Ali Caglar Saymaz Eylul Sozen NOUNS AND PRONOUNS The Reference Grammar Project, which is conducted by Saymaz and Sozen probing five different Teacher Reference books, does mainly aim to help those, who have intention of further research and examination about nouns and pronouns, find relative sources for their own teaching sessions. Following the basic examination of the subject “Nouns and Pronouns” (Chapter A), the teacher reference books that have been utilized will be put in comparison and evaluated under four distinctive headings (Chapter B), which are; * Respective objective and aim Target population * Content processed * Organisational planning Chapter A: NOUNS AND PRONOUNS 1- Definition of Nouns As universally suggested, a noun describes a place, person or thing in addition to the fact that nouns might be used for expressing concepts, qualities, organisations, communities and events, which is provided by Parrott (2004) in his book Grammar for English Language Teachers. 2- Categorisation of Nouns There are several classes, which are accepted to be available in categorisation of nouns such as; 2. – Common and Proper Nouns According to Lester and Beason (2005), proper nouns represent unique entities whereas common nouns differentiate in the sense that they utter a class of entities, which are not specific. 2. 2- Singular, Plural and Collective Nouns Asserted by Swan (2005), nouns that state single and one entity are called as singular nouns. By generally adding ‘-s’ to a singular countable noun, plural forms are created.
Plural case marker ‘-s’ may vary depending on the syllable final sound as can be observed in following examples; Plural of nouns ending in consonant + y, is made by changing –y to –i and adding –es to the noun: baby-babieslady-ladiesparty-parties However plural of nouns ending in vowel + y, does not experience any change in the discourse of –y and only takes –s. day-daysboy-boysdonkey-donkeys Plural of nouns ending in -sh, -ch, -s, -x, -o or -z; is made by only adding –es at the end of the word. church-churchescrush-crushesbox-boxeshero-heroes
Collective nouns utter to a group of entities and represent more than one member in spite of the singular inflection of the noun. Fowler (2004) puts forward that measurement and figures ending in –s may also be singular when the quantity is a unit: Three years is a long time to wait. Three-fourths of the library consists of reference books. 2. 3- Countable and Non-countable Nouns Swan (2005) claims that countable nouns refer to separate object, ideas and people that can be used with numerals while non-countable nouns are structurally masses without certain boundaries as liquids, abstract qualities and collections. . 4- Abstract and Concrete Nouns Concrete nouns refer to physical entities that can be observed by at least one of the five senses; yet abstract noun are out of physical dimension and generally conceptual ideas. 3- Definition of Pronouns Pronouns are substitution for noun phrases in order not to experience repetitive usage of the same noun. 4- Categorisation of Pronouns 4. 1- Personal Pronouns These are the ones that replace proper nouns and nouns, which signify people or a group of animate objects. Eylul takes the pencil. She takes the pencil. 4. 2- Reflexive Pronouns
Reflexive pronouns are used with reflexive actions or states that subject goes through. Ali gives himself enough time to study for his exams. 4. 3- Indefinite Pronouns Indefinite pronouns take part in the replacment of nouns that are under general categories of people and things. An indefinite pronoun is the one that does not refer to any specificity: Nobody is perfect. Anyone can do it. Fowler and Aaron (2004) suggest that there are a number of indefinite pronouns, which are used with plural verbs depending on the plurality of the referent noun: All of the money is spent on vacations. All of the funds are lost on the market.
In other cases, the plural form may be implied: All are planning to go to Hawai. All is well. 4. 4- Interrogative Pronouns These pronouns, as can be seen in the name, interrogate the object, place, time or action-doer. Who broke the vase? 4. 5- Relative Pronouns Relative pronouns show much similarity to interrogative pronouns apart from the fact that relative pronouns specify the entity or concept while interrogatives are used for establishing questions. I know the man, who is crossing the street. 4. 6- Possessive Pronouns Indication of possession may be provided by possessive pronouns rather than employing possessive ‘s. My book was gone. 4. – Demonstrative Pronouns Demonstrative pronouns are used with the purpose of distinction of a certain entity from other environmental counterparts. Those flowers are awesome. 5- Noun Phrases William Rutherford (1998) explains in his book A Workbook in the Structure of English that a noun phrase can show variance in length between a single word (Eylul) and a string or component word (the friends of Eylul’s sister), which consist of multiple sub-parts and indefinite length. A single word and a string both contains a head, nevertheless a string does happen to have modifying agents and material on either side of it. Chapter B: Reference Books
After a detailed summary of the subject of Nouns and Pronouns, we would like to share collective observation about the reference books that are employed in the process of examination of the subject. In order to construct a complementary frame for Nuns and Pronouns, we utilized four different reference books and one workbook enhancing our understanding of the topic with respect to teaching methods. Based on four main domains of criteria, which are proposed earlier as respective objective and aim, the target population of the reference book, content processed and organisational planning; the review of the four reference books is created.
We have specifically examined four books to be included in this humble review: Grammar for English Language Teachers by Martin Parrott, Practical Usage of English by Michael Swan, The Little Brown Handbook by Fowler and Aaron, and A Workbook in the Structure of English. A Workbook in the Structure of English has an introduction part in which it is declared that this book is “designed to serve as a major course material for graduate and high graduate programs”, which are initially focused on the syntactical, morphological and semantic structure of the English language.
Since this is a workbook, its main purpose is to teach the grammatical concepts through doing and observing them in exercises and assignment, which gives the reader the opportunity to interact with data, rather than merely reading about grammar or listening to a lecture about grammar. Individual study is the intended in this book and this feature of it makes it hard to be understood without additional attention and examination because of the metalanguage of linguistics.
It has five divisions named as following: (I) Grammatical Constructions and Configuration, (II) Grammatical Operations, (III) Grammatical Relations, (IV) Typology and (V) Other Areas (including word formation). As it comes to our subject, Nouns; they are written under the title of “Nouns and Determiners” and “Noun Phrases” but the book also covers the issue of code-switching and the structure of Noun Phrases. It gives a way for us to capture and learn how an efficient exercise should be; however when it comes to lecturing and teaching methodology, the book remains insufficient so as to help in practice.
The second source of information, which is utilized, is Michael Swan’s book that was first published in 2005 by Oxford University Press. As Grammar for English Language Teachers (1998), Practical Usage of English (Swan, 2005) has an introduction in which we can find most of the necessary components about our four criteria. It can be strongly concluded that Practical Usage of English is intended to be a guide for advanced learners in the light of their teachers. The main aim of Swan’s book is to give explicit answers to some challenging structure of English and sometimes to clarify confusing points such as specific usage of a structure.
When it comes to organisational planning, we could not express that it fails to be coherent, but in comparison with other reference books that are scrutinized, Practice Usage of English lacks of general organisation of division and sub-divisions. Because of the fact that it consists of a number of specific and separate entries, which are alphabetically ordered by title and numbers, it is difficult to get a holistic perspective into one certain topic. In this sense, we can say that it is more like a dictionary rather than being a grammar book.
It includes “130 Common Mistakes”, the phonetic alphabet and a language terminology as different from other reference books we have used. And lastly, we have used Grammar for English Language Teachers by Martin Parrott. It has also five parts, they are namely Part A ‘Words’, Part B ‘More About Verbs’, Part C ‘Sentence Constituents and Word Order’, Part D ‘Complex sentences’ and Part E ‘Researching Language’. It includes just like Swan’s book a phonemic symbols chart as well and as a difference from Swan’s book is has also research activities part and a part that explore Typical Difficulties for Learners at the end.
Its aims are basically these two; to help learners improve their abilities in English and to expand their overall knowledge about the English Language. As the book says itself, this book is intended for teachers who want to go beyond their knowledge and refresh their memories. And especially teachers who speak English as a second language are to be the target population for this reference book. We found this reference book very useful because of its language and well organized content table.
Little boxes and charts have been used for further reading. Though meta language is been used in this book, it is still quite understandable. If we are to touch upon the part related to our topic, we can say that, it was the most appropriate book we have used so far. It shows countable nouns in detail while it has excluded some other parts of nouns such as definitions of subcategories of nouns. And it explains pronouns under the title of ‘Ellipsis and Substations’ at the end of the book. REFERENCES Fowler, H; Aaron, J. 2004). The Little Brown Handbook. New York. Longman Publishing Group. p. 323. Lester, M; Beason, L. (2005). The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage. McGraw-Hill. p. 4 Parrott, M. (2004). Grammar for English Language Teachers. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. Rutherford, W. (1998). A Workbook in the Structure of English: Linguistic Principles and Language Acquisition. Blackwell Publishers. Swan, M. (2005). Practical Usage of English (Ed. ). New York. Oxford University Press. P. 523-532.