Andrey (azangru) wrote,
Andrey
azangru

I discovered that I am lacking a working heuristic for categorizing English words into parts of speech.

The realization came when I checked how a dictionary classifies the word instead (specifically, I was thinking of the combination instead of). Now, in Russian, it would have clearly fallen under the category of prepositions, because it would form a semantic relationship with a noun, and because it would syntactically govern the morphological form of that noun.

In English, of course, there is no morphological test for syntactic government; and semantics somehow didn't quite count, because the dictionary judged instead to be an adverb. Which I would also have done in a sentence like "take X instead"; but would have failed to do in "take X instead of Y". In Russian this "instead of" would have made a compound preposition — like all those в течение, по поводу, независимо от, etc.; but the English grammar apparently follows a different logic.
Subscribe

  • (no subject)

    (retweeted by a developer) How does she interpret what she has highlighted — "unlawful blocking of a public street" — as "pedestrians whose…

  • (no subject)

    Google has finally become ready to promote its Lit ecosystem properly. I thought they were going make their announcements at the coming Google IO;…

  • (no subject)

    Is it ... Bill Maher? Is he, in the penetrating eyes of this insightful lady, the emblem of white supremacy now? The comments to the tweet say it…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 4 comments