). Most languages have a major form class composed of words referring to persons, animals, and objects; but the Latin type of noun declension, with its casecase,
in language, one of the several possible forms of a given noun, pronoun, or adjective that indicates its grammatical function (see inflection); in inflected languages it is usually indicated by a series of suffixes attached to a stem, as in Latin amicus,
..... Click the link for more information.
 system, is unusual outside a few families of languages.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(imia),in Russian linguistics, the general term for substantives, adjectives, numerals, and sometimes pronouns having (in Russian and some other Indo-European languages) the grammatical categories of case, gender, and number and used in the sentence in the function of a subject, object, or attributive.

The grammatical concept of noun became disseminated through ancient grammars and has changed throughout the history of linguistics. Thus, Aristotle defined “nouns” negatively as words having no tense category. Some linguists even include the adverb as a noun, since it is not characterized by the grammatical categories that characterize the verb. The clear-cut opposition of the noun and verb in the Indo-European and several other languages is lacking in many others; for example, the adjective in Japanese primarily fulfills the function of a predicate and changes according to tense, and the verbal forms in the Komi language can sometimes conjoin markers of the comparative degree.



a part of speech; a class of lexemes that includes the names of objects and animate beings and that can function in a sentence both as subject and object. The noun belongs to the nominal parts of speech.

Nouns may be contrasted with other parts of speech in three ways. First, they may be contrasted according to the way they are used in syntactic constructions. In Chinese, for example, only a noun may be the main element of an attributive construction with dy. Second, nouns may be contrasted with other parts of speech according to the way in which they are combined with auxiliary words. In Burmese, for example, only nouns may combine with the interrogative particle ga1La3. Third, nouns contrast with other parts of speech in that nouns have grammatical categories or elements of such categories, for example, gender, class, number, definiteness, and case. These categories determine the form of the noun used in declension.

A given language may have all three of these bases for distinguishing the noun as a separate class from other parts of speech; it may also have only the first or second of these bases. In Vietnamese, for example, nouns used as predicates are contrasted to verbs and adjectives by the obligatory copula La; they are also contrasted by their ability to unite with markers of singularity or plurality. However, distinctive grammatical categories are lacking in Vietnamese nouns. In Russian the noun, in contrast to other classes of words, functions both as an object and as the main element of an attributive construction containing adjectives; it also combines with prepositions. The Russian noun has the categories of gender, number, and case. The phonetic structure of nouns can be a supplementary means of distinguishing the noun from other parts of speech. In Yoruba, for example, nouns begin with a vowel, and verbs, with a consonant.

Nouns may also function as adverbs, for example, Russian idti lesom (“to go by forest [through the forest]”), or as attributes, for example, Russian dom otsa (”the father’s house”). Nouns may function as predicates, for example, Arabic ana ragulun (”I am a person”), or as the nominal element of a predicate, for example, English “he is a hero.” The noun can form syntactic units with prepositions, postpositions, and nouns denoting quantity. The names of individual persons, places, or objects, such as “Ivan” or “Moscow,” are proper nouns, and all other nouns are common nouns. There are also concrete nouns, such as “table” and “person,” and abstract nouns, such as “whiteness” and “walking.” Abstract nouns are often derived from adjectives and verbs; those derived from verbs are called deverbative nouns.


Voprosy teorii chastei rechi. Leningrad, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, given the diversity of this category--which also comprises other nouns being neutral for number (i.e., singular nouns with invariable plurals such as fish)--and the high incidence of the non-overtly-marked plural noun people in the data--almost 80% of the instances of NNo/NN retrieved from both corpora--only people is considered in the data and analysis presented here.
* make verbs agree with the subject of a sentence when it is a compound subject; an indefinite pronoun; a collective noun, title, or amount; or a singular noun ending in -s; and
(4) In the NP-level generics category, in reference to kinds, Turkish can have bare singular nouns such as 'Sincap bu bolgede yaygindir' (The squirrel is/squirrels are widespread in this region).
Extended Plurals in MSA are formed through pluralizing the plural forms in a way that the singular noun like rad[??]ul 'a man' has the plural form rid[??]aal 'men' and the plural form rid[??]aal 'men' can be further pluralized to show more multiplicity in the so-called Extended Plural pattern to have rid[??]aal-aat 'men'.
However, chiastic alignment is blocked because of the semantic material ("singular nouns referring to just one thing").
Imagine word pairs consisting of two singular nouns A and B, in which B differs from A by the presence of a final --s (or --ES).
--airs [[??]z] always --ers [z] when the <r> is silent in the singular des etrangers accueillis [z], but des enfants chers a leurs parens [sic] [[??]z] l'univers est plein de sa grandeur [[??]z] ce vers est devenu proverbe [[??]z] Il marche vers un lieu [[??]z] Note the [z] liaison in the final examples, in spite of both the singular noun and the normally pronounced <r> ofunivers, vers.
The teacher begins by writing singular nouns ending in 'y' on the board with their corresponding plural beside it.
Mean percentage of plural and singular nouns in compounds with regular and irregular nouns (standard deviations are shown in brackets) Noun Singular (%) Plural (%) Regulars 98.65 (6.25) 1.35 (6.25) Irregulars 53.93 (27.16) 46.07 (27.16) Table 3.
Nouns can usually be identified in their form as either masculine or feminine: The vast majority of singular nouns that end in an unstressed/o/are masculine, and the vast majority of singular nouns that end in an unstressed/al are feminine.
As a former composition teacher, I know that students have a hard time with singular nouns and plural pronouns.
The highly eccentric aspects of Sceve's grammar and syntax - including his use of the definite article with singular nouns, the substantified infinitive, and the participle - would constitute a Scevian grammar that avoids temporality and particularization, putting the poet's experience in a linguistic realm that is not the mythification of language and lived experience but rather its suspension between the two realms of myth and history.