of Speech Categories
words have syntactic labels which are essential in forming phrases and sentences
~7nta.x. These labels are called parts of speech categories or simply categories.
will see below, it is often the case that a single property cannot define a
category. For this reason, it is important to keep in mind that a cluster of
characteristics eventually leads to the identification of each category.
How do we identify words? In spoken language words are pronounced
tinuously. There are no pauses between words. This is true in both English
~h~ first category we take up is nouns. Nouns can co-occur with demonstratives
Japanese. In English writing, however, words are spelled individually and sp
such as kono "this" and sono "that", as in kono hana "this flower" and sono
is given between words, at least to some degree providing us with a means
hen "that book".
identify words. In Japanese writing, on the other hand, there is no space betw
Nouns can take noun modifiers which recede them, and these nounmodifiers
words, so we cannot rely on such a visual device.
no (the Genitive Case particle). For example, consider the
The question of how to identify words perhaps boils down to a more fun
phrases in (I).'
mental question, "What is a word?" This is indeed
very difficult questi
For example, ask yourself whether waterbed, fortune-teller, salad dressing, boo
return, teapot, and round-trip each constitute a single word. Also, ask your
whether don't, wouldn't, wanna, gonna,
and you're are each one word
two words. You will immediately realize it is not always straightforward
identify words. A more extreme example is seen in an American Indian langu
Potawatomi. A string of sound kwapmuknanuk means "They see us" (cf. From
and Rodman 1993). Is it a word, a sentence, or something else?
Despite the lack of clues with which to identify words in written Japanese
well as for spoken language in general, native speakers know the words of
"a map of Tokyo"
language. Knowing a word means knowing the sound and meaning of the wo
this, in turn, relies on various sorts of information. Such information prima
comes from four different areas: phonology, morphology, syntax, and semanti
"a story about the war"
The speaker knows how the word is pronounced (phonological information) a
can figure out what it means (semantic information). She or he is also awar
Hon "book", sinbun "newspaper", tizu "map", and hanasi "story" in these
word consists of more than one meaningful element (morpholog
examples are nouns that are modified by a preceding noun. In (la), for instance,
information), and knows how
word is used in a larger context such as i
the noun hon "book" is modified by the preceding noun, i.e. Taroo. In order
phrase or in a sentence (syntactic information). Granting that any attemp