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When English nouns function as adjectives but only rarely  
von polarjud (US), 2009-10-29, 03:18  like dislike  Spam?  
Consider the word "lake" in phrases like lake cabin, lake cottage, lake home, lake county, and lake vacation.  Lake is working as an adjective in these phrases, but lake is not listed as an adjective in standard English dictionaries.  I seem to recall that we have a tradition of entering either lake ... or lake... or lake-- for when lake functions as an adjective.  Which is it?  Should we not have something in the guidelines on this point?  I believe it occurs in German as well, but in German, the result is likely to be a compound word rather than a phrase.
Sonst lösen wir das doch immer so,  #471312
von -Rob- (DE), 2009-10-29, 03:32  like dislike  Spam?  
dass auf der englischen Seite weder "-" noch "..." steht, sondern, in diesem Fall, einfach nur "lake" (als Adjektiv getagged), und auf der deutschen Seite "See-", oder?
??  #471315
von Lisa4dict, 2009-10-29, 04:14  like dislike  Spam?  99.11.160....
Wikipedia(EN): Attributive_noun
Shouldn't that be "adjunct" not "adjective"?
The standard that has developed here is to make it subj. {adj}, with an [attr.] tag after the English noun.  #471336
von clavichord (DE), Last modified: 2009-10-29, 08:48  like dislike  Spam?  
Quirky, but the [attr.] tag clarifies the function of the noun. [attr.]
I support clavichord  #471351
von BHM (DE), Last modified: 2009-10-29, 10:42  like dislike  Spam?  
Adjectives are also adjuncts (Wikipedia(EN): Adjunct_%28grammar%29), so neither the tag adj. nor adjunct would really clarify the function of noun adjuncts. Hence adj. + attr.
Should we make this part of the guidelines?  #471440
von ddr (AT), 2009-10-29, 14:05  like dislike  Spam?  
Up to now, some add 'adj. attr.', some just 'attr.' (as once suggested by, I think, Germ), and both versions are verified.
It should be pointed out, howowever, the adj. attr. version has the 'flaw' of also denoting purely attributive adjectives.
nur "[Attr.], und dann in den GL!  #471539
von tomaquinaten (US/DE), Last modified: 2009-10-29, 19:07  like dislike  Spam?  
Ich bin dafür, in solchen Fällen nur "[Attr.]" zu setzen, außer wenn ein Wörterbuch das Wort ausdrucklich als Adjektiv bezeichnet. Damit umgehen wir die mögliche Verwechselung mit "Adjektiven in attributiver Function" (= "attributive Adjective".  Falls man -- wie ich -- nicht sofort weis, was damit gemeint ist, hier ist die Erklärung nach Wiki/EN:
"A given occurrence of an adjective can generally be classified into one of four kinds of uses:
Attributive adjectives are part of the noun phrase headed by the noun they modify; for example, happy is an attributive adjective in "happy people". In some languages, attributive adjectives precede their nouns; in others, they follow their nouns; and in yet others, it depends on the adjective, or on the exact relationship of the adjective to the noun. In English, attributive adjectives usually precede their nouns in simple phrases, but often follow their nouns when the adjective is modified or qualified by a phrase acting as an adverb. For example: "I saw three happy kids", and "I saw three kids happy enough to jump up and down with glee."
Predicative adjectives are linked via a copula or other linking mechanism to the noun or pronoun they modify; for example, happy is a predicate adjective in "they are happy" and in "that made me happy." (See also: Predicative (adjectival or nominal), Subject complement.)
Absolute adjectives do not belong to a larger construction (aside from a larger adjective phrase), and typically modify either the subject of a sentence or whatever noun or pronoun they are closest to; for example, happy is an absolute adjective in "The boy, happy with his lollipop, did not look where he was going."
Substantive adjectives act almost as nouns. One way this can happen is if a noun is elided and an attributive adjective is left behind. In the sentence, "I read two books to them; he preferred the sad book, but she preferred the happy", happy is a substantive adjective, short for "happy one" or "happy book". Another way this can happen is in phrases like "out with the old, in with the new", where "the old" means, "that which is old" or "all that is old", and similarly with "the new". In such cases, the adjective functions either as a mass noun (as in the preceding example) or as a plural count noun, as in "The meek shall inherit the Earth", where "the meek" means "those who are meek" or "all who are meek".
I like the idea of a tag for adjunct noun  #471844
von polarjud (US), 2009-10-31, 03:03  like dislike  Spam?  
The link of Lisa4Dict is really useful.  Funny how the knowledge of the native speaker is subconscious.  I never knew there was a name for these things.  

Clavichord's list is also helpful, but things on it bother me.  New Zealand is not an adjective in any normal sense of the word.  Same with slave and several others on the list.  

We could develop a new class be developed for adjunct noun, but the equivalent of an English adjunct noun might be a German adjective.  Ideally, Paul would modify the overall system so that the class of the English word would not need to agree with the class of the German word.  But this is unlikely to happen.  

Maybe the best solution is to just enter all the phrases in which lake can be used as an adjunct noun.  I believe there are a finite number of them.  

Or maybe we could do something like

lake +...= See...

and have the word class be adjnoun for short or adjunct noun for long.  The plus sign on the ENglish side would indicate that in English there is a phrase created while the ... on the German side with no space would indicate that a compund word is formed on the German side.  


lake [sth.] = See[etw.]

with class -= adjunct noun.
in Oxford  #471865
von Don (NZ/GB), 2009-10-31, 11:54  like dislike  Spam?  
Oxford describes such usage of a noun as a noun modifier - they're not adjectives as such. I think the [attr.] tag is probably the best solution.
4;polarjud - this is quite common, not that rare at all.
New Zealand  #472163
von Don (NZ/GB), 2009-11-02, 00:57  like dislike  Spam?  
Polarjud mentions New Zealand as not being an adjective, which is true, but there is no other adjective instead of this, so New Zealand is also used as an adjective (or noun modifier) by default - e.g. the New Zealand government.
Don  #472179
von polarjud (US), 2009-11-02, 02:48  like dislike  Spam?  

What word class do you think appropriate for such entries?  The word class for the New Zealand entry in given as adjective.  Do you think this correct/optimal?

On rareness, I meant that nouns like lake can only modify a small set of other nouns.  The set of nouns modifiable by New Zealand is larger, of course, but I think that most of the time when nouns can function as noun modifiers, the set of nouns any particular one can modify is fairly small.  

polarjud  #472192
von Don (NZ/GB), 2009-11-02, 07:38  like dislike  Spam?  
OK, I see what you mean now.
With lake as a noun modifier, I suppose there is no equivalent adjective in German, it is the See- prefix instead. However, New Zealand as a noun modifier does have a German adjective - neuseeländisch - and the adj tag is traditionally placed on the English side. This is perhaps what causes some confusion, but it has to go somewhere.
I am now finding that with other languages, e.g. Dutch-English, that adj adv etc. appear on the Dutch side.
May be a new tag would help  #472599
von BHM (DE), 2009-11-03, 16:11  like dislike  Spam?  
Why not introduce a new tag, namely {attr. noun} to cover things like "lake resort" or "hospital staff" or "factory outlet". "Attributive noun" would make the function the respective noun has in its context absolutely clear.
I think we had this discussion a few times already.  #473249
von Thorsten1 (DE), 2009-11-05, 17:15  like dislike  Spam?  
The problem is that the whole concept of "word class" is pretty fuzzy to begin with; there's no point in arguing whether a given word or phrase, such as "lake" or "New Zealand", is or isn't an adjective. English in particular is very flexible in that it allows the use the same word for different grammatical functions - "phone", for example, can function as a noun, a verb, or a noun modifier. For pragmatical reasons, I suggest to stay close to the previous practice and tag all noun modifiers as "adjectives". In the present case, this would result in "lake | See-... {adj}" and "lake | See {m} {noun}".
Thorsten1 Paul  #473264
von tomaquinaten (US/DE), 2009-11-05, 18:26  like dislike  Spam?  
Als clav, ddr und ich am Anfang dieser Diskussion bemerkten, die bisherige Praxis spricht nicht eindeutig für "Adj.", sondern eher für "Attr." im Sinne von "attributive noun". Vgl. Wikipedia(EN): Adjective unter 5. "Other noun modifiers". In solchen Fällen erscheint das, was auf der englischen Seite als alleinstehender Modifikator steht,  auf der deutschen Seite meistens als Bestandteil eines zusammenzusetzenden Kompositums, z.B. "lake = See-...". Gerade um solche Fälle von normalen Adjektiven abzuheben, pladiere ich für "[Attr.]. So hatten wir uns auch einmal in der Vergangenheit geeinigt. Sollten wir uns diese Einigung jetzt umstossen und einheitlich "[Adj.]" vergeben, wird die Wortartbezeichnung "[Attr.]" gegenstandslos und sollte getilg werden. *4;Paul*: Auf alle Fälle muss die Entscheidung in den GL festgehalten werden, sonst haben wir nach einem Jahr wieder die gleiche Diskussion
tomaquinaten  #473669
von Thorsten1 (DE), 2009-11-07, 21:26  like dislike  Spam?  
I fully understand your point, but the rule you mention has never been applied consistently and arguably creates as much confusion as it removes. :(  I for one have entered many nouns functioning as adjectives, simply tagging them as adjectives.

To repeat, the problem is that in a highly analytic language like English, word class is less an inherent morphological feature of a given word than it is a description of a word's function within a sentence. In fact, it's an ex-post categorization applied to a complex reality that often defies unambiguous categorizations.

Is "fast" an adverb (verb modifier) or an adjective (noun modifier)? It can be either, of course, depending on its function in a given sentence. Why should an adjective that can also function as an adverb without any visible modification be called something else than an adjective that can't? If it shouldn't, why should an adjective that can also be an noun be called something else than an adjective that can't? This is just adding a layer of complexity that is useless for all practical purposes. Why should we be racking our brains over the question whether "paper" in "paper aeroplane", "fun" in "a fun thing", "student" in "student life", etc., are "real" adjectives or just nouns dressing up as adjectives, i.e. "attributes"?  Why should "English" in "an English boy", or "Glaswegian" in "a Glaswegian girl" be classed as adjectives, but "New Zealand" in "a New Zealand boy", or "New York" in "a New York boy" as an attribute, when their function is absolutely the same? Why should "Californian" in "Californian governor" be an adjective, but "Massachusetts" in "Massachusetts governor" an attribute?

Thinking this through, it gets even more confusing than that: In your own (excellent) manual, you use the word "anti-employer" as an example for "a noun that is used as an adjective, i.e. as an attribute" (p. 16). However, while "anti-employer" may look like a noun, it is, of course, never used as a noun. (Or when was the last time anyone called unionists "anti-employers"?) For all practical purposes, the word only exists as a noun-modifier, i.e. an adjective, but not as a standalone noun – it simply doesn't lead the double life that otherwise justifies the "{attr}".

It gets worse still when you consider the new languages. The trouble is that word classes always refer to a complete translation pair, not just to one side of it. This makes sense, too, because you can't translate a noun with a verb or an adjective with an adverb – but you can, and often have to, translate an adjective that is also a noun in one language with one that isn't in the other language. It may have been a lesser problem to have a separate word class for attributes as long as we only had English and German – they're closely related and so the nouns doubling up as adjectives are often the same: "Paper" in "paper aeroplane" and "Papier-" in "Papierflugzeug" can arguably both be called attributes. But what about "papierowy" in the Polish "papierowy samolot"? It's a perfectly straightforward adjective, and no Polish speaker would think of putting it in any other word class. This is by no means a singular problem – it's systematic: As a highly synthetic language, all adjectives in Polish are instantly recognizable as such by the presence of suffixes. A "New York boy" is a "nowojorski chłopiec" (not a "Nowy Jork chłopiec"), "student life" is "życie studenckie" (not "życie student") etc.

In sum, I'd say its neither necessary nor possible to maintain the distinction between adjectives and attributes in a multilingual, at least not on the level of word classes.
Guidelines Discussion Opened: "6b. Word Classes"  #473734
von Guidelines System, 2009-11-08, 12:24  like dislike  Spam?  0.0....
Guidelines Vorschlag  #473735
von tomaquinaten (US/DE), 2009-11-08, 12:32  like dislike  Spam?  
Um diese Diskussion zu einem Abschluß zu bringen, habe ich jetzt einen Vorschlag für die Guidelines entworfen [vorgesehen als 6 bis, der Vorschlag erscheint unter Nr 16]. Ich habe versucht sämtliche bisherige Praxisregel zusammenzufassen, nicht nur die Lösung für die hiesige Frage. Ich begrüße jede Verbesserung.
Was die hiesige Frage betrifft, gehe ich davon aus, dass eine Klasse "attr." sich nicht durchgesetz hat und sollte deswegen getilgt werden.
Usefulness  #473740
von Catesse (AU), 2009-11-08, 14:21  like dislike  Spam?  
My attitude to all such discussions is simply this: DOES IT HELP THE USER?
I do not think that these terms should be used willy-nilly for the gratification of grammarians.
I am not feeling up to getting into an argument about this.
But remember the KISS principle.
Ich halte das ständige Ummodeln der Guidelines  #473771
von rabend (DE/FR), Last modified: 2009-11-08, 18:49  like dislike  Spam?  
für schlicht ärgerlich. Bin ich der einzige?

Erst war es ja mal so bedrock
und so soll es nun anscheinend auch wieder werden. Doch wieviel unnützer Streit in der Zwischenzeit...

Zur Erinnerung:
+ Diskussion[]=fo_notify_a:n#...
rabend  #473819
von Catesse (AU), 2009-11-09, 02:12  like dislike  Spam?  
Nein, das bist du nicht.
Lasst gut sein, es sei denn, daß etwas unzweideutig falsch ist.
Retrospectivity  #473828
von Catesse (AU), Last modified: 2009-11-09, 03:12  like dislike  Spam?  
Has anybody given a thought to the thousands of entries that would have to be changed if this is to be implemented retrospectively?
"Whole sentences, phrases (including prepositional constructions with a noun or pronoun object), examples and fixed expressions, as well as cardinal numbers, do not belong to any word class and should be marked with "[none]"."
1. There are sites where all numbers ( maybe some two dozen or more) have been entered as something or other (noun or adjective).
2. In many - probably all - languages, there are prepositional phases consisting of more than one word.
3. There are prepositional constructions that are in fact "adverbial phrases" (of time, place or manner). Over the various sites, there must be thousands marked as adverbs, and, I think, usefully so. Are we now to mark them all as 'none'? (And retrospectively?)
Further note: the marking of a noun with a gender tag does not work on many sites. It got me into a lot of bother on the EN-PL site because I assumed that it would, but it did not.
rabend: NEIN!  #473846
von Wenz, 2009-11-09, 09:02  like dislike  Spam?  83.171.147...
Und ganz bestimmt sind noch andere dieser Meinung. Nur sagen sie nicht, was sie denken!
Catesse spricht es an. Außer dem DOES IT HELP THE USER?, gebe ich noch zu Bedenken, daß all diese grammatikalischen Feinheiten für den Normaleinsteiger bei dict ein großes Hindernisse darstellen bzw. darstellen können. Und ist es nicht das Ziel, mehr "engagierte Mitmacher" für die diversen dicts zu gewinnen?
Meine Rede von Anfang an: Macht's halt nicht so kompliziert!!!
rabend catessa  #473849
von tomaquinaten (US/DE), 2009-11-09, 09:08  like dislike  Spam?  
I understand your annoyance. As Paul has defined them, the GL should  be kept to a minimum and should not be subjected to ideosyncratic perfectionistic change requests. In this case, however, the large number of votes for my proposed addition to the GL indicates that many contributors, especially among the top scorers, also see a need for a clear formulation of how we are to handle the word classes. My intention was not to lay down any new rules, but rather to bring together what in my opinion appeared to be a consensus. Contrary to my expectations, no voter took exception to any of my formulations. I would have welcomed any improvements.

The rule "Whole sentences, phrases (including prepositional constructions with a noun or pronoun object), examples and fixed expressions, as well as cardinal numbers, do not belong to any word class and should be marked with "[none]." essentially reproduces Paul's original formulation.
Admittedly, I have added the parenthesis "including prepositional constructions with a noun or pronoun object". I did this, because I really do not know what other "phrases" might be meant, surely not noun or verb phrases. The formulation "constructions with a noun or pronoun object" was meant to account for multiple word prepositions like "in regard to": here the noun "regard" is not the object but a part of the preposition,
I am aware that in the past, prepositional phrase functioning as adverbs have often, but by no means always been classed as adverbs. But should we really continue this inconsistent and arbitrary practice for all eternity? As for myself, I can live with the inconsistencies of the past. I see no need for manually searching out and changing all such class assignments; perhaps Paul can do it automatically.
The mention of "cardinal numbers" simply reproduces the current rule.
16. 6b. Word Classes [UNDER DISCUSSION]  #473879
von Wenz, 2009-11-09, 10:37  like dislike  Spam?  83.171.147...
Ich kopiere aus
...Nouns are automatically assigned to the "noun" class, when a gender or plural tag is inserted on the German side. Names of persons, institutions etc. without such tags should be manually marked as nouns. ...
Names of persons, institutions etc. werden durch Klicken gekennzeichnet. Es war früher mal so, daß Personen kein (m) oder (f) zugeordnet wurde, deshalb gibt es noch eine geringe Anzahl an Einträgen ohne Geschlecht.
Discussion  #473883
von Catesse (AU), 2009-11-09, 11:16  like dislike  Spam?  
I think we must all keep in mind that persons with conflicting opinions are trying to work out what is best for dict. (I hope.)
But it still gives me a thumping headache.
all  #473954
von Thorsten1 (DE), 2009-11-09, 15:10  like dislike  Spam?  
4;Rabend: "ständige Ummodeln der Guidelines" – I don't remember that the guidelines regarding this have ever actually been changed. The threads you're quoting merely demonstrate how utterly confusing the  "attribute vs. adjective" topic is, even to regulars. The only way to avoid such futile and time-consuming discussions in the future is to make a clean cut.

4;Catesse: You wrote "My attitude to all such discussions is simply this: DOES IT HELP THE USER? [...] remember the KISS principle. " A discussion that ultimately results in the removal of a somewhat arcane and practically useless distinction really does help the user. And having a single category for noun-modifiers is a good illustration of the KISS principle.
"Has anybody given a thought to the thousands of entries that would have to be changed if this is to be implemented retrospectively?" That indeed is an issue. But as the German saying goes, besser ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Schrecken ohne Ende. Besides, nobody is forcing us to change everything in one day. Also, it shouldn't be too much of a problem to simply delete all occurrences of "attr." from the database and replace them with "adj." (or whatever tag is considered suitable for noun-modifiers by the majority - personally, I'm fine with "adj".

4;Wenz: Glad to see you're back. :) You wrote: "daß all diese grammatikalischen Feinheiten [...] ein großes Hindernisse darstellen bzw. darstellen können. Meine Rede von Anfang an: Macht's halt nicht so kompliziert!!!"  I couldn't possibly agree more, except that it leads me to the opposite conclusion: The distinction between "attributes" and "adjectives" is a "grammatikalische Feinheit" of little or no practical value, it makes things more complicated than necessary, so it should be abolished once and for all.

I think it's a pity that Tomaquinaten's proposal for a guideline change isn't being received in a more friendly way.
Guidelines Discussion Closed!  #474476
von Guidelines System, 2009-11-11, 12:25  like dislike  Spam?  0.0....
Okay!  #474483
von Paul (AT), 2009-11-11, 12:44  like dislike  Spam?  
I'll try to change the text to make it easier to read for beginners and I'll move it up to the "general" section.
Ich habe jetzt den gesamten allgemeinen Teil der Guidelines überarbeitet.  #474609
von Paul (AT), 2009-11-11, 18:07  like dislike  Spam?  
Ich habe versucht, die Guidelines zu kürzen und in kleine, möglichst verständliche Häppchen zu unterteilen. Von den Regeln her hat sich nichts geändert, nur ein paar wiederkehrende Fragen von neuen Teilnehmenden habe ich noch beantwortet.
Falls jemandem noch etwas auffällt, bitte mir per E-Mail schicken, um längere Diskussionen zu vermeiden.

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