Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default noun x substantive

    I thought these words (noun and substantive) were synonyms in English.
    However, recently I have found the following sentence on a Thomas Hardy short story:
    'A noun substantive went so far as to become an adjective in honour of the occasion.' (The Fiddler of the Reels (1893) by Thomas Hardy)

    So, are there other types of substantives besides nouns ?

  2. #2
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,819
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: noun x substantive

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    I thought these words (noun and substantive) were synonyms in English.
    However, recently I have found the following sentence on a Thomas Hardy short story:
    'A noun substantive went so far as to become an adjective in honour of the occasion.' (The Fiddler of the Reels (1893) by Thomas Hardy)

    So, are there other types of substantives besides nouns ?
    This is what I've found:
    SUBSTANTIVE [14c: from Latin nomen substantivum a name of a thing, a substantive noun]. A grammatical term that in the Middle Ages included both noun and adjective, but later meant noun exclusively. It is not usually found in later 20c English grammars. In such languages as Latin and French, the equivalent terms serve to distinguish the use of Latin nomen, French nom (etc.) as 'name' from the grammatical use as 'noun', a distinction which is unnecessary in English. However, the term has been used to refer to nouns and any other parts of speech serving as nouns ('the substantive in English'). The adjective local is used substantively in the sentence He had a drink at the local before going home (that is, the local public house).

  3. #3
    orangutan is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    349
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: noun x substantive

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    I thought these words (noun and substantive) were synonyms in English.
    However, recently I have found the following sentence on a Thomas Hardy short story:
    'A noun substantive went so far as to become an adjective in honour of the occasion.' (The Fiddler of the Reels (1893) by Thomas Hardy)

    So, are there other types of substantives besides nouns ?
    I think it is more that there are other types of nouns than substantives, at least historically.

    The terminology is based on the Latin translation of that used by the Greek Stoic grammarians. They classified nouns and adjectives together as "noun" (onoma / nomen), in contrast to "verb" (rhema / verbum) and other parts of speech - basically because both nouns and adjectives had case inflections. Noun and adjective were then distinguished as "nomen substantivum" (substantival noun) and "nomen adjectivum" (adjectival noun) respectively.

    In English, "noun" (from "nomen") came to be restricted to nouns, though we can also call them substantives. In a number of other languages, perhaps more logically, when nouns and adjectives came to be treated as distinct parts of speech, they were called "substantives" and "adjectives" respectively.

    The fact that some English adjectives can be used as nouns - though perfectly true - is not, I think, relevant here.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by orangutan; 20-Aug-2009 at 15:35. Reason: minor corrections

  4. #4
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: noun x substantive

    Quote Originally Posted by orangutan View Post
    In a number of other languages, perhaps more logically, when nouns and adjectives came to be treated as distinct parts of speech, they were called "substantives" and "adjectives" respectively.
    That is the case in Portuguese: "substantivo" and "adjetivo"

  5. #5
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,507
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: noun x substantive

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    I thought these words (noun and substantive) were synonyms in English.
    However, recently I have found the following sentence on a Thomas Hardy short story:
    'A noun substantive went so far as to become an adjective in honour of the occasion.' (The Fiddler of the Reels (1893) by Thomas Hardy)

    So, are there other types of substantives besides nouns ?
    Yes, pronouns.

    A substantive is a member of either of the two form classes that typcially serve a nominal function.

  6. #6
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: noun x substantive

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Yes, pronouns.

    A substantive is a member of either of the two form classes that typcially serve a nominal function.
    Would you mind please clarifying a bit more here? I think I didn't understand quite well the point.
    Are you talking just about my last question "are there other types of substantives besides nouns" regardless of the context (which is also important to me)?

    In that context of the initial post I think I am satisfied with the colleagues explanations, which once more I enourmously thank.

  7. #7
    orangutan is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    349
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: noun x substantive

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    Would you mind please clarifying a bit more here? I think I didn't understand quite well the point.
    Are you talking just about my last question "are there other types of substantives besides nouns" regardless of the context (which is also important to me)?
    I think the point being made is that pronouns, as well as nouns, can be classed as substantives. They can largely fill the same grammatical functions (subject, object etc.).

    Some people think of pronouns as a kind of noun, but this has not always been the case. The ancient Greek grammarians didn't, and nor do many modern linguists.

    I hope this is accurate.

  8. #8
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,790
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: noun x substantive

    So, substantives include nouns. Nouns are names for persons, places and things, but we can also refer to objects in other ways, without their names (nouns), so these are substantives but not nouns.

  9. #9
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,507
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: noun x substantive

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    Are you talking just about my last question "are there other types of substantives besides nouns"
    Yes, it was a reply to that question, indicating that pronouns are also substantives.

Similar Threads

  1. NOUN CLAUSE help needed!!!!
    By hazeleyedgirl in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Aug-2008, 00:00
  2. Red -- predicate adjective or predicate noun? Or both? (previous post)
    By donnach in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 16-May-2008, 14:51
  3. sentence structure question
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 17-Jan-2008, 09:53
  4. "e-mail"...countable or uncountable
    By pink dragon in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 31-Aug-2005, 02:28
  5. Subject Noun
    By Farhaj in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2005, 11:18

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •