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A consideration of the "traditional terms"

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journal contribution
posted on 02.06.2017, 01:21 by van Polanen Petel, Humphrey P.
The so-called 'traditional terms' have long been seen as problematic and the argument continues about what precisely they might refer to. This article finds that there are essentially two different perspectives such that the notion of a 'part of speech' represents either a mental or a grammatical distinction. Accordingly, the problem with the traditional terms can be said to have arisen out of a conflation of these two perspectives. If we assume that the 'parts of speech' represent grammatical distinctions then the traditional terms are effectively meaningless, because from a grammatical perspective, the 'parts of speech' are not universal concepts. However, if we assume they represent mental distinctions then they would be best understood as notions that represent aspects of the world-view of people using them.


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