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Adverb Question

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RE: Adverb Question

Postby Kates » Wed 11.09.2005 11:50 am

Darn it! I was totally going to do that. But I was gonna say something like "Where is today's newspaper?" ^_^
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby InsanityRanch » Wed 11.09.2005 1:32 pm

Mukade wrote:

Today's children don't learn grammar as well as their predecessors.

;)


It's possible you're right, but... I don't think so! :D

Today can be a noun. The possessive form of a noun can often function as an adjective answering the question which. For instance, you can see below how I feel about my daughter's dog:

Jennie's Papillon is a pain in the, er, behind.

That doesn't make "Jenny" an adjective...

Gramatically yours ...

Shira
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby mandolin » Wed 11.09.2005 3:41 pm

My dictionary gave examples like "The today generation" and "the today newspaper".

Admittedly, I have never heard anyone make use of the word 'today' in that context in daily life... or ever. However, it doesn't mean that it can't. People use the possessive 'today's' I think because it simply sounds better, and is shorter. "The today children" vs. "Today's children".

It's simply a question of popular usage. But since 'today' isn't physical, and can't truely possess something, would 'today's' be a possessive noun, or merely a.. modern adjective?

Think of Hollywood.. it's a place, and it's used as an adjective all the time. "A Hollywood star" or "Hollywood style". In those cases, it is a true adjective, and almost never done with the possessive 's like we might use otherwise.

Language morphing... fun. :P
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby Sachi » Wed 11.09.2005 4:31 pm

I guess I started a long grammar discussion! Oh, well... This is useful stuff to know ;) My being only 13 (and being so interested in Japanese... I feel like a nerd :D ...just kidding ;)) I don't know a WHOLE lot about grammar, but I guess I know more than the average 13-year-old. I go to a private school, and our English teacher is phenomenal with grammar this year. I've learned a lot, and I'm an A student. But still, I guess this is helping me in BOTH languages ^.^ (Thanks for the link about "cold" nprz)
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby InsanityRanch » Wed 11.09.2005 4:32 pm

mandolin wrote:
My dictionary gave examples like "The today generation" and "the today newspaper".


To which I reply: Balderdash. I'll believe it when I see it with some frequency.

Admittedly, I have never heard anyone make use of the word 'today' in that context in daily life... or ever.


Exactly. I've never seen it either. I've seen "now" used in that way, but not since the seventies I think.

But since 'today' isn't physical, and can't truely possess something, would 'today's' be a possessive noun, or merely a.. modern adjective?


Huh? Granted, not all nouns can possess anything. But all English nouns can take the possessive form as far as I know. And the posessive form is frequently used to modify another noun -- in fact, that's one of only two uses for it I can think of. To wit:

a. That is my mom's car. ("my mom's" modifies car, making it essentially an adjective.)
b. That car is my mom's. ("My mom's" here functions as a noun, and is the predicate nominitive, if they still use that term.)

Those two usages are ancient in English. You can hardly say a possessive form is a modern adjective!

Think of Hollywood.. it's a place, and it's used as an adjective all the time. "A Hollywood star" or "Hollywood style". In those cases, it is a true adjective, and almost never done with the possessive 's like we might use otherwise.

Language morphing... fun. :P


Actually, I'm not sure "a Hollywood star" is a contraction of "Hollywood's star" as you suggest. Again, in English we frequently stick nouns together into a single word or phrase. A mophead. A ballpark. A telephone number.

I suppose you could argue that a telephone number is a telephone's number (though I don't think that form is actually the predecessor.) But a ballpark is NOT a ball's park -- it's a park where one plays ball. A dollar bill is not a dollar's bill -- it's a bill worth a dollar. A post office is not a post's office, it's an office where one can post mail. And so on.

I'll grant you, though, that since English likes to put the head of such phrases last, the first noun essentially functions as an adjective. However, if you look up dollar or post in the dictionary (at least in Merriam Webster) you will not find them listed as adjectives.

Which brings us to (I hate to admit it) The Today Show.

Which *still* doesn't make today an adjective.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Shira
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby mandolin » Wed 11.09.2005 5:30 pm

Ballpark is one (compound) word and a different figure entirely.
A mophead, or mop head, is the head of a mop, a mop's head.
Telephone number is another example of a noun as a true adjective. I did not say "Hollywood" was the ONLY example.

Your possessive examples are still pertaining to the actual ownership of something by a person.

Possessive forms have existed for nigh on eternity. But that doesn't mean that a specific word in possessive form cannot completely have a different function than that of other words of the same form.

The transformation is known in linguistics as a "functional shift".

Quoting American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition:

This occurs when a word develops a new part of speech: a noun is used as a verb (to date), a verb as a noun (a break), an adjective as a noun (the rich), a noun as an adjective (a stone wall), or even an adjective as a verb (to round). When we telephone a friend, we are changing the syntactic function of telephone, making it a verb rather than a noun.
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby zengargoyle » Wed 11.09.2005 7:08 pm

InsanityRanch wrote:
The English word "today" can be an adverb or a noun. Adverb: Today I went to the store. Noun: Today is March 15. (The dictionary at m-w.com tells me it can be an adjective as well, but I don't see how.)

As for the Japanese word 今日, it seems to function pretty much like the English word today, as an adverb or a noun. But for some reason, none of the Japanese dictionaries (国語辞典)I consulted listed its part of speech, except for the version of JDIC in JWPCE, which says it is a n-t. If I were feeling really curious, I could go find other n-t entries and find out what sort of words those are.

It's odd that the dictionaries DIDN'T list the part of speech. If I look up, for instance, 時々 in the same dictionary, there is an entry marked 名for noun and one marked 副 for adverb. But 今日and 昨日 say nothing about part of speech.


FWIW...

n-t noun (temporal) (jisoumeishi)
vs.
n-adv adverbial noun (fukushitekimeishi)
adv adverb (fukushi)
adv-n adverbial noun

and The handbook of Japanese Adjectives and Adverbs (Kamiya) lists them in a special aside:

Other words used as Adverbs
There are a number of other kinds of words, ..., which can be used as adverbs in Japanese. These include adjectives in the adverbial form, certain nouns that express time or number and verbs in the te form.


the noun and verb examples...

Kimura-san wa ashita Amerika kara kaerimasu.
Ringo o mittsu kudasai.
Gakusei ga gonin kita.
Isoide hirugohan o tabeta.
Sofa ni nete hon o yomimasu.

i've always thought that the temporal nouns were like the topic, things that don't have a direct equivalent in english. but sometimes adverb is as close as you can get. i think the nouns of number make even weirder adverbs..
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby Sachi » Wed 11.09.2005 7:13 pm

Ack. All this is starting to confuse me. Conclusion I've drawn so far: As in English, some Japanese words can be adjectives, adverbs, AND nouns? Ok, this is a little rough on my only few months of studying. I still need a textbook and perhaps teacher to teach me this ^.^; But I think I'll continue paying attention *grabs notebook*.
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby InsanityRanch » Wed 11.09.2005 8:39 pm

mandolin wrote:
Ballpark is one (compound) word and a different figure entirely.
A mophead, or mop head, is the head of a mop, a mop's head.
Telephone number is another example of a noun as a true adjective. I did not say "Hollywood" was the ONLY example.


Of course it isn't the only example. We do this in English all the time. (fwiw, it works in Japanese, too.) We put two nouns together into a sort of super noun. Sometimes, over time, the space between disappears and they become one word. Sometimes the space doesn't disappear. I don't know why some are one word and some two, but in fact, it's the same process at work -- stick two nouns together get a new term.

And yes, the first noun winds up functioning as an adjective *within that term*. The reason for this is that English puts the head at the end in these phrases -- a telephone number is a kind of number, not a kind of telephone. A ballpark is a kind of park (and how you think it differs from mophead I can't quite imagine, but... )

But the fact that the noun functions as an adjective inside this term doesn't make it an adjective. If it did mean that, then we couldn't call some words nouns and others adjectives. After all, EVERY noun could be the first part of a noun-noun compound. It is simply a common way we build new words and phrases in English.

Your possessive examples are still pertaining to the actual ownership of something by a person.


Well, yeah, and the reason is that I wanted to give the two parts of speech the possessive can function as.

The fact is, abstract possessives cannot function as predicate nominatives or subjects in copular sentences...I think.

a) This is my mom's car. / This car is my mom's./My mom's is red. Perfectly good sentences. (the last one is like a Japanese sentence in that it requires a context -- it might be part of a conversation about cars.)
b) These are the war's victims./These victims are the war's./The war's were mostly children. The first sentence is fine. The second and third do not work, I think because (as you say), this possessive is not actually about possession.

Now, in fact, war cannot possess anything. In fact, the victims were created by the war. They are victims of war, just as today's children are the children of today. So the possessive form is not really denoting possession in this case. It IS functioning as an adjective, though. That is the most common grammatical role of the possessive form. It is the one role that a possessive noun can always fill.

So I return to my original argument. EVERY noun can take the possessive form, without exception (or so says Steven Pinker anyway.) And the possessive form of every noun functions as an adjective. This does not in any way mean that the noun itself is an adjective.

Possessive forms have existed for nigh on eternity. But that doesn't mean that a specific word in possessive form cannot completely have a different function than that of other words of the same form.


Well, OK. Come up with an example in which a possessive form functions other than as an adjective modifying the following noun, or as one or the other side of a copular sentence. Those are the only two functions I can think of.

The transformation is known in linguistics as a "functional shift".

Quoting American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition:

This occurs when a word develops a new part of speech: a noun is used as a verb (to date), a verb as a noun (a break), an adjective as a noun (the rich), a noun as an adjective (a stone wall), or even an adjective as a verb (to round). When we telephone a friend, we are changing the syntactic function of telephone, making it a verb rather than a noun.


Of course this is true, of English particularly. English words can have more than one function, without any clues of morphemes or inflection to give the foreign reader a clue of what is going on. It is kind of a nightmare for Japanese learners. Japanese words tend to be more stable in function -- that is, the same root may give rise to a verb, an adjective, etc., but the differences are inflected so at least you can see what you're dealing with.

You know the panda joke, right? Eats shoots and leaves vs. eats, shoots and leaves? That's the kind of joke that works in English, but not Japanese.

BUT, your attempt to argue that possessive forms have been transformed in function still fails if you cannot adduce examples.

Shira
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby InsanityRanch » Wed 11.09.2005 8:54 pm

tsukiakari_emi34 wrote:
Ack. All this is starting to confuse me. Conclusion I've drawn so far: As in English, some Japanese words can be adjectives, adverbs, AND nouns? Ok, this is a little rough on my only few months of studying. I still need a textbook and perhaps teacher to teach me this ^.^; But I think I'll continue paying attention *grabs notebook*.


Sorry -- we have wandered off topic. That happens a lot around here -- just ignore stuff that doesn't pertain to your question. :)

But I wanted to reassure you on one point at least. By and large, Japanese nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs etc. are distinguishable in speech and writing. The reason is that Japanese parts of speech usually have the inflected parts written in kana while the root (the basic meaning) is in kanji. And of course, in speech, you can also hear the inflected parts and figure out what you are dealing with.

So, let's take a kanji, 深. Its basic meaning is deep. Here are some words made from this kanji:

深い -- fukai -- deep -- an adjective.
深く -- fukaku -- deeply -- an adverb
深さ -- fukasa -- depth, profundity -- a noun
深み  -- fukami -- depth, a deep place -- a noun
深まる -- fukamaru -- to deepen, to intensify -- a verb

Do you see how the kana on the right side tell us what part of speech it is?

I've only talked about Japanese words here. Kanji are also used for borrowed Chinese words and Chinese style words. Those have their own set of inflections, but again, you can usually see or hear immediately whether you are dealing with a noun, an adjective, a verb, or whatever.

So take heart. In this respect at least, Japanese is kinder to the learner than English is.

Shira
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby mandolin » Wed 11.09.2005 8:55 pm

I have a blue crayon. I have a crayon that is blue. Blue is an adjective.

Today's children. The children of today. Today is an adjective.

My mom's car. The car of my mom. Mom is not an adjective, it's a possessive noun.

The transformation from 'mom's car' to 'car of my mom'. You need to show ownership, which being 'of' something doesn't imply. 'The car belonging to my mom' is the only acceptable transformation without using the possessive case.

However, transforming 'today's' into 'of today' works, because it is adjectival, and not a possessive noun in the way that 'mom's' is. 'of today' describes the noun children, while 'of mom' does not describe the car.
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby InsanityRanch » Wed 11.09.2005 9:01 pm

Sorry to put up a third post in a row in a single thread. I couldn't think of a coherent way to address three points in a single thread...

Zengargoyle -- thanks for that explanation.

I plan very soon to relearn Japanese grammar from the Japanese viewpoint. I hope to get to New York in January, and if so I will spend a couple of days at Kinokuniya, which is much bigger than my local Japanese bookstore. Among the things I want to buy is a good guide to Japanese grammar written in Japanese, or failing that, some cram books on grammar for Japanese schoolkids.

In the meantime, I've made note of the terms 時相名詞 and 副詞的名詞, and I plan to see what I can find about them on the web.

Shira
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby Sachi » Thu 11.10.2005 6:35 pm

InsanityRanch: Thanks for the tip about Japanese. Quite useful :D Also, beig off-topic doesn't bug me. In fact, it'll probably help a lot in English class (even though I already have an A ;)). And I guess I kinda already got my answer anyways.

Unfortunately, I have no objection to either side of the argument, due to my lack of knowledge ;) Though what I do see, as I stated aforesaid, is that words in English can be used as other parts of speech as well. So, this happens in Japanese as well, only with more indication? Okay... I *think* I've got it...
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RE: Adverb Question

Postby InsanityRanch » Thu 11.10.2005 7:44 pm

mandolin wrote:
I have a blue crayon. I have a crayon that is blue. Blue is an adjective.


True, but irrelevant.

Today's children. The children of today. Today is an adjective./quote]

Sorry, no. No idea why you say this.

My mom's car. The car of my mom. Mom is not an adjective, it's a possessive noun.


True enough.

The transformation from 'mom's car' to 'car of my mom'. You need to show ownership, which being 'of' something doesn't imply. 'The car belonging to my mom' is the only acceptable transformation without using the possessive case.

However, transforming 'today's' into 'of today' works, because it is adjectival, and not a possessive noun in the way that 'mom's' is. 'of today' describes the noun children, while 'of mom' does not describe the car.


This is, sorry to say it, simply incorrect.

"The palace of the duke was made of marble, while that of the king was fashioned entirely of gold."

The palace of the duke is certainly the same as the duke's palace, and the duke possesses it.

In any case, "of" is a preposition. It creates a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition followed by a noun or noun phrase. In the phrase "the children of today", today is a noun, not an adjective. The object of a preposition is always a noun.

I still have not seen a case in actual English usage where "today" (without an apostrophe s) is an adjective. Until I see that sort of usage with some frequency, I'm not prepared to say that today is an adjective.

So, <shrug> I am beginning to think that this argument is unproductive.

Shira
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