Modifier + noun nominals

Status
Not open for further replies.

Deepurple

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Could any teachers explain to me the following extract (esp. the underlined expressions) in greater detail? Thank you.:roll:

The or no the?
"Original -Borg and Gall (1989) summarise the characteristics of socio-anthropological paradigm as follows:
Revisions - Borg and Gall (1989) summarise the characteristics of the socio-anthropological paradigm as follows:"

"Whether or not to use the Definite Article the is a constant source of difficulty for non-native users of English. For many years the tendency among language-teaching theorists was to ignore such difficulties: the text could (it was argued) be understood perfectly well if the the articles were used incorrectly, so this could not be counted as a 'communicative' feature of English, and in consequence little attention was paid to teaching their use.
But is the definite article really so 'uncommunicative'? Take the definite article in the revision above, which marks 'the socio-anthropological paradigm' as a distinct (countable) paradigm, different from all other paradigms. Substitute for 'paradigm' the nouns 'theory', 'thought' and 'philosophy' : in each case the definite article is no longer appropriate. . There is not a distinct 'socio-anthropological theory' which is different from all other theories, but instead a general layer of theory (uncountable!) which underpins work in socio-anthropology. Similarly with 'thought' and 'philosophy'. It follows from examples such as these that misuse of the article before modifier+noun nominals may cast doubt on how far the misuser grasps the concept of the noun: a particular danger with nouns such as 'paradigm' which form the framework of thinking in the subject. That is why mishandling of the articles can too readily communicate the impression that the writer is not fully in command of his or her subject."
 

susiedqq

Key Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
The or no the?
"Original -Borg and Gall (1989) summarise the characteristics of socio-anthropological paradigm as follows:
Revisions - Borg and Gall (1989) summarise the characteristics of the socio-anthropological paradigm as follows:"

"Whether or not to use the Definite Article the is a constant source of difficulty for non-native users of English. For many years the tendency among language-teaching theorists was to ignore such difficulties: the text could (it was argued) be understood perfectly well if the the articles were used incorrectly, so this could not be counted as a 'communicative' feature of English, and in consequence little attention was paid to teaching their use.
But is the definite article really so 'uncommunicative'?

For example, notice the definite article in the revision above, which shows that the words, 'the socio-anthropological paradigm' is a distinct (countable) paradigm, different from all other paradigms (models).

Substitute the word 'theory' for "paradigm", or use the words 'thought' and 'philosophy'. Now we can see that using the definite article is no longer appropriate.

There is not a distinct 'socio-anthropological theory' which is different from all other theories, but instead, there is a general layer of theory (uncountable) which underpins work in socio-anthropology. This is also true with the words 'thought' and 'philosophy'.

It follows from examples such as these that misuse of the article before modifier+noun nominals may cast doubt on how far the misuser grasps the concept of the noun: a particular danger with nouns such as 'paradigm' which form the framework of thinking in the subject. That is why mishandling of the articles can too readily communicate the impression that the writer is not fully in command of his or her subject
 

Deepurple

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2007
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
The or no the?
"Original -Borg and Gall (1989) summarise the characteristics of socio-anthropological paradigm as follows:
Revisions - Borg and Gall (1989) summarise the characteristics of the socio-anthropological paradigm as follows:"

"Whether or not to use the Definite Article the is a constant source of difficulty for non-native users of English. For many years the tendency among language-teaching theorists was to ignore such difficulties: the text could (it was argued) be understood perfectly well if the the articles were used incorrectly, so this could not be counted as a 'communicative' feature of English, and in consequence little attention was paid to teaching their use.
But is the definite article really so 'uncommunicative'?

For example, notice the definite article in the revision above, which shows that the words, 'the socio-anthropological paradigm' is a distinct (countable) paradigm, different from all other paradigms (models).

Substitute the word 'theory' for "paradigm", or use the words 'thought' and 'philosophy'. Now we can see that using the definite article is no longer appropriate.

There is not a distinct 'socio-anthropological theory' which is different from all other theories, but instead, there is a general layer of theory (uncountable) which underpins work in socio-anthropology. This is also true with the words 'thought' and 'philosophy'.

It follows from examples such as these that misuse of the article before modifier+noun nominals may cast doubt on how far the misuser grasps the concept of the noun: a particular danger with nouns such as 'paradigm' which form the framework of thinking in the subject. That is why mishandling of the articles can too readily communicate the impression that the writer is not fully in command of his or her subject
Thank you, susiedqq. But would you please elaborate further on:
(1) why 'the socio-anthropological paradigm' is a distinct (countable) paradigm, different from all other paradigms (models)'?
(2) why the definite article should not be used in theory, thought and philosophy as in "the socio-anthropological paradigm, becuase "There is not a distinct 'socio-anthropological theory' which is different from all other theories, but instead, there is a general layer of theory (uncountable) which underpins work in socio-anthropology. This is also true with the words 'thought' and 'philosophy'?

They are really difficult for us non-English speakers to understand. Thanks again.:roll:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top