Determine the lexical category of each of the bolded words in the sentences below. Use morphological, semantic, and syntactic criteria to provide evidence for your answers. 1. His second book came out this year. 2. The beautiful woman in the purple dress ... 3. Messi squeezed the ball between the goalkeeper's legs into the net.
To determine the lexical category of a word, first review the seven lexical categories: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, conjunction, preposition, and particle. Then look at the morphology of the word (the form that indicates how it is used in the sentence), its semantics (its meaning), and its syntax (its position in the sentence and its relationship to other words).
To best determine the lexical categories of the starred words, let's first review some terminology. Linguists typically identify seven lexical categories:
- Nouns signify persons, places, things, or ideas. In the sentence “The cat caught the mouse in the house,” “cat,” “mouse,” and “house” are all nouns.
- Verbs show actions or states of being. In the sentence above, the verb is “caught.”
- Adjectives modify nouns. There are two adjectives in the sentence “The beautiful cat caught the scrawny mouse”: “beautiful” and “scrawny.”
- Adverbs often modify verbs, providing information about how, when, or where the action took place. They can also sometimes modify adjectives and other adverbs (often signifying degree). Look at this sentence: “The very beautiful cat caught the mouse quite quickly.” The adverbs are “very” modifying “beautiful,” “quickly” modifying “caught” (how did the cat catch the mouse?), and “quite” modifying “quickly.”
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