WORD CLASSES/PARTS OF SPEECH 2

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A. CLASSIFICATION OF WORD CLASSES
Word are classified into two groups; major/open word classes and minor/closed word classes.
i. Major/Open word classes; these classes of words are open to new additions in the language, as there is no fix number of words that should fall into their classes. They are also known as major parts of speech or lexical words. There are four major word classes or major parts of speech; Nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.
ii. Minor/closed word classes; these classes of words are not opened to new words; closed classes are limited classes that rarely
admit new words. They are also called minor parts of speech. They are; Pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, determiners, interrogatives, auxiliary verbs etc. These classes are functional words; they do not have meaning on their own, they perform a role in grammar. E.g ‘and’ as a conjunction has no meaning on its own, but it performs a role in grammar.

B. BRIEF MEANING OF THE VARIOUS WORD CLASSES
Let’s look at the meaning of the various word classes;
I. MAJOR WORD CLASSES
a. Nouns; These are words that name. It could be a name of a;
Person; John, Mary
Place; Tamale, Lomé
Animal; dog, cat, mouse
Concept; peace, unity
Activity; walking, singing
Etc.
b. Adjectives; These are words that describe nouns and pronouns. E.g Beautiful, simple, big etc.
c. Verb; a verb is a word that expresses an action or a state of being. E.g. talk, sing, teach, is, may, etc.
d. Adverbs; These are words that modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. E.g beautifully, very, so, respectfully etc.

II. MINOR WORD CLASSES/PARTS OF SPEECH
i. Pronouns; These are words that replace nouns in sentences. E.g he, she, it, me, anyone, somebody etc.
ii. Prepositions; These are words that show the relationship between nouns or pronouns and other words within sentences. E.g. in, on, in front of, behind etc.
iii. Conjunctions; These are words that join or link words, phrases or clauses. E.g. and, or, because, meanwhile etc.
iv. Interjections; These are words that are used to express emotions. E.g. ouch, ow, argh. These words often end in exclamation mark.

We will, in our subsequent lessons, look at the various word classes into detail.

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