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Some nouns are more noun-like than others. Discuss.

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  • Essay length: 2251 words
  • Submitted: 20/06/2006
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University Degree Paper-based media studies

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Some nouns are more noun-like than others. Discuss.

Unfortunately, often in grammar it is difficult to definitely place one lexical item into one class and not another. Words frequently share similar properties from one or more word class; a word may behave in a grammatically similar way to others from its class but may then share none of their other qualities. This then presents a problem for grammarians: to which class do they assign the word? Through this essay I intend to show that not all nouns fit neatly into the typical definition of a noun. By providing the defining qualities of a noun I aim to argue against them that some nouns are more noun-like than others. I will look at nouns in the areas of number, proper nouns and count and non count nouns.

Firstly, I will further define the notion of gradience. Quirk et al (1985:73,90) explains a gradient as a scale that relates two categories through degrees of difference and similarity. At the each end of the scale are the lexical items that are the most prototypical members of their word class. The spaces in between on the scale are filled

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