1. Why can’tWhy can’t
we draw awe draw a sharp linesharp line
content wordscontent words
function wordsfunction words??
2. Lexical studies
Resource Person:Resource Person:
Sir Khalil AhmadSir Khalil Ahmad
Presented by:-Presented by:-
Maqsood AhmadMaqsood Ahmad
ID# 090418002 (MSc AL)ID# 090418002 (MSc AL)
University of Management and TechnologyUniversity of Management and Technology
Johar Town. Lahore.Johar Town. Lahore.
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
 Have ambiguous meaning
6.  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
7. Function words:
 The following is a list considered to be function
 Articles: the, a
 Pronouns: he, him, she, her, etc.
 Conjunctions: and, that, when, while, although,
 Interjections: sometimes called "filled pauses",
 Modal verbs: can, must, will, should, ought,
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,
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
14. Question is:
Can we draw a sharp line between
Because, The same lexical word
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)
 "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
 “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:
 This is a very boring book
 That's an excellent film
 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
 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
 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
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. This is all from my side.