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    #1

    Adjectives and their relation with corresponding nouns

    Hi!

    I have rather a strange question to ask. I have been thinking about it, then I decided to post it here.
    Let's start off with this description: There are a lot of adjectives in English, most of them, not all of them, do not have a specific entry in the dictionary.
    When you look up an adjective in a dictionary, mostly the related entry shows up with the corresponding noun form. Seemingly, an example clarifies the point. Take a look at the following picture. As you can see in the picture, there is one entry and the adjective form which is highlighted in yellow is presented with the corresponding noun form. As you can see the noun form has four senses, but the adjective has not any senses. I want to know that how can one determine the meaning of the adjective form? Is the adjective meaning the same as sense 1 which is the first sense? Or it is the same as 2? Or maybe the same as third sense or probably fourth one? What determines the meaning of this kind of adjectives? Does it depend on the context?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    But as far as the other side of the coin is concerned, there are adjectives that have an entry in a dictionary such as "conversational" although it has a noun form such as the above-mentioned.
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    And also, I have the same issue about present and past participle adjectives. Consider this example: Imagine that there is a verb that has five senses. Now, imagine further that someone uses the present/past participle of the verb+ a noun. How can we determine that to which sense that present/past participle refers to? Does it depend on the context again?

    To put my two questions in a nutshell:
    1) How can one determine the meaning of an adjective that has not an entry in the dictionary and the corresponding noun has more than one sense?
    2) How can one determine the meaning of a past/present participle that has not an entry in the dictionary and the corresponding verb has more than one sense?
    And to put the tentative answer(s) in a nutshell:
    It depends on the context or other criteria should be taken into account?
    Last edited by toloue_man; 14-Jan-2014 at 07:54.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Adjectives and their relation with corresponding nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by toloue_man View Post
    To my two questions in a nutshell:
    1) How can one determine the meaning of an adjective that has not an entry in the dictionary and the corresponding noun has more than one sense?
    2) How can one determine the meaning of a past/present participle that has not an entry in the dictionary and the corresponding verb has more than one sense?
    And to put the tentative answer(s) in a nutshell:
    It depends on the context or other criteria should be taken into account?
    In a nutshell: common sense.

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    #3

    Re: Adjectives and their relation with corresponding nouns

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    In a nutshell: common sense.
    So, do you mean it depends on the frequency of occuring the meaning which is determined by daily usage or again it depends on the context?
    And would you please be kind enough to answer this question?:
    For those adjectives that have an entry in a dictionary and have senses in front of them in that dictionary, do they always have the fixed meaning according to their senses in that dictionary or they can have other meanings similar to the meaning of their noun/verb form?
    Let's elucidate the point by an example:
    For example, the word "perceived" has an entry in Longman Dictionary and the entry has only one sense, but the verb form of this past participle has three senses in Longman Dictionary. Now I'd like to know that though "perceived" has its own entry in dictionary, can one use this word in a sense which is not the same as its adjective entry in dictionary and use it in a sense other than that one such as in a sense that is related to one of the three senses of its verb form?
    Last edited by toloue_man; 14-Jan-2014 at 08:12.

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    #4

    Re: Adjectives and their relation with corresponding nouns

    Context will normally tell you which sense of a word is intended. You would have to ask the makers of dictionaries why they have some adjectives defined separately and others not. But I would imagine it is because those that are defined separately have some special meaning that may not be easily deduced from the noun.

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