part of speech


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

part of speech

The parts of speech are the primary categories of words according to their function in a sentence.
English has seven main parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions.
Continue reading...

part of speech,

in traditional English grammargrammar,
description of the structure of a language, consisting of the sounds (see phonology); the meaningful combinations of these sounds into words or parts of words, called morphemes; and the arrangement of the morphemes into phrases and sentences, called syntax.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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 nounnoun
[Lat.,=name], in English, part of speech 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, verbverb,
part of speech typically used to indicate an action. English verbs are inflected for person, number, tense and partially for mood; compound verbs formed with auxiliaries (e.g., be, can, have, do, will) provide a distinction of voice.
..... Click the link for more information.
, adjectiveadjective,
English part of speech, one of the two that refer typically to attributes and together are called modifiers. The other kind of modifier is the adverb. Adjectives and adverbs are functionally distinct in that adjectives modify nouns and pronouns, while adverbs
..... Click the link for more information.
, adverb, interjectioninterjection,
English part of speech consisting of exclamatory words such as oh, alas, and ouch. They are marked by a feature of intonation that is usually shown in writing by an exclamation point (see punctuation). Many languages have classes like interjections.
..... Click the link for more information.
, prepositionpreposition,
in English, the part of speech embracing a small number of words used before nouns and pronouns to connect them to the preceding material, e.g., of, in, and about.
..... Click the link for more information.
, conjunctionconjunction,
in English, part of speech serving to connect words or constructions, e.g., and, but, and or. Most languages have connective particles similar to English conjunctions.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and pronounpronoun,
in English, the part of speech used as a substitute for an antecedent noun that is clearly understood, and with which it agrees in person, number, and gender. In English the pronouns are classified as personal (I, we, you, thou, he, she, it, they
..... Click the link for more information.
. Some grammarians add articles, quantifiers, and numerals. These word classes have traditional definitions in grammar books, i.e., "a noun is the name of a person, place, or thing" without reference to grammatical function. By this strict definition the word toy would be a noun in the sentence "The toy is under the tree" and in the sentence "It is a toy dog." However, an alternate method of defining parts of speech is in terms of the structural features and distribution patterns within a sentence. Thus toy would constitute a different part of speech in each of the above sentences since the word functions in different environments in each sentence, i.e., as a subject and as a modifier. Some English parts of speech (nouns, verbs, etc.) are productive classes allowing new members; others, with functional rather than lexical meaning (prepositions, articles, conjunctions) are nonproductive, having a limited number of members. See also 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.
.

Bibliography

See L. Bloomfield, Language (1933); C. Fries, The Structure of English (1952); W. N. Francis, The Structure of American English (1958); O. Jespersen, The Philosophy of Grammar (1965); F. R. Palmer, Grammar (1971); C. L. Baker, English Syntax (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
It is possible that the text frequency of the part of speech used in predicate function might also influence the observed tendency.
Unlike most thesauri, WordWeb can also do inverse part of speech matching: lookup a plural word and WordWeb will show plural synonyms.
Correct parsing of unrestricted text is an exceedingly difficult task, due to ambiguities in part of speech (noun, verb, and so on) and structure.
Although most English words have only one possible part of speech (thus it is impossible to get them wrong), many words have multiple possible parts of speech, and it is the responsibility of a tagger to choose the correct one for the sentence at hand.
Among the problems involved in fitting a Germanic language onto an Italic Procrustean Bed lay the fact that the item termed a preposition (a part of speech identified specifically by Dionysius Thrax) by definition could not follow the word it governed, therefore, obviously, could not end a sentence or clause.
Although language changes can occur with any part of speech, they are observed more frequently with nouns.
His important later works include the poetry collections A Part of Speech (1980), History of the Twentieth Century (1986), and To Urania (1988) and the essays collected in Less Than One (1986).
English translations of his work are Joseph Brodsky: Selected Poems (1973), A Part of Speech (1979), and Less Than One (1986), a collection of essays.
Developed by educators, for educators, Grammaropolis uses personification to explain the role of a single part of speech as it relates to the others, using narrative, character, and conflict to show that relationship in action.