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On the Universality and Variation of the Adjective Category


  • Pernilla Hallonsten Halling

Summary, in English

Over decades of linguistic research, the identity and ambiguity of a possible lexical category labeled ‘adjectives’ have been as lively debated as the possible universality of lexical categories as such. Some argue that adjectives can be found in every language, whereas others deny their existence completely. The only thing that remains clear, irrespective of which view is employed, is that the expressions that are often called adjectives have a remarkably ambiguous nature, within and across languages. This thesis aims to make clear the identity of adjectives, both in terms of discussing a theoretical background that presents different perspectives, and in testing empirically whether an adjective category can be identified across a number of languages and what universal and language-specific conclusions can be drawn from this. The purpose is accordingly not only to discern the identity of this lexical category, but also to explain its ambiguity.







Examensarbete för magisterexamen (Ett år)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Jordan Zlatev (Docent)
  • Junichi Toyota (Dr.)