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  1. #11
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Re: A noun as an adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by pdh0224
    Dear Mike,

    I believe there are many grammarians with different views on the subject in question." People have a different way of thinking. It works in linguistic parts. I am also one of them.
    As you know, the eight parts of speech are a noun, an adjective,an adverb....and so on. Those things function as their own, but sometimes their parts of speech are not same with their functions. I believe a part of speech depends on its meaning.
    For example, 'We walked miles'. You think 'miles' is a noun in a part of speech, don't you . But it is an adverb when it comes to its function. A teacher who lives in UK says 'miles' is an adverbial objective. He mention about it '(Many) miles' here can be classified as an adverbial objective, representing in elliptical form the adverbial prepositional phrase 'for (many) miles'.

    What do you think?
    I think that there will always be individuals with alternative views on grammatical structure. I like the "parts of speech" system for several main reasons.

    The first is that standard dictionaries follow that system. Many linguists invent terms and develop theories that explain subtleties that they perceive in the language. I have no problem with that, particularly when it occurs among linguists. The problem that I have is that learners get very confused when they look in a dictionary and do not find these new terms. Mile is not listed as an adverb in my dictionaries and "adverbial objective" is not listed as a part of speech.

    The second reason is that when one starts to tinker with the edges of the system, many of the rules break down. This is OK, if one understands the rules and understands why a particular rule doesn't apply in a particular case.

    Let me give you an example.

    Take the construction:

    I don't like him staring at you.

    Some grammarians would call this structure an error, because of the objective pronoun "him" replacing the possessive pronoun "his". In the traditional system, "staring at you" is gerund phrase and "his" modifies the gerund/noun. What does one do with the "him" construction?

    In the traditional model, the gerund phrase becomes a participial phrase because "him" can no longer modify "staring". That is a reasonable explanation, though some don't like it.

    Some linguists say that the "him" structure is a non-finite clause, because the sense is that person referred to as him is doing the staring. OK, that's fair enough, but a clause needs a subject, and the traditional rule says that the subject of a clause cannot be in the objective case. So a new rule has to be developed. One linguistic grad student suggested "The subject of a non-finite clause is in the objective case." Ok, that works for this construction, but do we then have to add "finite" or "non-finite" every time we refer to the structure of a clause?

    Any grammar analysis system is OK as long as it hangs together. Alternative models are possible, but I've not found anything that works as well as the parts of speech system.

    Why are there many functions of one noun in a dictionary?
    What is the standard of characterizing the eight parts of speech?
    Is the standard a meaning or a function?

    Let me show you another example.

    'Now is time for you to help me.'
    'Now' is an adverb in a dictionary. How can an adverb be the subject of the sentence?
    It is an adverb functioning as a noun. That is an application of a function and meaning of a word. It allows us to express more things.
    The parts of speech model works on function more than meaning.

    If you check standard dictuionaries, you will find that "now" is listed as a noun. That is so just for the situation in your example.


    How about this?

    "Millennials believe in preparation, in their track records," Mr. Howe said. "They're thinking about what kinds of careers they're going to have."

    I believe 'Millennial' is an adjective, and I also found it in a dictionary. But the writer used 'Millennial' as a noun. The noun of 'Millennial' is a 'Millennialist' or a 'Millennarian'. Is it grammatical sentence?
    It seems to be an adjective which the writer has turned into a noun.
    That's what I am saying.
    It is quite common in English to turn adjectives into nouns. We have|

    the poor
    the rich
    etc.

    As "millennial" is used in that sentence, it follows that very common pattern. Whether or not that particular coinage is acceptable, depends on the reader. I have no problem with it.


    You ask me

    "What would you say about these?

    We walked a mile.

    "Mile" is marked as a noun by the indefinite article that precedes it.

    We walked fifty feet.

    "Feet" is marked as a noun because it is modified by an adjective.

    This is my answer

    We consider 'Miles' as a noun. But sometimes we need to use it as an adverb like that I mentioned.
    'four miles' or 'fifty feet' is one cluster fuctioning as an adverb. It means 'miles' and 'feet' are a noun, it is modified by an adjective, and the cluster functions as an adverb.
    If we frequently use 'miles' as an adverb, a dictionary hold the function of an adverb of 'Mile'. and then It can be modifed by an adverb. But It is not usual, and there is only a noun in a dictionary. For example, If people often use 'Millennial' as a noun, it become usual. It can be a noun. That's why there are many function of one word in a dictionary. I believe it is one of the mechanism of a language.
    Yes, you mentioned using it as an adverb, but I haven't accepted that. Evidently dictionaries haven't accepted that either. I agree that words can have parts of speech added to the list as usage becomes common. When "Jazz" was first coined, it was a noun. It is now also listed as an adjective by many dictionaries. That happens. I don't expect it to happen with "mile", however. The explanation of "walk" as a transitive verb is the simpler explanation, IMO. :wink:

  2. #12
    pdh0224 Guest

    Re: A noun as an adverb

    [quote="MikeNewYork"]
    Quote Originally Posted by pdh0224

    I think that there will always be individuals with alternative views on grammatical structure. I like the "parts of speech" system for several main reasons.
    The first is that standard dictionaries follow that system. Many linguists invent terms and develop theories that explain subtleties that they perceive in the language. I have no problem with that, particularly when it occurs among linguists. The problem that I have is that learners get very confused when they look in a dictionary and do not find these new terms. Mile is not listed as an adverb in my dictionaries and "adverbial objective" is not listed as a part of speech.
    The second reason is that when one starts to tinker with the edges of the system, many of the rules break down. This is OK, if one understands the rules and understands why a particular rule doesn't apply in a particular case.

    Let me give you an example.
    Take the construction:

    I don't like him staring at you.
    Some grammarians would call this structure an error, because of the objective pronoun "him" replacing the possessive pronoun "his". In the traditional system, "staring at you" is gerund phrase and "his" modifies the gerund/noun. What does one do with the "him" construction?
    In the traditional model, the gerund phrase becomes a participial phrase because "him" can no longer modify "staring". That is a reasonable explanation, though some don't like it.
    Some linguists say that the "him" structure is a non-finite clause, because the sense is that person referred to as him is doing the staring. OK, that's fair enough, but a clause needs a subject, and the traditional rule says that the subject of a clause cannot be in the objective case. So a new rule has to be developed. One linguistic grad student suggested "The subject of a non-finite clause is in the objective case." Ok, that works for this construction, but do we then have to add "finite" or "non-finite" every time we refer to the structure of a clause?
    Any grammar analysis system is OK as long as it hangs together. Alternative models are possible, but I've not found anything that works as well as the parts of speech system.
    The parts of speech model works on function more than meaning.
    If you check standard dictuionaries, you will find that "now" is listed as a noun. That is so just for the situation in your example.

    It is quite common in English to turn adjectives into nouns. We have|

    the poor
    the rich
    etc.

    As "millennial" is used in that sentence, it follows that very common pattern. Whether or not that particular coinage is acceptable, depends on the reader. I have no problem with it.
    Yes, you mentioned using it as an adverb, but I haven't accepted that. Evidently dictionaries haven't accepted that either. I agree that words can have parts of speech added to the list as usage becomes common. When "Jazz" was first coined, it was a noun. It is now also listed as an adjective by many dictionaries. That happens. I don't expect it to happen with "mile", however. The explanation of "walk" as a transitive verb is the simpler explanation, IMO. :wink:

    A adjective functions as a noun(the poor, the rich) and an adverb ('Now' I mentioned) functions as a noun. Why do not a noun function as a adverb?
    Don't you think so? But I agree with you about it is difficult that a dictionary hold 'mile' as an adverb, because it is difficult to use it as a pronoun when it comes to the character of its meaning and generality.
    You mentioned the parts of speech model work on function more than meaning. Yes it is make sense, but is function seperated with meaning?
    Which is the first? Could you show me something speaks for your words?
    I believe it is like which the first of an eggs and a chicken is. But I am with meaning. I think Function can be existed by using a meaning. A application of meaning is just function. Function is just a vehicle transporting a meaning like a syntax or a sentence structure.
    I believe the point of the subject 'miles' we talk about is a characteristic of the meaning. That is, 'miles' can be a noun telling us an objective information of 'walk', and it also show us adverbial information. Both of them is acceptable, I conclude. :)

  3. #13
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Is it still an adverb in your book if you add to it?

    We walked miles
    We walked ten miles
    We walked the last ten miles

  4. #14
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Re: A noun as an adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by pdh0224

    A adjective functions as a noun(the poor, the rich) and an adverb ('Now' I mentioned) functions as a noun. Why do not a noun function as a adverb?
    Don't you think so? But I agree with you about it is difficult that a dictionary hold 'mile' as an adverb, because it is difficult to use it as a pronoun when it comes to the character of its meaning and generality.
    Yes, the "adjectival noun" does use one part of speech as another. Your example of "now" is not really applicable, bbecause it classifies as a noun.

    You mentioned the parts of speech model work on function more than meaning. Yes it is make sense, but is function seperated with meaning?
    Which is the first? Could you show me something speaks for your words?
    I believe it is like which the first of an eggs and a chicken is. But I am with meaning. I think Function can be existed by using a meaning. A application of meaning is just function. Function is just a vehicle transporting a meaning like a syntax or a sentence structure.
    I believe the point of the subject 'miles' we talk about is a characteristic of the meaning. That is, 'miles' can be a noun telling us an objective information of 'walk', and it also show us adverbial information. Both of them is acceptable, I conclude. :)
    The rules of grammar are not meant to disregard meaning, but the rules are set up primarily to govern the interactions and relationships between different words in a sentence. Those rules help support the meaning of the sentence, by establishing clear relationships. It is not a question about which came first, IMO. The meaning of "We walked miles" is quite clear, regardless of what we call "miles".

    Possibly, what bothers you and your teacher is that "walk" most often is used intransitively and is often followed by an adverb. But that verb has several transitive senses:

    v.tr.
    To go or pass over, on, or through by walking: walk the financial district of a city.
    To bring to a specified condition by walking: They walked me to exhaustion.
    To cause to walk or proceed at a walk: walk a horse uphill.
    To accompany in walking; escort on foot: walk the children home; walked me down the hall.
    To traverse on foot in order to survey or measure; pace off: walked the bounds of the property.
    To move (a heavy or cumbersome object) in a manner suggestive of walking: walked the bureau into the hall.
    Baseball.
    To allow (a batter) to go to first base by throwing four pitches ruled as balls.
    To cause (a run) to score by walking a batter. Often used with in.

  5. #15
    pdh0224 Guest

    Re: A noun as an adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by pdh0224

    A adjective functions as a noun(the poor, the rich) and an adverb ('Now' I mentioned) functions as a noun. Why do not a noun function as a adverb?
    Don't you think so? But I agree with you about it is difficult that a dictionary hold 'mile' as an adverb, because it is difficult to use it as a pronoun when it comes to the character of its meaning and generality.
    Yes, the "adjectival noun" does use one part of speech as another. Your example of "now" is not really applicable, bbecause it classifies as a noun.

    You mentioned the parts of speech model work on function more than meaning. Yes it is make sense, but is function seperated with meaning?
    Which is the first? Could you show me something speaks for your words?
    I believe it is like which the first of an eggs and a chicken is. But I am with meaning. I think Function can be existed by using a meaning. A application of meaning is just function. Function is just a vehicle transporting a meaning like a syntax or a sentence structure.
    I believe the point of the subject 'miles' we talk about is a characteristic of the meaning. That is, 'miles' can be a noun telling us an objective information of 'walk', and it also show us adverbial information. Both of them is acceptable, I conclude. :)
    The rules of grammar are not meant to disregard meaning, but the rules are set up primarily to govern the interactions and relationships between different words in a sentence. Those rules help support the meaning of the sentence, by establishing clear relationships. It is not a question about which came first, IMO. The meaning of "We walked miles" is quite clear, regardless of what we call "miles".

    Possibly, what bothers you and your teacher is that "walk" most often is used intransitively and is often followed by an adverb. But that verb has several transitive senses:

    v.tr.
    To go or pass over, on, or through by walking: walk the financial district of a city.
    To bring to a specified condition by walking: They walked me to exhaustion.
    To cause to walk or proceed at a walk: walk a horse uphill.
    To accompany in walking; escort on foot: walk the children home; walked me down the hall.
    To traverse on foot in order to survey or measure; pace off: walked the bounds of the property.
    To move (a heavy or cumbersome object) in a manner suggestive of walking: walked the bureau into the hall.
    Baseball.
    To allow (a batter) to go to first base by throwing four pitches ruled as balls.
    To cause (a run) to score by walking a batter. Often used with in.
    Thank you for your teaching :)
    I have a question. Why is not an article used before 'Now' when it functions as a noun?

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    Re: A noun as an adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by pdh0224
    I have a question. Why is not an article used before 'Now' when it functions as a noun?
    EX: Now is the time to leave.

    Two reasons. 1) 'Now' functions as a noun but it's an adverb in form. Nominals take articles. Adverbs do not. 2) 'Now' is synonymous with 'this time', wherein 'this', a demonstrative, functions like 'the' and 'a'.

    All the best,

  7. #17
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    When we say 'the here and now', you can see it used with an article, albeit shared. Google finds 2,860,000 pages with 'the now'.

  8. #18
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    Re: A noun as an adverb

    Quote Originally Posted by pdh0224
    Thank you for your teaching :)
    I have a question. Why is not an article used before 'Now' when it functions as a noun?
    You're very welcome.

    I agree with the answers from Cas and TDOL. There are many cases in which abstract nouns do not take articles. For example:

    Art is the way man beautifies his world.
    Strength and determination are needed for success.

    And, there are times when "now" takes an article.

    We live in the now of our lives.

  9. #19
    pdh0224 Guest

    Re: A noun as an adverb

    Dear teachers,

    "This will be followed by a multimillion-dollar restoration of the hall,

    expected to last three to five years. "

    Could you explain the function of 'three to five years' in the sentence?

    Is 'three to five years' an object of 'last'?

    I don't think so! The sentence speaks for my opinion about a noun as an

    adverb.

    Could you tell me your thought?


    All the best, :)

  10. #20
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'd say it's an adverbial, which can include nouns:

    http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/adverbial.html

    Some might argue that it's an elliptical prepostional phrase.


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