Functional and Content Words

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  • 1. Resource Person: Sir Khalil Ahmad Presented by:- Maqsood Ahmad ID# 090418002 (MSc AL) University of Management and Technology Johar Town. Lahore.
  • 2. Topic:-
    • Why can’t
    • we draw a sharp line
    • between
    • content words
    • and
    • function words ?
  • 3. Criteria for Word Classes
    • We use a combination of three criteria for determining the word class of a word:
    • The meaning of the word
    • The form or `shape' of the word
    • The position or environment of the word in a sentence
  • 4. What is a function word?
    • Little semantic content of its own
    • Indicates a grammatical relationship .
    • No identifiable meaning
    • closed-class word
    • such as preposition, conjunction or article
  • 5.
    • Different names for function words:
    • Function words
    • Grammatical words
    • Auto semantic words
    • Little lexical meaning
  • 6.
    • Have ambiguous meaning
    • For example:
    • This is a boy.
    • This boy is running.
    • Serve to express grammatical relationships with other words
    • within a sentence
    • Specify the attitude or mood of the speaker
  • 7. Function words:
    • The following is a list considered to be function words:
    • Articles: the, a.
    • Pronouns: he, him, she, her, etc.
    • Conjunctions: and, that, when, while, although, or
    • Interjections: sometimes called "filled pauses", uninflected
    • Modal verbs : can, must, will, should, ought, need, used
  • 8.
    • Auxiliary verbs: be (is, am, are), have, got, do
    • Particles: if, then, well, however, thus, no, not, nor, as etc.
    • Expletives: take the place of sentences, among other functions.
    • Pro-sentences: yes, okay, etc.
    • Prepositions: of, at, in, without, between
    • Pronouns: he, they, anybody, it, one
    • Determiners: the, a, that, my, more, much, either, neither
  • 9. More fine-grained distinction
    • All grammatical morphology is “functional”
    • Bound morphemes:
    • Derivation affixes: -er. -ly, -ment etc.
    • Inflectional affixes:
    • Free morphemes:
  • 10. What is a content word?
    • Not function word
    • open class word
    • lexical word
    • Uninflected stems are content “words”
  • 11. Content words
    • Nouns: John, room, answer
    • Full verbs: search, grow, hold, have
    • Adjectives: happy, new, large, grey
    • Adverbs: really, completely, very, also, enough
    • Numerals: one, thousand, first
    • Interjections: eh, ugh, phew, well
    • Yes/No answers: yes, no (as answers)
  • 12. Differences between content and function words
    • The class of function words is closed.
    • Do not easily add new words to this set.
    • English has 300 closed class words.
    • The class of content words is open.
    • New words are being added in every language
  • 13. Differences between content and function words
    • Content words obey the minimal word constraint but function words do not.
    • Little function words: I, the, a, it, of, etc…
    • No open class words are this little!
    • Function words are acquired later than content words.
  • 14.
    • Question is:
    • Can we draw a sharp line between
    • content words
    • and
    • function words ?
    • Answer is:
    • NO.
    • Because, The same lexical word
    • can function
    • either content or function word
    • depending on its function in an utterance.
  • 15.
    • For example:
    • "I have come to see you"
    • "have" is a function word (auxiliary verb)
    • "I have three apples"
    • "have" is a content word (full verb)
    • Example:
    • "One has one's principles"
    • "one" is a function word (pronoun)
    • "I have one apple"
    • "one" is a content word (numeral)
  • 16.
    • Example:
    • "I have no more money"
    • "no" is a function word (a negative particle)
    • "No. I am not coming"
    • "no" is a content word (Yes/No answer)
  • 17.
    • Numerals are a subclass of nouns:
    • like nouns, they can take determiners
    • the two of us,
    • the first of many
    • They can even have numerals as determiners before them
    • Example,
    • “ five twos are ten”
    • twos is a plural noun
    • It has the determiner five before it.
  • 18.
    • Considerable overlap between the
    • determiner class and the
    • subclass of pronouns . Many words can be both:
    • Example:
    • Pronoun
    • This is a very boring book
    • That's an excellent film
    • Determiner
    • That film is excellent
    • This book is very boring
  • 19.
    • Determiners function in much the same way
    • as nouns and they can be replaced by nouns.
    • This is a very boring book Ivanhoe is a very boring book
    • That 's an excellent film Witness is an excellent film
    • On the other hand, when these words are determiners, they cannot be replaced by nouns :
    • This book is very boring Ivanhoe book is very boring
    • That film is excellent Witness film is excellent
  • 20.
    • Personal pronouns (I, you, he, etc) cannot be determiners. This is also true for possessive pronouns (mine, yours, his/hers, ours, and theirs).
    • These pronouns do have corresponding forms which are determiners:
    • Possessive Pronoun Determiner
    • The white car is mine. My car is white.
    • Yours is the blue coat. Your coat is blue.
    • The car in the garage is his/hers. His/her car is in the garage.
    • David's house is big but ours is bigger. Our house is bigger than David's.
    • Theirs is the house on the left. Their house is on the left.
  • 21.
    • Stressed words carry the meaning or the sense behind the sentence
    • For this reason they are called “Content Words”
    • They carry the content of the sentence
    • Unstressed words tend to be smaller words
    • Have more of a grammatical significance
    • They help the sentence “function” syntactically
    • For this reason they are called “Function Words”
    • Sometimes “Function Words” are referred to as “Structure Words”
  • 22.
    • For example:
    • I am talking to the clever students .
    • You’re sitting on the desk
    • but you aren’t listening to me.
  • 23.
    • Example 2:
    • “ No!” screamed David angrily
    • as he wiped away the tears from his face
    • and ran into his bedroom.
    • “ What’s your name and how are you today ?”
  • 24.
    • No w
    • Questions please
  • 25.
    • Thank
    • Have a good day
    • you