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Information Journal Paper

Title

A TYPOLOGICAL PROTOTYPE APPROACH TO INFINITIVES, VERBAL NOUNS AND HACSELE MASDAR

Author(s)

REZAI VALI

Pages

  1-16

Abstract

 Traditional Grammarians have recognized three categories in Persian including INFINITIVE, VERBAL NOUN and HAcsele Masdar (HM).There have been much debates on the nature of these categories especially concerning their inclusion in the category of verbs or nouns. In this paper these categories are studied within the framework of the TYPOLOGICAL PROTOTYPE. According to Croft (2003) the semantic class of words alone cannot distinguish parts of speech cross-linguistically. Instead, another criterion named PROPOSITIONAL ACT function is required. The semantic class includes objects, properties and actions. The PROPOSITIONAL ACT functions are reference, predication and modification. It will be demonstrated that the category of INFINITIVE and VERBAL NOUN are both a combination of action and reference. HM is not a subclass of INFINITIVE at all, because it lacks the semantic feature of action. What has been called HM in traditional grammar is indeed the result of a derivational process with the aid of the suffix aÏi creating nouns from adjective and adjectves from nouns. The TYPOLOGICAL PROTOTYPE approach provides a universal conceptual space for parts of speech that works cross-linguistically. However, the non- prototypical combinations of semantic class and PROPOSITIONAL ACT functions often embrace more than one member in individual languages. In such cases we can distinguish different categories using formal and functional criteria.

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