Glossary of grammatical terms used in

English Grammar: Theory and Use (2nd edition)

by Hilde Hasselgård, Per Lysvåg, Stig Johansson

© 1999/2012 Hilde Hasselgård. Do not copy or distribute without permission.
The second edition of English Grammar: Theory and Use (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2012) replaces the 1998 edition by Hilde Hasselgård, Stig Johansson and Per Lysvåg




























active voice (aktiv): used about a verb phrase not marked for the passive voice. Typically (but not necessarily), the subject of an active verb phrase is the 'doer of an action'. Examples of sentences with verbs in the active voice: Sheila wrote a letter. Peter saw a reindeer. They have left. There is no morphological marker of the active voice.

adjectival (adjektivisk): having a function similar to an adjective, i.e. functioning as a modifier of a noun (within a noun phrase) or as subject or object predicative. The term is often used about subordinate clauses which function as postmodifiers (relative clauses and non-finite clauses), and about nouns when they function as premodifiers, as in train station. Examples of adjectival clauses: He dates a girl who is a model. They are showing a film starring Meryl Streep.

adjective (adjektiv): one of the lexical word classes. Adjectives are typically descriptive of a noun; they denote qualities, characteristics and properties of people, things and phenomena. Examples: red, dark, small, round, overwhelmed, certain, fantastic. Most adjectives can be compared for degree, and the forms are called positive, comparative and superlative, respectively. Examples: small – smaller – smallest; good – better– best; difficult– more difficult – most difficult.

adjective phrase (adjektivfrase): a phrase with an adjective as its head. An adjective can be intensified by an adverb (as in very good, extremely popular, more difficult), and complemented in various ways. Often an adjective is complemented by a clause, as in the adjective phrases glad to see you, sorry that you couldn't come, smaller than I expected. An adjective phrase can also have an adverb as a postmodifier, as in big enough. Adjective phrases function as modifiers of nouns or as predicatives.

adjunct ('forholdsadverbial'). A type of adverbial indicating the circumstances of the action. Adjuncts may be obligatory or optional. They express such relations as time, place, manner, reason, condition, i.e. they are answers to the questions where, when, how and why. E.g. He lives in Brazil (place adjunct). She was walking slowly (manner adjunct), since she was in no hurry (adjunct of reason).

adverb (adverb): one of the lexical word classes. Adverbs are a very heterogeneous word class. Many are derived from adjectives, and are therefore largely descriptive or evaluative, and typically end in -ly (e.g. greatly, slowly). These can generally be compared for degree, using more/most. Others refer to such things as time, place and reason (e.g. now, yesterday, here, everywhere, therefore), while yet others may express connections between sentences (linking adverbs, e.g. however, so, nevertheless). Adverbs function as intensifiers in adjective phrases or adverb phrases, or as adverbials.

adverbial (adverbial): syntactic function at clause level. Adverbials may be obligatory, though most of them are not. However, they can be added freely to any clause pattern. There are three main types: Adjuncts, conjuncts, and disjuncts. Adverbials can be realized by adverbs, adverb phrases, noun phrases, prepositional phrases, or subordinate clauses.

adverb phrase (adverbfrase): a phrase with an adverb as its head. The head may be preceded by an intensifier (another adverb) and followed by a complement or a postmodifier (usually a prepositional phrase or a clause). E.g. very beautifully, terribly slowly, too fast for me, more slowly than I wanted to go.

affected ('berørt' ): a semantic role referring to the participant in a clause that is affected by the action expressed by the verbal. This semantic role of ‘affected’ is typical of direct objects (The cat killed the mouse), but subjects may also refer to affected participants, particularly (but not exclusively) in passive clauses. (The mouse was killed. The glass broke.)

affix (affiks): a part of a word which is connected with the word's meaning or syntax, but is not a root (e.g. -s and -ed in play-s and play-ed). An affix may be a prefix or a suffix (and in some languages other than English, an infix). Affixes can also be called inflectional and derivational morphemes.

agent (agens): a semantic role referring to the 'doer of the action'. In an active clause, the agent participant is typically expressed as the subject (Peter killed a poodle). In a passive clause, the agent can be realized by a prepositional phrase introduced by by (The poodle was killed by Peter). The agent in a passive clause is analysed as an adverbial (agent adjunct).

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alternative question (alternativt spørsmål): A type of question where the hearer is asked to choose between alternatives. E.g. Would you like tea or coffee? Will you go by train or by air? In form, alternative questions are similar to yes/no interrogatives, in starting with the finite operator and not containing a question word. In function they maybe similar to wh-questions, in that they ask for a specific piece of information to be filled in.

anaphoric (anaforisk - som peker tilbake noe tidligere i teksten): an anaphoric word/phrase points backwards in the text, i.e. you find out what an anaphoric word/phrase refers to by looking at the preceding context. Words that are typically anaphoric are personal pronouns, possessive determiners, definite and demonstrative determiners, demonstrative pronouns. See also anaphoric reference.

anaphoric reference (referanse til noe tidligere i teksten): reference backwards in the text. A personal pronoun, for example, often has anaphoric reference, i.e. you have to look at the preceding context to see what it refers to. In the example, she has anaphoric reference: Ann was studying for her exams. She found it difficult to concentrate. Compare cataphoric reference.

antecedent (korrelat): term used in connection with relative pronouns and relative clauses. The antecedent of a relative pronoun or a relative clause is the noun phrase that the pronoun or the clause refers back to. In the following examples the antecedent of the relative clause is underlined: This is a book that I recommend. Our new English teacher, who did not know the building, had trouble finding the auditorium.

anticipatory it (it som foreløpig subjekt eller objekt): it is called 'anticipatory' when is a place-holder for a subject or an object which is realized as a clause (an infinitive clause or an ing-clause). Anticipatory it functions as anticipatory subject (example 1) or anticipatory object (example 2). In clauses with it as anticipatory subject, it is usually possible to remove the anticipatory it and move the notional subject (the real subject, realized by a clause) to subject position. With an anticipatory object, a similar operation is impossible.
(1) It is a pleasure for me to welcome you all to Oslo. (To welcome you all to Oslo is a pleasure for me)
(2) I find it amazing that nobody has thought of this before.

anticipatory object (foreløpig (direkte) objekt): a word - it - which occurs in object position. It carries no independent meaning, but points forward to the notional direct object which is placed later in the sentence. The notional object is always a clause (that-clause or non-finite clause). Anticipatory objects occur only in clauses where there is also either an object predicative or a beneficiary adjunct. In contrast to anticipatory subjects, the anticipatory object cannot be replaced by the notional object, for reasons of end weight. E.g. You owe it to him to reply to the invitation. I find it strange that he hasn't replied to our invitation.

anticipatory subject (foreløpig subjekt): a word - it or there - which occurs in subject position. It carries little or no independent meaning, and points forward to the notional subject which is placed later in the sentence for reasons of end weight or emphasis. If the anticipatory subject is there, the notional subject will be a noun phrase, usually indefinite (E.g. There are a couple of books in my shopping bag). If the anticipatory subject is it, the notional subject is a nominal clause (E.g. It was terrible to hear about your accident.) In most cases it is possible to dispense with the anticipatory subject and put the notional subject in front of the verbal, e.g. A couple of books are in my shopping bag; To hear about your accident was terrible. See also anticipatory it and existential there.

antonym (antonym - ord med motsatt betydning): A word which means the opposite of another word. E.g. large - small, expensive - cheap, happy - sad.

antonymy (antonymi): sense relation between two words with opposite meanings. Examples: light/dark, dead/alive, slow/quick.

apposition (apposisjon): expansion of a noun phrase, whereby a second noun phrase is added which has the same reference as the first, but a different form. E.g. Tony Blair, the British prime minister; my youngest sister, Carrie; the most beautiful cottage, the place I always dreamt of owning. Sometimes a nominal clause can be in apposition to a noun phrase, if it defines or specifies the reference of the noun phrase. E.g. the fact that they can’t afford it; their belief that nature is sacred.

article (artikkel): a type of function word. English has definite (the) and indefinite (a, an) articles. They function as (central) determiners in noun phrases. The term 'zero article' is sometimes used in referring to noun phrases with no expressed determiner, e.g. indefinite nouns in the plural, as in There are pictures on the wall.

aspect (aspekt): a category of the verb. Aspect views the action/state from within, and key terms are 'duration' and 'completion'. In contrast to tense, aspect does not locate an action/state in time. The English verb phrase can be marked for two different aspects; the progressive and the perfective.

attributive (attributiv): term used of adjectives which premodify nouns, i.e. an adjective placed in front of a noun is said to be in attributive position, and to have attributive function. Attributive function implies that the adjective refers to an attribute of the noun referent. E.g. blue eyes, happy couple, impossible situation. In contrast to predicative adjectives, attributive adjectives generally represent properties of the noun referent that are taken for granted, and are not 'up for discussion'.

auxiliary (hjelpeverb): a function word. There are two classes of auxiliary verbs: (1) grammatical auxiliaries (be, do, have) are part of grammatical constructions, but carry little meaning. (be followed by an -ing participle marks the progressive aspect, be followed by a past participle marks the passive voice, and have followed by a past participle marks the perfective aspect.) (2) modal auxiliaries (may/might, can/could, shall/should, will/would, must, ought to) are not part of grammatical constructions, but express modal meanings. See further modality.

auxiliary equivalent (verb/verbfrase som har samme betydning som et hjelpeverb): a phrase with roughly the same meaning as one of the modal auxiliaries. E.g. be willing to = will, be able to = can, be allowed to = may, be supposed to = must/should. The main function of (modal) auxiliary equivalents is to provide non-finite forms that express modal meanings, since modal auxiliaries proper have no non-finite forms. The use of auxiliary equivalents also makes it possible to express two modal meanings in the same clause, e.g. He may be willing to contribute. He won't be able to make it. We might not be allowed to camp here.

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bare infinitive (infinitiv uten to): infinitive without the infinitive marker to (e.g. as the infinitive appears after a modal auxiliary: will do, can walk, should stay. The bare infinitive is also referred to as the 'base form' of the verb.

base form (grunnform): an uninflected form of a word. The base form of a noun is its singular form, while the base form of verbs is the (bare) infinitive, and of adjectives and adverbs, the positive form. The base form of a word is what you find listed in a dictionary.

beneficiary (mottaker): semantic role, used to denote a participant that benefits from the action. The beneficiary role is typical of indirect objects and the related category of participant adjuncts. Examples: They gave her a present. They gave a present to their teacher. They bought a book for their teacher.

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case (kasus): a category of nouns and pronouns. Nouns do not have case in present-day English, but some personal and relative pronouns have two forms which are used according to their syntactic functions. The unmarked (subject) forms are used in with subject functions, and the object forms are used in other functions. The English genitive may also be referred to as case, though it differs from that of languages such as German where the genitive case may be triggered by other factors than possession/ownership.

Subject form (nominative)

Object form (accusative)

Genitive form

I, you, he, she, we, they, who

me, you, him, her, us, them, whom

mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs, whose

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cataphoric reference (referanse til noe lenger framme i teksten): reference forwards. Sometimes a pronoun such as he, she, it finds its reference in the following context, e.g. When I first met him, John Smith was wearing a very ugly T-shirt.
The definite article (the) is said to have cataphoric reference when the exact reference of the noun phrase is specified after the definite article (typically in noun phrases with postmodification), e.g. He always raves about the Sunday dinners his mother used to cook. Compare anaphoric reference.

catenative ('hjelpeverb'): a part of the verb phrase which is not among the auxiliaries, but it is followed by another verb which functions as the main verb in the verb phrase. Catenatives may have aspectual meanings, denoting the start, unfolding, or end of an action (e.g., stop running, get to like, continue to read), or modal meanings such as certainty and usuality (seem to like, appear to be, tend to occur). Finally, the catenative get may be a marker of the passive voice (get married, get paid), thus serving the same function as the grammatical auxiliary be. Unlike auxiliaries, catenatives require do-insertion (or the support of another finite operator) in negative and interrogative sentences.

classifying genitive (bestemmende genitivsledd): a genitive expression which indicates that the head noun belongs to a particular class of things. It functions as a premodifier in a noun phrase. Sometimes (but not always!) the meaning of the noun phrase with a classifying genitive is not predictable from the meaning of the genitive phrase + the meaning of the head noun. E.g. men's room ('toilet'- not a room belonging to men), doctor's degree (an academic degree), children's books (a particular type of books), shepherd’s pie (an English dish). It is only the s-genitive that can be classifying. An English noun phrase with a classifying genitive often corresponds to a compound noun in Norwegian (e.g. herretoalett, doktorgrad, barnebøker). Compare specifying genitive.

classifying modifier (bestemmende adledd/beskriverledd): a premodifier of a noun which indicates that the head noun belongs to a particular class of things. E.g. a mobile phone is a particular kind of telephone. The classifying genitive (see above) is a type of classifying modifier. Other classifying modifiers are either adjectives or nouns used as premodifiers. The meaning of the combination of classifying premodifier + noun may not be predictable from the meaning of the modifier + the meaning of the head noun. E.g. top hat, black eye, personal computer, fine arts, compact car, steam engine, red-light district. If a noun phrase has more than one premodifier, the classifying modifier is always placed immediately before the head noun. An English noun phrase with a classifying modifier often corresponds to a compound noun in Norwegian (e.g. mobiltelefon, flosshatt, dampmaskin). Compare specifying modifier.

clause (setning): a group of phrases, usually centred around a verb phrase functioning as verbal. The valency of the verb (i.e. the head of the verb phrase) decides how many clause elements need to be present. Clauses can be main clauses or subordinate clauses , and they can be finite or non-finite. Usually, a finite clause contains at least a subject in addition to the verb. A main clause can be a complete sentence, or clauses can combine to form complex or compound sentences. Most finite clauses contain a subject in addition to the verbal, while most non-finite clauses do not have a subject.

clause element (setningsledd): a word, phrase, or clause that has a syntactic function in a clause. The most common types of clause element are subject, verbal, direct object, indirect object, subject predictive , object predicative, and adverbial. In addition there may be an opening connector. (Syntactic functions that are not included in the basic clause patterns are anticipatory subject, anticipatory object, free predicative, vocative and insert.)

clefting (utbryting): an operation which splits a clause (e.g. the butler killed the duke) into two, in order to give emphasis to a particular clause element. Cleft sentences are thus focusing devices which involve at least one subordinate clause. An it-cleft contains a clause which resembles a restrictive relative clause. E.g. It was the butler that/who killed the duke. A wh-cleft contains a nominal relative clause in either subject position or predicative position. E.g. What the butler did was kill the duke. Killing people is what butlers usually do in detective stories.

coherence (koherens): unity in a text, usually as regards content.

cohesion (kohesjon): unity in a text, usually as regards form. A study of cohesion is concerned with the links between clauses and sentences which help us interpret a series of sentences as a coherent text. While the term coherence usually refers to the thematic unity of a text, cohesion usually refers to the explicit linguistic marking of such unity, e.g. by means of cohesive ties (see below).

cohesive tie (kohesjonsmarkør): a word or phrase which marks a connection between sentences, or between a sentence and its context. Cohesive ties may be grammatical (relying on function words) or lexical (relying on lexical words). Examples of grammatical cohesive ties are pronouns, determiners and pro-forms with anaphoric or cataphoric reference. The use of conjunct adverbialsand conjunctions (to connect clauses/sentences) is another type of grammatical cohesive tie. Lexical cohesion may involve lexical repetition or the use of vocabulary items which are semantically related, e.g. synonyms, antonyms, hyponyms, or a set of words which simply relate to the same sort of topic or situation.

collective noun (substantiv med kollektiv betydning): a noun which refers to a group of people, e.g. family, team, committee. A particular feature of collective nouns is that they may occur with plural verbs and co-referential pronouns and determiners, even when the noun has singular form. When they occur with plural forms, the emphasis is on the group as consisting of several members, e.g. Manchester United are in the lead. They have not lost a single match in three months. (This is called 'distributive reading'.) When a collective noun co-occurs with singular verbs and pronouns, the emphasis is on the group as a unit ('unit reading'): The committee has its last meeting today, and will submit on Tuesday. The use of plural verbs with collective nouns occurs mainly in British English, while both American and British English may use plural pronouns to refer back to a collective noun.

collocation (kollokasjon): a pair or group of words which tend to occur together. For example, pretty often collocates with nouns referring to women and girls, while handsome tends to collocate with nouns referring to men.

command (kommando): a communicative function, typically realized by a sentence in the imperative. A command is used when a speaker wants the hearer to do something. Examples: Sit down. Open your books. Listen carefully.

comment clause (kommentarsetning): A clause which has the form of a main clause, but which is communicatively subordinate to another clause. Typical examples of comment clause are you know, you see, I suppose, I think, which are inserted into another clause. Comment clauses are typical of speech. They often have the same communicative function as modal disjuncts (I think / I suppose he is right = He is probably right). Comment clauses thus function syntactically as disjuncts.

comment question (kommentarspørsmål): a communicative function which is typical of dialogue. Comment questions are formally similar to tag questions, but slightly different in function, as they are largely signals from a hearer that s/he acknowledges the speaker's statement, and invites him/her to continue. E.g. A: I've just been to the bookshop. B: Oh, have you? Comment questions are usually spoken with falling intonation.

common noun (fellesnavn, appellativ): a type of noun. Common nouns refer to (classes of) people, things, phenomena and ideas, i.e. they are not names unique to any member of a class (compare proper noun). Common nouns are spelled with lower-case letters. E.g. person, teacher, house, window, grammar, flower, idea, confidence, movement. Common nouns can occur with articles and modifiers, and countable nouns may vary between the singular and the plural.

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communicative function (kommunikativ funksjon): the function of any sentence/ sentence fragment in communication, e.g. question, statement, command, apology, request. In other words, the communicative function of a sentence (fragment) reflects what the speaker wants to do with the utterance; how s/he wants the hearer to respond. The communicative function of a sentence can be worked out partly from its form (though there is no one-to-one correspondence between sentence form and communicative function), and partly from intonation (in speech) or from the context of the sentence. Communicative functions have also been described as giving or demanding information or goods and services (by means of language).

comparative (komparativ): one of the forms in adjective/adverb comparison, the one that is usually mentioned second, saying that something is more or less than something else. Comparative forms of adjectives and adverbs either end in -er, or they are preceded by more/less: E.g. great - greater- greatest, terribly- more terribly - most terribly

comparison (komparasjon - bøying av adjektiv/adverb): the declension of adjectives/adverbs, indicating degree. There are three forms: the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. The positive is the base form (good, fast, thoroughly). The comparative indicates a higher degree (better, faster, more thoroughly), and the superlative indicates the highest degree (best, fastest, most thoroughly).

complement (utfylling): an element which completes a structure (phrase or clause). The complement of a preposition is the part of a prepositional phrase following the preposition (usually a noun phrase), e.g. in South Africa, at a higher level, by the end of next week. The complement of an adjective gives an essential specification of the meaning of the adjective, and is sometimes syntactically obligatory, e.g. afraid of the dark, eager to start, happy to have passed the exam.

complementation (utfylling): term used mostly about how verbs combine with other clause elements to form clauses/sentences. The complementation of a verb thus consists in supplying all the elements that are necessary for that verb to function as a verbal in a grammatical clause. See also valency.

complement of preposition (utfylling til en preposisjon): part of a prepositional phrase , i.e. the part that follows the preposition. The complement of a preposition is usually a noun phrase, e.g. in the office, of every week, from Italy. When we find other word classes as complement of a preposition, these words still have a nominal function (and may perhaps be regarded as nouns), e.g. by tomorrow, until then, from there. Likewise,-ing

 clauses  and indirect questions may be the complement of a preposition, e.g. by adding milk, [a question] about how to get there.

complex preposition (sammensatt preposisjon): a preposition consisting of more than one word, but expressing one relation. E.g. He pulled a hook out of the floor. There's a red car in front of us.

complex sentence (helsetning med leddsetning): a complex sentence consists of a main clause with at least one associated subordinate clause. E.g. (the subordinate clauses are underlined) The social worker was older than she had expected. They both knew why she was here. If it had to be done, she was sure that Mrs Henderson would do a good enough job of it. She posted her application, enclosing a stamped, addressed envelope.

complex transitive verb (treverdig verb med objekt og objektspredikativ eller adverbial): a three-place verb which combines with an object predicative or an obligatory adverbial in addition to the subject and a direct object. Examples with object predicative: He made her happy. She found it interesting. We painted the town red. Examples with obligatory adverbial: She put the books in her bag. They keep the diamonds in a safe.

compound noun (sammensatt substantiv): a noun which is made up of two or more lexemes. The lexemes may both be nouns, or they can represent different word classes. Examples: flowerpot, grammar book, dishwasher, stand-up comedian, walk-about, hangover. There are no clear rules for when a compound noun is spelt as one word or two, with or without a hyphen. The general tendency is for frequent and well-established compounds to be spelt as one word, and for others to be spelt as two (usually without a hyphen).

compound sentence (to eller flere helsetninger som er ordnet parataktisk): a sentence consisting of at least two main clauses which are co-ordinated (usually by means of one of the co-ordinating conjunctions).

concord (samsvar/kongruens): agreement in grammatical form between elements in a clause or a phrase. The term refers most commonly to the agreement between the form of the subject and the form of a verb in a sentence; namely that if the subject phrase is in the third person singular, a present tense verb must end in -s. E.g. I sing, she sings, we sing. (The verb to be has special forms for other types of subjects too, as well as a distinction between first and third person singular (was) and other subjects (were)).
The term 'concord' also applies to the relation between noun phrases and co-referential pronouns, i.e. the use of third person personal pronouns (he, she, it, they) and corresponding determiners (his, her, its, their), which have to agree in person, number and gender with their referent.

conditional clause (betingselsessetning): a type of adverbial subordinate clause. Conditional clauses are usually introduced by if or unless. (If I win a million dollars, I'll travel around the world.) Conditional clauses may also occur without a conjunction, as in Had I known you then, we could have had a lot of fun together.

conjunct (bindeadverbial): a type of adverbial. Conjuncts bind together sentences, and express relations between them, e.g. contrast (however, on the other hand), similarity (likewise, similarly), continuation (furthermore, moreover), digression/change of topic (anyway), sequence (first, to begin with, secondly, finally, to conclude). Conjuncts can also be described as text organizers, in that they guide the hearer/reader through the text, showing how the different pieces hang together, and where they belong in the text.

conjunction (konjunksjon): a type of function word. Conjunctions link together phrases and clauses. They can be co-ordinating (linking together equal parts), or subordinating (linking a subordinate clause to a matrix clause).

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connector (bindeord): connectors link together phrases, clauses, and sentences. They express such relationships as addition, contrast, and cause–effect. They are typically conjunctions (co-ordinating or subordinating) or conjunct adverbials. In relative clauses, the relative pronoun functions as connector (at the same time as it has another syntactic function in the relative clause, e.g. subject or object). Note that conjunct adverbials function syntactically as adverbials, while conjunctions have no other syntactic function than that of connector.

connotation (konnotasjon): part of the meaning of a word or a phrase; i.e. ideas and sentiments associated with it. E.g. smell, odour, and scent may refer to the same phenomenon, but they have different connotations.

content word = lexical word

context (kontekst): the text surrounding particular construction. The context of a clause or sentence is the text in which it is placed. The context of a word/phrase may be the clause in which it occurs, or the following and preceding clauses. The term is also used about the situation in which an utterance occurs, or in which a text is written ('context of situation').

continuous form (samtidsform): see progressive aspect.

co-ordinating conjunction (sideordnende konjunksjon): a conjunction which joins together equal entities, i.e. two phrases or two clauses. The co-ordinating conjunctions are and, but, or. The conjunctions for and nor are also often included among co-ordinating conjunctions. E.g. Sheila went to the party, but Paul stayed at home (co-ordination of main clauses). At the party she met her brother Peter and his new girlfriend (co-ordination of noun phrases).

co-ordination (sideordning): the combination of two equal parts; word/phrase + word/phrase or clause + clause. Co-ordination is usually marked by means of a co-ordinating conjunction (see above), but can also be marked by means of juxtaposition (just placing phrases/clauses next to one another without a conjunction), usually marked by a comma in writing. E.g. apples, pears, and bananas; small, elegant, and hugely expensive.

copular verb (uselvstendig verb): a term in syntax referring to verbs which are followed by a subject predicative rather than a direct object. Also called 'linking verb'. Copular verbs link together the subject and the subject predicative in a clause. The most common copular verb is be (used as a main verb). Other verbs which mean (approximately) the same also function as copular verbs (e.g. look, seem, appear), as well as become and other verbs with a similar meaning. To check if a verb is a copular verb (followed by a predicative) or a transitive verb (followed by an object) you can try if the verb can be replaced by a form of to be, possibly accompanied by 'I think'. E.g. He seems nervous = he is nervous, I think. A verb phrase can also function as a copular verb, if it indicates some kind of identity of the subject and the subject predicative. E.g. She is called Susan. She has been voted 'woman of the year'.

corpus (korpus): a large, structured database of texts that have been compiled for use in linguistic research. Examples of corpora are the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA).

countable (tellelig): a feature of nouns. Countable nouns can occur both in the singular and in the plural. They refer to people or things that can be counted. E.g. woman, poem, flower, bike, day, idea. Compare uncountable nouns.

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dangling modifier / dangling participle: see unattached participle.

declarative sentence (fortellende setning): a type of sentence (or, strictly speaking, a clause) in which the word order (in English) is S-V-X, with X symbolizing any element that may follow the verbal (object/predicative/obligatory adverbial). The typical communicative function of a declarative sentence is a statement, although declaratives may also have other functions. E.g. John pressed the button. She is at school. They found the hall empty. So you're a teacher? See also sentence form.

definite article (bestemt artikkel): a determiner in a noun phrase. The English definite article is the (as in the car, the ideas, the new teacher). The definite article specifies that the referent of the noun phrase can be identified, either because it has been mentioned before (anaphoric reference), because it will be specified later in the text (cataphoric reference), or because it is obvious from the physical surroundings or general knowledge of the speaker and hearer (situational reference). The definite article (unless it has cataphoric reference) typically signals that something is given information.

defining relative clause = restrictive relative clause.

demonstrative determiner (påpekende bestemmerord): a determiner indicating that something is known or identifiable, and which at the same times indicates whether the referent of the noun phrase is close or remote in distance, time or reality. The demonstrative determiners indicating closeness are this and these, and the ones indicating distance are that and those. They differ from the identical-looking demonstrative pronouns in that they are followed by a noun. E.g. this office, that office, these quarters, those quarters.

demonstrative pronoun (påpekende pronomen): a pronoun which points to something and indicates whether it is close or remote in distance, time or reality. The demonstrative pronouns indicating closeness are this and these, and the ones indicating distance are that and those. They differ from the identical-looking demonstrative determiners in that they are not followed by a noun. E.g. This is my chair. I don't believe that. Have you read these? Those are not mine.

derived noun (avledet substantiv): a noun which is based on another word, typically one belonging to a different word class. E.g. 'discovery' (from the verb 'discover'), 'weakness' (from the adjective 'weak'). Both of these words consist of a stem (discover/weak) plus a derivational morpheme (-y/-ness).

descriptive grammar (deskriptiv grammatikk): a way of writing grammar with the emphasis on describing how a language is actually used rather than aiming at correcting or preventing mistakes.

determiner (bestemmerord): a class of function words which occur at the beginning of noun phrases. Determiners say something about such things as number, definiteness, proximity and ownership. Classes of determiners are: articles (a/an, the), numerals, demonstrative determiners (this/that, these/those), indefinite determiners (some/any), possessive determiners (my, your, his, her, its, our, their), relative determiner (whose, whichever, whatever), interrogative determiner (which, what, whose). An s-genitive can also function as a determiner in a noun phrase. Determiners belonging to any of these classes are sometimes referred to as 'central determiners’. They do not combine with each other, i.e. there can only be one central determiner in a noun phrase. The central determiners can, however, combine with other (particularly quantifying) expressions in a determiner phrase. E.g. all my books, her two best friends, some of their money. In contrast to premodifiers, determiners are not descriptive of the head noun (with the possible exception of the s-genitive).

direct object (direkte objekt): a clause element which comes in addition to the subject and the verbal in transitive constructions. In English the direct object usually follows the subject and the verbal. It typically refers to somebody or something that is affected or brought about by the action denoted by the verb. The direct object is typically realized by a noun phrase (or a nominal clause). E.g. The dog bit its owner. I received a present. He made a mistake. She thinks grammar is interesting.

direct speech (direkte tale): a way of rendering speech in writing, by quoting (or pretending to quote) someone's actual words. A sentence with direct speech generally contains a quotation (given in inverted commas) and a reporting clause (of the type he said, she asked, etc.). E.g. 'I hope you don't mind dogs,' said Natalie. 'I hope he doesn't leave hairs on your nice new seats.' 'My wife will hoover them up,' said Angus. He was lying. 'And I don't mind anything so long as it's to do with you.'

discontinuous modification: a term that denotes a modifier being split by either the head of the phrase or by a clause element. We also talk about discontinuous modification when a postmodifier is separated from its head by another clause element. E.g. I was so thrilled by the present that I forgot to thank you. The time had come to decorate the house for Christmas.

discourse (diskurs): a text in use, i.e. as a meaningful message from a sender to an addressee. Discourse can be spoken or written. In EGTU there is no distinction between the terms 'text’ and 'discourse', but in other contexts, if such a distinction is made, ‘discourse' refers to the process, and 'text' to the product of the speaking/writing.

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disjunct (holdningsadverbial): a type of adverbial that is always optional in the clause. Disjuncts are evaluative; they express the speaker's judgement of the truth of the utterance (modal disjuncts, e.g. probably, certainly, maybe), the speaker's evaluation of a fact (fact-evaluating disjuncts, e.g. fortunately, actually, to my surprise), the speaker's comment on his/her own wording of the sentence (e.g. briefly, in other words, to tell you the truth), or the speaker’s comment on the subject referent (subject-evaluating disjuncts, e.g. Wisely, she spent the money = 'she was wise to spend the money')

distributive meaning (flertallsbetydning): the 'plural' meaning of a collective noun. When a collective noun has distributive meaning, it is referred to by means of plural personal pronouns, and in British English, it will co-occur with a plural form of the verb. E.g. The family are (AmE: is) sitting outside in the waiting room. They are all anxious to hear the news.

ditransitive verb (treverdig verb med to objekter): a ditransitive verb occurs with both a direct and an indirect object. E.g. give (I gave my love a cherry), send (The teacher sent me a letter). As regards valency, a ditransitive verb is three-place, i.e. it combines with three clause elements (subject, direct object, indirect object).

do-insertion (omskrivning med to do): also referred to as do-periphrasis or do-support. In forming interrogative sentences, English puts a form of do in front of the subject if there is no other auxiliary in the sentence. (Did you sleep well?) Similarly, in forming negative sentences, English attaches the negator not to the auxiliary do if there is no other auxiliary. (She doesn't want to come.) Do -insertion also occurs in declarative sentences to mark special emphasis (They really did turn up in the end), and in cases of subject-auxiliary inversion when there is no other auxiliary. (Not a single note did they miss.)

double genitive (dobbel genitiv): a double genitive is visible in a noun phrase which contains both the s-genitive (or a possessive pronoun) and the of-genitive. E.g. a friend of Mary's; that car of his. The double genitive makes it possible to combine the s-genitive with a central determiner because the s-genitive no longer has determiner function. The meaning of the double genitive is usually not much different from an ordinary genitive or a noun phrase with a possessive determiner (that car of his = his car). Sometimes the double genitive means 'one out of several' or 'some out of many' (a friend of mine / of Mary's = one of my/Mary's friends, some friends of mine / of Mary's= some of my/Mary's friends or just my/Mary's friends).

dummy it (ikke-referensielt 'det'): it used as a place-holder, without reference to anything, typically as an empty subject in clauses concerned with time, distance, temperature, weather (e.g. it is raining; it was too late), or in cleft constructions (e.g. It was English I wanted to study), or as an anticipatory subject or object (e.g. It was very unfortunate that he leaked that information to the press.)

dynamic passive (corresponding to a Norwegian bli-passiv): a passive voice construction which refers to an action. E.g. The house was redecorated (=Huset ble pusset opp). Compare stative passive.

dynamic verb (dynamisk verb): a verb which refers to an activity, action or event. E.g. move, read, discuss, fight, occur, crash, watch. Verbs which are not dynamic are referred to as 'stative '. The distinction between stative and dynamic verbs is relevant for the use of the progressive aspect and the passive voice, both of which occur mostly with dynamic verbs.

dysphemism (nedsettende omskrivning):the use of an offensive or derogatory word or phrase instead of a neutral one. E.g. brat ('child'), bitch ('woman'), loony bin ('mental hospital')

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echo question (ekkospørsmål): a communicative function, typically spoken with high rise intonation, and typically realized by an interrogative sentence or a fragment. An echo-question is used to ask someone to repeat (a part of) what they just said. In the following example, B's utterance is an echo-question. A: I'm going to France this summer. B: Where (are you going)? A: France (I said).

effected object (resultatobjekt): a semantic role of the direct object. An effected object refers to something that is brought about through the action denoted by the verbal. E.g. He wrote a complaint. She made a mistake.

ellipsis (ellipse): the omission of apart of a phrase or a clause, if that part has been stated previously in the context, and for that reason does not need to be repeated. In the following examples the ellipted material is given in brackets. (1) 'Would you like to have dinner with us?' - 'Yes, I'd love to' [have dinner with you]. (2) 'What did she tell you?' - [She told me] 'That she was busy.' (3) I should have finished that paper, but I haven't [finished that paper].

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embedding (underordning, innføyning): the insertion of a clause into a phrase or another clause, or of a phrase into another phrase. Examples of embedded clauses: What I do is none of your business. (nominal clause embedded as subject of another clause); He was afraid of driving through the big city. (- ing clause embedded in a prepositional phrase); Have you finished the paper you were writing? (relative clause embedded in noun phrase). Examples of embedded phrases: She is fond of cats (prepositional phrase embedded in adjective phrase); He was elected man of the year (prepositional phrase embedded in noun phrase).

empty it ('det' som formelt subjekt): a dummy (non-referring) it in clauses about weather, temperature, time, and distance, and in cleft constructions.

end position (plassen etter de obligatoriske leddene i en setning): a name given to the end of a clause, after all obligatory elements, or the position of the last obligatory element in a clause. Usually the term 'end position' is used in connection with the placement of adverbials. End position is the most common position for most types of adverbial adjuncts. E.g. She was walking home. He had been working in the same factory for over 20 years.

end weight principle (vektprinsippet): the tendency for long and heavy clause elements to be placed at the end of a clause.

epistemic modality (epistemisk modalitet): the use of modal auxiliaries to express the speaker's judgement as to whether or not something is true. E.g. Cinderella must have left by midnight. That slipper on the staircase might be hers. When modal auxiliaries are used epistemically, they may express strong probability (e.g. must), or weak probability (e.g. might). See further explanation here. In combination with the perfective aspect , epistemic modals refer to a past situation; otherwise they generally refer to the present. Epistemic modality may also be expressed by marginal modal auxiliaries (That slipper needn't be hers), or by modal disjuncts (Cinderella probably left before midnight. That slipper on the staircase is perhaps hers.).

etymology (etymologi): (the study of)the historical origins of a word.

euphemism (eufemisme, forskjønnende omskrivning): a way of referring to something unpleasant so as to make it appear less unpleasant. E.g. pass away (=die), relieve oneself (=urinate), put to sleep (=kill)

exclamation (utrop): a communicative function, used by a speaker to express excitement, surprise, anger, and other (strong) sentiments. Both phrases and clauses can function as exclamations. E.g. what a surprise! What a nice hat you've got! Wow! Damn! (What an) idiot!

existential there (there i presenterinsgssetninger): the use of there as an anticipatory subject in a presentative construction , i.e. in a clause about the existence or occurrence of something. The person/thing/phenomenon that is presented is expressed after the verb as the notional subject. In contrast to the locative adverb there, the existential there is normally pronounced as a weak form, and it does not carry any meaning (i.e. it does not contrast with here), but it is a signal of a presentative construction; a signal that something is going to be presented later in the clause. In sentences with there as an anticipatory subject, the verb is usually a form of to be, and it is followed by the notional subject, and often a place adverbial. We can thus set up the formula there + BE + notional subject+ adverbial. E.g. There is a fly in my soup. There was a change in the atmosphere. Once upon a time there was a very vain emperor.

extraposition (ekstraposisjon): term used about the position of a notional subject or object following an anticipatory subject or object. It means 'placement later in the clause', which is precisely what happens to a (notional) subject in extraposition. E.g. It was interesting to read her article. (Cp. to read her article was interesting)

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false friends (ord som har formelle likheter uten å bety det samme): for a learner of a foreign language, a false friend is a word in the foreign language which resembles a word in one’s mother tongue, but has a different meaning. For a Norwegian learner of English, the following words may be false friends: actual (resembles 'aktuell', but means 'real'), eventually (resembles 'eventuelt', but means 'at last'), grin (resembles 'grine', but means 'smile'), chin (resembles 'kinn', but refers to the area of your face below your mouth)

finite clause (finitt setning): a clause with a finite verb (phrase) in it. All main clauses are finite, while subordinate clauses may be either finite or non-finite.

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finite verb (finitt verb): a verb which is marked for tense (present or past) or modality. A finite verb phrase is a verb phrase with a finite verb in it. There can only be one finite verb in a verb phrase, and unless the verb phrase is simple, the finite is always the (first) auxiliary. All modals are finite. A verb in the imperative is also finite. See also non-finite.

free indirect speech (fri indirekte tale, dekt tale): a way of rendering speech (or thought) in writing. Free indirect speech has many of the grammatical features of indirect speech (backshifted tense, use of third person instead of first person pronouns, etc.), but does not involve a reporting clause followed by a that-clause or an indirect question. Free indirect speech thus looks less like reported speech, and often conveys a greater sense of immediacy than indirect speech. Free indirect speech is typical of fiction. E.g. She looked around the room. The floor would be a problem, of course. The carpet would have to go.

free predicative (fritt predikativ): a nominal or adjectival clause element that like a subject predicative specifies a property of the subject referent, but unlike the subject predicative is not linked to the subject by means of a copular verb. A free predicative can usually be moved about the sentence. E.g. Timid and shy, he kept in the background. They entered the house slowly, afraid of what they might find. A free predicative is always optional in the clause structure.

fronting (framflytting): moving a clause element that is usually placed after the verbal to the first position in the clause (i.e. before the subject and the verbal). The effect of fronting is usually that the fronted element receives special emphasis, often because it contrasts with something mentioned earlier. E.g. That programme I always watch. (fronting of direct object). In a few cases fronting causes inversion (fronting of negative or restrictive element, fronting of obligatory adverbial or adverbial particle, fronting of so + adjective/adverb, fronting of -ing or past participle clause)

function word (funksjonsord): a word which does not have much lexical meaning, but whose main function is to express a grammatical relation. Function words are auxiliaries, prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, determiners, the negator not, the existential there. The classes of function words are often described as 'closed', i.e. no new words can be added to them. Compare lexical word.

fuzzy category (kategori uten klare grenser): a category which does not have very clearly defined borderlines. The various types of adjunct adverbials are good examples of fuzzy categories. While some adjuncts are easily classified as e.g. time adjuncts or adjuncts of reason, others are less clear, e.g. Having spent a year in the village , she knew most of its inhabitants. (ambiguous between time and reason).

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gender (kjønn): a category of
nouns and pronouns. English does not have grammatical gender except with some pronouns and determiners, unlike Norwegian, where grammatical gender is reflected in the use of articles and adjectives (et lite hus, en liten bil, ei lita hytte). However, feminine pronouns/determiners are used with reference to females (Mary – she, her, herself, hers) and masculine pronouns/determiners are used with reference to males (Peter – he, him, his, himself, his).

generic reference (generisk referanse): reference to a whole class, rather than to individual and specified members of it. E.g. The wolf is no favourite with sheep farmers. (=wolves are not... The reference is to the wolf as a species.); Vegetables are good for you (the reference is to vegetables in general); People are often sceptical of changes. (People in general; no-one in particular.)

genitive (genitiv): traditionally, one of the cases of noun phrases. In present-day English, the genitive typically indicates a possessive relationship. It is expressed in English either by the s-genitive (Mary's books, the girls' books) or by the of-genitive (the title of the book, the lady of the house). The genitive can also denote a part-whole relationship (the eye of the needle, the days of the week, the heart of the matter). See also double genitive.

gradability (graderbarhet): a concept associated with adjectives (and some adverbs). A gradable adjective can be compared, or it can occur with intensifiers indicating that whatever quality the adjective refers to can be viewed in relative terms, as a scale. E.g. good (better, best), very good, too close, extremely sophisticated. Non-gradable adjectives refer to qualities and properties which are seen as absolute (e.g. dead - people/animals are either alive or dead; perfect - 'more' or 'less' perfect does not make sense, since perfection implies the highest degree already).

grammatical auxiliary (grammatisk hjelpeverb): see auxiliary.

grammatical cohesion (grammatisk kohesjon): the marking of cohesion in text by means of grammatical signals. Grammatical cohesion is realized by cohesive ties such as pronouns, determiners and pro-forms with anaphoric or cataphoric reference. The use of conjunct adverbialsand conjunctions (to connect clauses/sentences) is another type of grammatical cohesive tie. Tense choice can also signal grammatical cohesion by indicating the order of events. (Compare lexical cohesion.)

grammatical concord (grammatisk samsvar/kongruens): agreement between the grammatical form of the verb and the grammatical form of the subject. See also concord.

grammatical word = function word

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head (kjerne (i en frase)): the most important word in a phrase; the word that carries the main meaning of the phrase and that cannot be taken away. The head of a
noun phrase is a noun (or a pronoun); the head of a verb phrase is a verb; the head of an adjective phrase is an adjective; the head of an adverb phrase is an adverb. As regards prepositional phrases neither part of the phrase (preposition + noun phrase) is considered a head, since both parts have to be there in order for there to be a prepositional phrase. Thus no part of it can be said to be the more important one.

homograph (homograf): homographs are two or more words which have the same spelling, but different, unrelated meanings. E.g.down (feathers), down (downward); pole (stick) pole (as in North Pole).

homonymy (homonymi): a relation between two words which are spelt the same (homograph) or sound the same (homophone), but have different, unrelated meanings.

homophone (homofon): homophones are two or more words which sound the same, but have different, unrelated meanings. E.g. sea/see, no/know, deer/dear, which/witch.

hyponym (hyponym): a word which is included in the reference of another. E.g. rose, tulip, violet are all hyponyms of flower, and cottage, house, church, palace, shed are all hyponyms of building. (The more inclusive word is called the 'superordinate term'.)

hyponymy (hyponymi): a sense relation between two words, by which the reference of one includes the reference of the other. E.g. flower/tulip, animal/horse, building/tower, vehicle/car.

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idiom (idiom / fast uttrykk): a set expression which has a different meaning from what one might expect from the meaning of each word individually. E.g. kick the bucket (='die'), raise the eyebrows (='express surprise'), lend an ear (='pay attention'), play down (='minimize'). Idioms need not be very frequent, but are considered to be typical of native language use (hence the word ‘idiomatic’ = ‘natural and correct in grammar and style’).

imperative (imperativ): a sentence type typically used to make commands. E.g. Sit down. Give an analysis of this poem. Don't move until you've finished. An imperative sentence typically contains no grammatical subject, but the implied subject is 'you'. Sometimes a subject may be included, particularly in negative imperatives: Don't you dare touch that switch. Sentences such as Let's get out of here!; Let's kiss and make up, where the implied subject includes the speaker as well as the hearer(s), are also referred to as imperative.
The term 'imperative' is also used to refer to one of the three moods of the verb phrase, the others being the
indicative and the subjunctive. The imperative verb form (identical to the base form of the verb) is finite, although it does not vary for tense, aspect, or person/number.

inchoative (inkoativ): a grammatical aspect, by which the beginning of an action is specified. English does not have a separate form to express the inchoative aspect, but the expression 'be about to' is a marker of inchoative meaning (She was about to leave). We can also talk about a group of inchoative verbs which have as part of their meaning that they specify the beginning of an action or a process, e.g. darken, thicken, widen.

indefinite article (ubestemt artikkel): a determiner in a noun phrase. In English the indefinite articles are a and an. Their usage depends on whether the following word begins in a consonant sound (a) or a vowel sound (an).E.g. a cottage, a year, an apple, an hour. The indefinite article typically signals that something is mentioned for the first time, and thus represents new information. There is no plural indefinite article in English. The zero article with a following plural noun has much the same function. The indefinite article only occurs with countable nouns in the singular.

indefinite pronoun (ubestemt pronomen): a pronoun which refers to a non-specific thing, phenomenon, or person. The indefinite pronouns are anybody, anything, anyone, everybody, everything, everyone, nobody, nothing, no-one, somebody, something, someone, as well as one, some, any, all, every, each, both, either, neither, many, much, a lot of, few, (a) little, and others used as pronouns.

indicative (indikativ): one of the three moods of the verb phrase (the others being the imperative and the subjunctive). The indicative is the most common one, and is used for most communicative purposes, except for making explicit commands (for which the imperative is used). The indicative verb form differs from the others in varying for tense and aspect, and in showing grammatical concord with the subject in the present tense. Sentences in the indicative can be either declarative or interrogative.

indirect object (indirekte objekt): a clause element which may come in addition to a subject and a direct object and a three-place verb. An indirect object is usually placed between the verbal and the direct object, and it refers to something or somebody that benefits from the action, typically a recipient of something. E.g. I gave my girlfriend a ring. I asked her a question. He did me a favour. Indirect objects can often be paraphrased by mean of a prepositional phrase with to or for (e.g. I gave a ring to my girlfriend). Such prepositional phrases function as adjunct adverbials at clause level.

indirect question (avhengig spørresetning): a type of nominal subordinate clause. An indirect question reports a question, or at least represents a missing piece of information by means of an interrogative pronoun or adverb. E.g. He asked me why I was leaving. He didn't know why I was leaving. Do you know how to do this? They finally understood what was the matter.

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indirect speech (indirekte tale): a way of rendering speech in writing, by rewording what somebody said as a nominal that-clause or as an indirect question. E.g. Jane said that she hated old things. He asked when Mrs Palfrey was expected to arrive.

infinitive (infinitiv): the base form of the verb. Infinitives may occur with or without the infinitive marker to. E.g. (to) ask, (to) fight, (to) understand. An infinitive verb form is non-finite.

infinitive clause (infinitivsetning): a type of non-finite clause, with the verb in the infinitive. Infinitive clauses may or may not contain the infinitive marker to. A subject may or may not be present; the subject of an infinitive clause may be realized as a noun phrase or as a prepositional phrase with for. E.g.: I want you to understand this. They managed to solve the problem. To err is human. It would be highly unusual for Peter to admit his mistake. An infinitive clause may serve a nominal function (as in the examples above), an adjectival function (This is a drug to betaken at bedtime), or an adverbial function (Read on to find out more about how the programme works)

infinitive marker (infinitivsmerke): the word to (in front of a verb in its base form).

information principle (informasjonsprinsippet): the tendency for given elements to precede new ones, so that a sentence starts with given information and has the new information at the end.

-ing co-ordination (sideordning av helsetning og en -ing setning): the relation between the matrix clause and the -ing clause in the case of -ing co-ordination is similar to the relation between two main clauses co-ordinated with and. (She took the letter to her own room, calling to Maurice that there was no post for him. =...and called to Maurice that there was no post for him.)

-ing participle (presens partisipp): the (non-finite) verb form ending in -ing. The -ing participle combines with the grammatical auxiliary be to express the progressive aspect (They are singing). An -ing participle can also be the verb of a non-finite clause (Pacing round the lake, she calculated when the reply might arrive.). -ing participles can also be used as adjectives: a charming smile, the approaching train, an ageing professor.

-ing participle clause (-ing (partisipp)setning): a non-finite subordinate clause in which the verb is an -ing participle. -ing participle clauses can have adverbial function (Pacing round the lake, she calculated when the reply might arrive.-adjunct of time), adjectival function, as postmodifiers of nouns (He was a bus conductor relaxing on his rest day.), nominal function (Parking in front of the gate is illegal. -subject), or they may be combined with the main clause in -ing co-ordination (see above).

initial position (plassen til det første leddet i en setning): the position of the first element in a clause (which is not a conjunction); either the position of the subject, or the position before the subject. The term 'initial position' tends to be used about the placement of adverbials. Initial position is particularly common for conjuncts and some disjuncts, but it is also used for some adjuncts (particularly time and space adjuncts, and adjuncts realized as subordinate clauses). E.g. Furthermore, she didn't mind working hard. Unfortunately, they couldn't afford it. Once upon a time in a faraway land there was a beautiful princess. If you exercise twice a week, you'll improve your health.

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insert (interjeksjon): a (peripheral) clause element such as oh, hello, yes, no. Inserts usually convey an interpersonal or an emotive meaning. They are always optional.

instrumental (instrumental): semantic role of a clause element, denoting a thing which causes the action (similar to the agent role, but referring to a thing without intentions), or a thing which is used to carry out an action. E.g. The snow blocked the road. The road was blocked by the snow. I fixed it with a piece of string and some scotch tape.

intensifier (forsterkende adverb): an adverb which functions as a modifier in an adjective phrase or adverb phrase. E.g. very good, terribly ill, quite happily.

interactional signals (konvensjonelle ord og uttrykk som er typiske for konversasjon): short utterances which are typical of conversation, and which help the speaker and the hearer to organize the conversation, negotiate the topic, mark the end of an utterance, etc. They can for example be signals from the hearer to the speaker that s/he is paying attention, and may express encouragement, agreement, etc. These can be words such as well, oh, yes or no, or less articulate sounds such as erm, uhu, mhm. Interactional signals can also be signals from the speaker to the hearer that s/he has not finished yet (filled pauses), or they can be text organizers signalling for instance an interruption or incomprehension.

interrogative sentence (spørresetning): a type of sentence in which the finite verb(the operator) generally precedes the subject. In other words, interrogative sentences typically have inversion. Yes/no interrogatives have the word order '(finite) aux + S+V + X' (X symbolizing any clause element that can follow the verb. Yes/no interrogatives typically function as yes/no questions, though they may have other functions, e.g. request: can you tell me the time? Wh-interrogatives have the word order 'wh-word (+ aux + S) + V + X'. If the wh-word functions as subject (e.g. Who has been eating my porridge?) there is no inversion. Wh-interrogatives typically function as wh -questions, though they may have other functions, e.g. invitation: why don't you come in?

intonation (intonasjon, tonefall): patterns of pitch (or tone) that carry meaning. Intonation is also often referred to as prosody. Intonation can signal grammatical structure, in a similar fashion to punctuation. That is, intonation can signal phrase and clause divisions by means of slight pauses. Intonation also signals communicative function and attitude. The most common associations between intonation and communicative function are as follows: statement: falling intonation; yes/no question: rising intonation; wh-question: falling intonation; command: falling intonation; request: rising intonation. A stretch of language that represents a complete pitch pattern is called a tone unit. A pitch pattern contains a nucleus, which involves a movement in pitch (rising or falling), normally occurring on the last accented syllable of the tone unit.

intransitive verb (intransitivt verb): a verb which does not need a direct object in order to form a grammatical sentence. E.g. She has arrived. They were swimming. Intransitive verbs may occur with obligatory and optional adverbials. E.g. They went home. They live in Cambridge.

inversion (inversjon, omvendt ordstilling): used about a word order whereby the whole verb phrase or an auxiliary occurs in front of the subject. See subject-verbal inversion and subject-auxiliary inversion.

irregular verb (uregelmessig verb): a verb that does not form the past tense and the past participle by adding the ending -(e)d, but instead by means of e.g. vowel change. E.g. break- broke - broken, go - went - gone, sit - sat - sat, take - took - taken.

it-cleft (utbrytningssetning med it): for a general description, see clefting. An it-cleft can be used to focus on any nominal clause element of a non-cleft sentence (usually subject or object), or on an adjunct adverbial. E.g. It was the professor that mislaid his glasses. It was his glasses that the professor mislaid. It was dark green that we painted the kitchen. It is to Wales that they are going.

iterative (iterativ): a grammatical aspect denoting that an action takes place repeatedly. English does not have a separate form for the iterative aspect, but the progressive form sometimes has this meaning, viz. with momentary action verbs, e.g. The tap is dripping; He was jumping up and down.

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left dislocation (venstre-dislokering): a sentence construction whereby a
referent is mentioned twice; first by means of a full noun phrase at the beginning of the sentence (i.e. to the left of the body of the sentence), and then by means of a pronoun within the body of the sentence. E.g. Those kids, they are driving me crazy. Left dislocation is typical of spoken English, and is used when the speaker wants to draw extra attention to the referent of the noun phrase, for example because it represents a new topic in the conversation. Compare right dislocation.

lexeme (lexeme): an item of vocabulary; a 'family' of words that are related to each other in that they are inflected forms of the same stem, and carry the same core meaning. E.g. draw, draws, drew, drawn, drawing are all instances of the same lexeme ('draw'). However, the noun drawing represents another lexeme (that can be realized by drawing, drawings). A lexeme is usually cited as the base form of a word; the citation form which is what is recorded in dictionaries. See also word.

lexical cohesion (leksikalsk kohesjon): the marking of cohesion in text by means of vocabulary. Lexical cohesive ties include lexical repetition, the use of vocabulary items which are semantically related, e.g. synonyms, antonyms, hyponyms, and the use of vocabulary items that simply relate to the same sort of topic or situation, for example school, classroom, pupils, teacher, lessons, books. (Compare grammatical cohesion.)

lexical teddy bear (kjent ord som blir brukt for mye av en fremmedspråkbruker): a word with a very wide and general reference which tends to be over-used by learners of a foreign language, to make up for words they do not know. Examples of such words in English are (sort of) thing, person, get.

lexical verb (leksikalsk verb): a verb which refers to an action, activity, event, or state, and is capable of being the main verb in a verb phrase.

lexical word (innholdsord): a word that has an independent meaning, i.e. it refers to a thing, an event, a property etc. The lexical word classes are nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Lexical word classes are often described as 'open', i.e. new words can be added to them. For instance, if a new item is invented, it is given a name, which will be a new noun. If you can do something new with it, that new action can be given a name which will be a new verb. Compare function word.

loan translation (oversettelseslån): a word or phrase which has been borrowed from another language by being translated 'bit by bit'. Examples of Norwegian loan translations (borrowed from English) are datamus (from 'computer mouse'), froskemann (from 'frogman').

long passive (passivsetning med uttrykt agens): a passive construction which includes an expressed agent realized by a prepositional phrase with by). E.g. That sonnet was written by Shakespeare. The agent phrase is analysed as an adjunct adverbial (participant). Compare short passive.

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main clause (hovedsetning, helsetning): a
finite clause which can function on its own as a complete sentence. E.g. Tom was reading a book. Main clauses may contain subordinate clauses (and thus form complex sentences ), e.g. Tom was reading a book when I called. Main clauses can also be co-ordinated, and thus form compound sentences, e.g. Tom was reading a book, but I preferred the TV-guide.

main verb (hovedverb): the head of a verb phrase (always a lexical verb).

marginal modal auxiliary: a verb which carries the same kind of meaning as one of the modal auxiliaries. Marginal modal auxiliaries can be used either as auxiliaries (e.g. without do-insertion in interrogative and negative sentences), or as catenatives. Marginal modal auxiliaries are dare, need, have to, used to. They can express either root or epistemic meaning, and have both finite and non-finite forms.

matrix clause (oversetning minus leddsetning): in a clause containing a subordinate clause, the matrix clause is what is left if the subordinate clause is removed. In the following sentence, 'he asked us' is the matrix clause: He asked us when the course started.

medial position (adverbialplass midt i en setning): a term used in connection with the placement of adverbials. Medial position is a position between the subject and the last obligatory element in a clause; often between the subject and the main verb. E.g. She always writes me postcards. You probably haven't heard about this. They will most certainly protest. He is nevertheless our best alternative. Medial position is relatively rare compared to end position and initial position, but it is commonly used for some short adverbials realized by adverbs / adverb phrases, particularly frequency adjuncts, (modal) disjuncts, and to some extent conjuncts.

metalanguage (metaspråk): language/terminology used to talk about language.

metonymy (metonymi): a sense relation that entails a part–whole relationship. I.e. the relationship between a word denoting the whole and other word(s) denoting part(s) of the whole. Examples: car: wheel, engine; crowd: people, men, women, children; flower: petal, hand: finger, nail; needle/eye.

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modal auxiliary (modalt hjelpeverb): see also auxiliary. An auxiliary that expresses modality (obligation, permission, possibility, ability; or degrees of probability). The modal auxiliaries proper are can/could, may/might, must, shall/should, will/would, ought to. These modals have no non-finite forms. There can only be one modal auxiliary proper in a verb phrase (although they can combine with marginal modal auxiliaries and auxiliary equivalents).

modality (modalitet): a type of meaning, involving the affirmation of possibility, impossibility, necessity, or contingency. Modality can be expressed by verbs (particularly modal auxiliaries) or adverbials (modal disjuncts). Modality entails an element of non-fact (often future reference) or uncertainty (about states of affairs in the present or the past). See root modality and epistemic modality.

modifier (adledd, beskriverledd): a modifier is a part of the phrase which ascribes a property to the head of the phrase. A modifier may be placed before or after the head of the phrase (premodifier vs. postmodifier). Modifiers are always optional.

monotransitive verb (toverdig verb med direkte objekt): a two-place verb which occurs with a direct object in addition to the subject. Compare ditransitive and complex transitive verb.

mood (modus): a category of the verb phrase. See imperative, indicative, subjunctive.

morpheme (morfem): the smallest meaningful linguistic unit. Some words are made up of one morpheme; others of two or more. Morphemes can be lexical (in which case they refer to something), inflectional (in which case they represent grammatical suffixes), or derivational (in which case they represent an affix which changes the meaning and often the word class of the word it is added to). E.g. read (lexical morpheme, stem); reads ('read' + 's' - an inflectional morpheme); unreadable ('un' + 'read' + 'able'; 'un' being a derivational morpheme which creates the opposite meaning of the rest of the word, and 'able' being a derivational morpheme that turns the word into an adjective).

morphology (morfologi): the study of how morphemes combine into words, and of how words are inflected.

multi-word verb (verbalgruppe): a verb consisting of two or more words which function together in making up meaning. A multi-word verb is usually a combination of a verb and an adverb or a preposition, but other word classes may also be included. Normally, a multi-word verb can be seen as an idiom, i.e. the meaning of the multi-word verb is not (totally) predictable from the meaning of each of its components. E.g. run up (in 'run up a bill'), mess about, make up one's mind, give in. See also phrasal verb, prepositional verb.

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negator (nektingsledd): a clause element that makes a clause negative in meaning. The most common negator is not. Never can serve the same function. Not is usually analysed as part of the verb phrase (because it is closely integrated in it, particularly in the contracted forms, such as don't and hasn't), while never is usually analysed as an adverbial. See further
not-negation, no-negation.

nominal function (nominalfunksjon): the syntactic functions typical of nouns and noun phrases, viz. subject , direct object, indirect object, predicative, complement of preposition. The term is most commonly used when clauses or phrases other than noun phrases have these functions. E.g. a clause which functions as direct object is said to have a nominal function: They believed that the earth was flat.

nominal relative clause (nominal relativsetning): a type of nominal subordinate clause. Unlike adjectival relative clauses, it does not have an antecedent in the matrix clause, and it is not introduced by a relative pronoun. Instead, a nominal relative clause is introduced by a pronoun which seems to combine the functions of antecedent and relative pronoun, viz. what(ever), which(ever), who(ever). In translation into Norwegian, these pronouns may be rendered as det (som), alt (som). E.g. Whatever he touches turns to gold. What she wanted was to become a sports reporter. Who we met there was Adam Peters. You can do what you like.

nominal subordinate clause(nominal leddsetning): a subordinate clause with a nominal function. Types of finite nominal clauses are that-clauses, indirect questions, and nominal relative clauses. Besides, non-finite clauses can have nominal functions.

nominalization (nominalisering):the process of turning a verb or an adjective into a noun. Thus an originally verbal process can be expressed by means of a noun phrase (e.g. Columbus discovered America --> the discovery of America by Columbus was a landmark also in European history), or a quality can be expressed as if it were a thing (e.g. the people were loyal to their leader --> the people's loyalty to their leader was remarkable.)

nominalized adjective (substantivert adjektiv): an adjective functioning as head of a noun phrase. Nominalized adjectives may refer to people, in which case they function as plural-only nouns, usually with generic reference: The poor need help from the government. The French are considered gourmets. If reference to one person is required, you need to add a noun such as person, man, woman after the adjective. Colour adjectives can easily be nominalized, as in She was dressed in red. Furthermore, adjectives referring to abstractions may be nominalized (overcome evil with good; the unexpected often happens; the unknown is usually feared), as well as adjectives in the superlative , also with reference to abstractions(We'll hope for the best and expect the worst). Both colour adjectives and nominalized adjectives referring to abstractions function as singular (uncountable) nouns.

non-defining relative clause = non-restrictive relative clause

no-negation (nekting med no og ord som begynner med no-): the process of making a sentence negative by using the determiner no, or a pronoun or adverb beginning with no- (nothing, nobody, no-one, nowhere). E.g. I have no money = I do not have any money. He knows nothing about it. = He does not know anything about it. Compare not-negation.

non-finite subordinate clause (ikke-finitt leddsetning): a subordinate clause without a finite verb. A non-finite clause contains a non-finite verb phrase (infinitive clause, past participle clause-ing participle clause), or no verb phrase at all (verbless clause).

non-finite verb (ikke-finitt, infinitt verb): a verb which is not marked for tense or modality. The non-finite verb forms are the infinitive, the past participle and the ing-participle. E.g. (to) write, written, writing. Non-finite forms can combine with each other in non-finite verb phrases, e.g. having written, having been written, being writing. Non-finite forms can also combine with finite ones in finite verb phrases (in which case the finite verb comes first), e.g. has been writing, (he) had been writing, (the book) will have been written.

non-restrictive relative clause(ikke-restriktiv/unødvendig relativsetning): a relative clause which adds extra information about the noun phrase (in which the relative clause is a postmodifier). A non-restrictive relative clause thus does not limit or restrict the reference of its antecedent in any way. Non-restrictive clauses are usually signalled in writing by commas before and after them, and in speech by tone unit boundaries on either side. E.g. The students, who love grammar, are in the middle of a lively discussion. (=All the students love grammar). Compare restrictive relative clauses.

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notional concord (kongruens med betydning - ikke form): agreement between the verb and the meaning of the subject (rather than its grammatical form). E.g. Fish and chips is often mentioned as typically British. ('Fish and chips' seen as one dish) Notional concord is regularly found with expressions of amounts and measurement (A thousand pounds is a lot of money) and titles ("Sons and lovers" was written by D.H. Lawrence) as well as some names with plural form (The United States has agreed to support the motion.) Compare grammatical concord.

notional subject (egentlig subjekt): a term used to refer to a subject which is placed towards the end of a clause, and which is represented by an anticipatory subject (it or there) at the beginning of the clause. The notional subject after anticipatory it is always realized by a clause, while the notional subject following the existential there is usually a noun phrase. E.g. (notional subject underlined) It is interesting to learn more about grammar. There is a new grammar book in the library.

not-negation (nekting med not): the process of making a sentence negative by adding the negator not to the verb phrase. Do-insertion is required unless there is another auxiliary in the verb phrase. E.g. They do not / don't like science fiction. They are not fond of science fiction. Compare no- negation.

noun (substantiv): one of the lexical word classes; a 'naming word'. A noun is used to refer to people and things as well as to abstract ideas and phenomena. E.g. boy, human, cat, book, house, water, air, holidays, capitalism, belief. Nouns can be common or proper. Common nouns can be countable or uncountable. Other types of noun: collective noun , plural-only noun, nominalized adjective.

noun phrase (nomenfrase): a phrase with a noun (or a pronoun) as its head. In addition to the head, a noun phrase may contain one or more determiners, premodifiers and postmodifiers. Examples:






very small




red and blue


for children

the two



of yours for blueberry pie




(that) we spent skiing




tall, dark, and handsome

number (tall): grammatical category referring to the distinction between singular and plural. The category applies to nouns (e.g. bird, birds), pronouns (e.g. me vs. us), and to a certain extent verbs, which have special present tense forms for third person singular subjects (the bird sings vs. the birds sing). See also concord.

numeral (tallord): a word class consisting of words representing numbers. Cardinal numbers are e.g. one, five, thirty-eight, while ordinal numbers are e.g. first, fifth, thirty-eighth.

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obfuscation ('tåkelegging'): evading an issue by deliberately expressing oneself in an obscure manner (in order to avoid telling the truth or acknowledging unpleasant facts).

object complement: another term for object predicative.

object predicative (objektspredikativ): a syntactic function in the clause, occurring after a complex transitive verb and a direct object. The object predicative refers to a property or the identity of the direct object, but has a link to the verbal at the same time. An object predicative is realized by an adjective (phrase) or a noun (phrase). E.g. They found the book disappointing. We painted the chair blue. They named her Victoria. (Cf. The book was disappointing in their view. The chair became blue as a result of the painting. She became/was Victoria, after the naming.)

obligatory (obligatorisk): in grammar, an obligatory element is one which cannot be taken away without making the phrase or clause ungrammatical.

oblique object (preposisjonsobjekt): a clause element with a semantic role characteristic of an object (affected, effected or beneficiary), but realized by a prepositional phrase. An oblique object may occur in the same clause as a direct object. An oblique object may be a variation on an indirect object, as in I gave some flowers to my neighbours. (Cf. I gave my neighbours some flowers). Alternatively, an oblique object may be a constituent which might have been expressed as a direct object, but which has lost that status in competition with another phrase, as in He stuffed his mouth with peanuts. (Cf. He stuffed peanuts into his mouth.)
(Note: In the second edition of EGTU the category of oblique object is not included. Objects of prepositional verbs are analysed as direct objects, and prepositional phrases with meanings similar to direct or indirect objects are analysed as adjunct adverbials.)

of-genitive (genitivsuttrykk med of): an expression of the genitive, where the 'possessor' is expressed as a prepositional phrase with of postmodifying the 'possession'. E.g. the music of the 1950s, the citizens of this country, the headmaster of the school, the foot of the mountain, the colour of the car. The of-genitive is typically used when the 'possessor' is non-human, although this is no absolute rule. The of-genitive is also sometimes preferred when the 'possessor' is a plural noun, since it is impossible to hear the difference between the genitive -s and the plural -s: the uniforms of the nurses. The of-genitive can also be used of human 'possessors', as in the works of Shakespeare, Best of Bach, and it is often used in names of institutions, and organizations, e.g. the University of Oslo, the United States of America, the City of London, the museum of modern arts, the National Union of Teachers. Compare s-genitive.

operator: do or another auxiliary used to form negative or interrogative sentences (or other verb structures where a supporting auxiliary is needed). The operator is always the first element in a verb phrase. In finite clauses, the operator carries the finite element. See also do-insertion.

optional (fakultativ, ikke obligatorisk): an optional element is one which may be removed from a clause or a phrase without making it ungrammatical.

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participant: (deltaker) a
referent of a clause element (usually subject, object, or predicative). A participant is a person, thing, etc involved in the action denoted by the verb. In the sentence My sister invited her friends to a party the participants are my sister and her friends. A party is part of a prepositional phrase which refers to the circumstances of the action, and is thus not a participant. A type of adjunct adverbial is referred to in EGTU2 as participant adjuncts; these are either agent phrases (as in The duke was killed by his butler) or beneficiary phrases (as in She sent a message to her sister). Other types of adverbials, such as to a party above, may be referred to as the circumstances of a clause, as opposed to the participants and the process).

participle (partisipp): a non-finite form of the verb. The past participle of regular verbs ends in -ed. In verb conjugation, it is the third form cited (go - went - gone; take - took - taken; walk - walked - walked). The past participle combines with the grammatical auxiliary have to express the perfective aspect (e.g. She has made the beds), or with the grammatical auxiliary be to express the passive voice (e.g. The beds have been made). The -ing participle (sometimes called the 'present participle’) of all verbs ends in -ing (going, taking, walking). The -ing participle can combine with the grammatical auxiliary be to express the progressive aspect. Participles can also have the syntactic function of verb in participle clauses.

participle clause (partisippsetning): a non-finite clause with a past participle or an -ing participle forming the (first part of) the verb phrase. Participle clauses may be postmodifiers of nouns (the children needing special instruction, a note written by a student), complement of preposition (only -ing clauses: I thought of accepting the offer) or adverbial (Lacking the right kind of qualifications, he didn't get the job. Published only a month ago, the book is already out of print. Having worked there once, she knew her way round the shopping centre).

passive voice (passiv): a feature of the verb phrase. The passive voice is marked by the grammatical auxiliary be + past participle. E.g. The little old lady was bitten by her poodle. The subject of a passive clause is typically an affected participant. In the example given here, the agent (=the doer of the action) is specified by means of a prepositional phrase, thus making the passive a long passive. The agent need not be specified, in which case we have a short passive. E.g. John F. Kennedy was shot in 1963. Compare active voice. The relationship between an active and a passive clause can be represented as follows:


The cat


the mouse.


subject (agent)

verbal (past tense)

direct object (affected)


The mouse 

was caught

by the cat.


subject (affected)

verbal (past tense of BE + 
past participle of main verb)

adverbial (agent)

past participle (perfektum partisipp): see participle.

past participle clause (ikke-finitt setning med perfektum partisipp som verbal): a non-finite clause with a past participle forming the (first part of the) verb phrase. See examples under participle clause.

past perfect (pluskvamperfektum): a composite verb form with the auxiliary have in the past tense and the past participle form of the main verb. See perfective aspect. Examples: had seen, had developed.

past tense (preteritum): a tense whose function it is to signal distance in time or in reality. Past tense verbs most commonly refer to actions/events/states that belong to the past. The past tense form of regular verbs ends in -ed. In verb conjugation, the past tense form is the second form cited (go - went - gone; take - took - taken; walk - walked - walked).

perfective aspect (perfektiv aspekt): a verb category expressing that something is completed. In English the perfective aspect is realized by the grammatical auxiliary have followed by a past participle. The present perfect (present tense + perfective aspect, e.g. He has left) expresses that something took place at an unspecified point in the past, and that this action may have some relevance to the present. The past perfect (past tense + perfective aspect, e.g. He had left) expresses that something took place at a point before another time in the past.

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person (person): a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, and determiners. We distinguish between first person (I, me, myself, my, mine, we, us, ourselves, our, ours), second person (you, yourself/yourselves, your, yours), and third person (he, him, himself, his, she, her, herself, hers, it, itself, its, they, them, themselves, their, theirs). Noun phrases do not have special forms that show person, but are classified according to their meaning. The category of person combines with that of number, so that we get first person singular, first person plural, etc. The verb system has special present tense forms with third person singular subjects (I love him vs. he loves me). See further concord.

personal pronoun (personlig pronomen): a pronoun which refers to a (specific) person or thing. The English personal pronouns are I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they, me, you, him, her, it, us, you, them.

phatic communion (fatisk kommunikasjon): communication (typically dialogue) whose function it is to establish or maintain social relationships rather than exchanging information.

phrasal verb (partikkelverb): a multi-word verb consisting of a verb + adverbial particle, e.g. switch off, put aside. A phrasal verb may be transitive, and thus accompanied by a direct object. If the object is realized as a pronoun, it is placed between the verb and the particle, but if it is realized as a full noun phrase, it tends to be placed after the particle. E.g. I looked up this word (I looked this word up) - I looked it up. I found out what was wrong. -I found it out. Phrasal verbs can occur in the passive voice (The word was looked up; It was found out). The verb + particle form a close semantic unit, whose meaning is often not predictable from the meaning of the verb+ the meaning of the particle (e.g. give + up). Compare prepositional verb.

phrase (frase): a word or group of words which can fulfil a syntactic function in a clause. A phrase is named after the most important word in it (the head), so we have noun phrases, verb phrases, adjective phrases, and adverb phrases. Besides there are prepositional phrases, which are introduced by a preposition (though the preposition is not called a head). Phrases have been informally described as ”bloated words”, in that the parts of the phrase that are added to the head elaborate and specify the reference of the head word.

plural (flertall): a feature of the category number. It applies to nouns, pronouns, and verbs. Words with a plural form refer to, or apply to, more than one thing, person or phenomenon. E.g. books, thoughts, they, us, (we) talk. See also singular, concord.

plural-only nouns (substantiv som bare forekommer i flertall): nouns which do not exist in singular form. Some examples are binoculars, jeans, scissors, shorts, spectacles, trousers, which are seen to consist of two parts. Reference to one 'item' is done by means of a pair of. Other plural-only nouns are surroundings, suburbs, congratulations, thanks. A special category is made up by people, police, cattle, clergy, which lack the plural ending, but co-occur with plural verbs and plural determiners (including numerals above one, and other determiners which imply countability). Nominalized adjectives with reference to people may also be included in this category: There are many homeless in this city; The Dutch were informally dressed.

polysemy (polysemi): the existence of several (related) meanings in a single word. E.g. paper = 'material’, ‘newspaper', 'essay'

positive (positiv): a term relating to adjective/adverb comparison. The positive form of an adjective or adverb is its base form, e.g. good, bad, beautiful, comfortable, late, slowly.

possessive determiner (bestemmerord som uttrykker eiendomsforhold): type of determiner that generally expresses ownership. The possessive determiners are my, your, his, her, its, our, their. Possessive determiners are used more widely in English than in Norwegian. Notably, English uses possessive determiners with nouns denoting clothes and body parts. E.g. He combed his hair and put on his shirt.

possessive pronoun (eiendomspronomen): a type of pronoun which indicates possession; viz. mine, yours, his, hers, ours, yours, theirs. In contrast to possessive determiners, possessive pronouns are not followed by a head noun. E.g. In the room next to theirs was a huge cradle. Different as our minds are, yours has nourished mine.

postmodifier (etterstilt attributt): a modifier which is placed after its head (thus a function at phrase level). The term 'postmodifier' is most often associated with noun phrases, but can also apply to adjective phrases and adverb phrases. Postmodifiers of nouns may be realized as prepositional phrases (man of the year, ticket to London), as relative clauses (a man who wants a wife, a ticket that cost a fortune), as participle clauses (the man observed near the scene of the crime , the man lurking in the background), or occasionally, a postposed adjective (the man responsible, the tickets available ).

postponement (det å sette noe lengre bak i setningen): the placement of a clause element (or part of a clause element) further to the right in the sentence than one would normally expect to find it. Postponement typically applies to long and heavy clause elements/modifiers), in agreement with the principle of end weight. E.g. A fascinating account is given in the book of the author's adventures during his travels in South America. (postmodifier of subject noun phrase given at the end of the sentence); The police found in his possession an automatic pistol, forged passports, and bank notes from two robberies.(S-V-A-dO instead of the more common S-V-dO-A).

pragmatic function (pragmatisk funksjon): the meaning of a word/phrase/sentence in actual communication

pragmatics (pragmatikk): the study of how language works in communication.

predicative (predikativ): 1: a syntactic function in the clause (subject predicative or object predicative). Both noun phrases and adjective phrases may function as predicatives. (John is happy, John is a fool; John makes me happy, John called me a fool.) 2: a function of an adjective in relation to a noun, i.e. an adjective that functions as a subject/object predicative has predicative function vis-à-vis the noun it characterizes.

predicator (verbal): the syntactic function in the clause that is realized by a verb phrase. In EGTU2 the term 'verbal' is used instead.

prefix (prefiks, forstavelse): a kind of affix which occurs before a root, e.g. unhappy, rearrange, dishonest, presuppose. See also morpheme.

premodifier (foranstilt attributt): a modifier placed in front of its head. A premodifier in a noun phrase is typically realized as an adjective, and denotes a quality/property of the head. Examples: the red apple, a definite answer, her impressive performance, X-rated films. Premodifiers of nouns can also be realized as nouns, and sometimes as phrases. Examples: the train station, a Christmas present, his take-it-or-leave-it approach. Adjective phrases and adverb phrases can contain premodifiers realized by adverbs, e.g. very good, incredibly cheap, quite recently.

preposition (preposisjon): a class of function words. Prepositions generally express a relation, often in time or space (or abstractions of these). They can also express relations of agency, cause, means, manner, support, opposition, etc. Examples of prepositions: after, at, before, below, by, in, of, on, over, under. (Note that some of these words can double as conjunctions when followed by a clause, and as adverbs when occurring without a following complement.) Prepositions introduce prepositional phrases, or they may combine with a verb in a prepositional verb. Prepositions may also combine with another word (often a preposition or an adverb) to form complex prepositions, e.g. out of, because of, apart from, in front of.

prepositional phrase (preposisjonsfrase): a phrase consisting of a preposition + a noun phrase ,e.g. in China, for a week, by the time we were ready to go. Unlike other phrase types, the prepositional phrase is not described in terms of head and modifier(s), because the preposition does not modify the noun, or vice versa. Both parts are needed in order to construct a prepositional phrase. What follows the preposition is called the complement of the preposition. Besides noun phrases, the complement of the preposition can be an -ing clause or an indirect question. (He is worried about making the right impression, He doesn't have a clue about how to make / how he should make the right impression.) Prepositional phrases can function as adverbials at clause level, or as postmodifiers of noun phrases or complements of adjectives/adverbs at phrase level.

prepositional verb (preposisjonsverb): a multi-word verb consisting of verb + preposition, followed by a direct object. In contrast to the particle in phrasal verbs, the preposition in a prepositional verb always precedes the object. E.g. He looked at the map. He looked at it. Still the preposition has close ties to the verb, in that the verb+ preposition form a close semantic unit. Some prepositional verbs can also occur in the passive voice, in which case the preposition stays with the verb rather than with the noun phrase. He looked after the baby. The baby was looked after. Unlike a verb+ prepositional phrase combination, it is the verb that decides the choice of preposition with prepositional verbs. E.g. She walked into/out of/through the room (S-V-A), but She bumped into an old friend (S-V-dO).

present perfect (perfektum): a composite verb form with the auxiliary have in the present tense and the past participle form of the main verb. See perfective aspect. Examples: has/have seen, has/had developed.

present tense (presens): a tense whose function it is to denote closeness in time or in reality. Present tense verbs most commonly refer to actions/events/states that belong to the present time, or that have general validity. With a third person singular subject, a present tense verb ends in -s. With other types of subjects the present tense form is identical to the base form of the verb. A present tense form can combine with the progressive aspect (she is running), with the perfective aspect (she has run), or with the passive voice (she has been run over by a car), or any combination of aspect and voice, e.g. she has been running.

presentative construction (presenteringskonstruksjon): a construction with the existential there.
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principle of end weight (vektprinsippet): the tendency for long and heavy clause elements to be placed at the end of a clause.

pro-form (proform): a short word that fills in for a longer phrase. Pronouns are pro-forms that fill in for a noun phrase. Do is sometimes used as a pro-verb (filling in for a full verb phrase, or a verb phrase with complements), as in Did you see that beautiful BMW that just drove by? - Yes I did. (instead of 'yes, I saw that... by). Another pro-form is so. (Is this the airport express train? - I think so.) The pro-forms so and do perform the cohesive function of substitution.

progressive aspect (samtidsform): a verb category with two principal meaning components: (limited) duration and (possible) incompletion. In English the progressive aspect is realized by the grammatical auxiliary be followed by an-ing participle. The progressive aspect usually does not occur with stative verbs, as these verbs denote permanent situations (which does not fit with the meaning of limited duration). Combined with the present tense, the progressive aspect denotes ongoingness and incompletion (E.g. I am reading about English grammar). Combined with the past tense, the progressive aspect denotes (limited) duration in the past and possible incompletion.(E.g. I was reading the paper last night -- the speaker may or may not have finished reading; the emphasis is on the activity of reading.) The past progressive is often used for background activities which are interrupted by another event, e.g. I was having a bath when the telephone rang. When the progressive aspect combines with the perfective aspect, the meaning is that an activity stretched from the past up to a specified point of time (or possibly even beyond that). E.g. I've been cleaning the windows (that's why there are no curtains at the moment). They had been studying hard for their exam.

pronoun (pronomen): a class of function words. A pronoun is used instead of a noun or a noun phrase to refer to somebody or something. E.g. I, we, she, them, what, mine, ours, each other, themselves, something, nobody. A pronoun may occasionally function as the head of a noun phrase, i.e. it may be accompanied by one or more postmodifiers. E.g. I’m looking for someone who is creative.

proper noun (egennavn, proprium): a class of nouns. Proper nouns are names of people, places, companies, organizations, etc. A proper noun typically refers uniquely to one referent. Proper nouns are spelled with capital initials. In contrast to common nouns, they do not vary between singular and plural, and they do not occur with determiners and modifiers(unless these are part of the name, as in The United States of America, in which case they cannot be omitted or replaced by other determiners or modifiers).

prototype (prototyp): a typical example of something. We often talk about the prototypical meaning of a word, i.e. the central meaning of the word, or the most common type of referent that is associated with that word. E.g. the prototypical referent of the word 'bird' is a small creature that has wings and feathers and a beak, and that can fly and sing. A sparrow would then be well within the prototype, while penguin or an ostrich would not be prototypical, although they are classified biologically as birds. In grammar we can speak of prototypical nouns (words which refer to people and things), and prototypical verbs (verbs which refer to actions), while a noun referring to an action (e.g. invention, discovery, discussion, clarification) may be considered less prototypical.

proximity concord (kongruens med nærmeste ledd): agreement between a verb and the nearest preceding noun phrase (rather than with the grammatical number of the subject noun phrase). Except in a few cases of co-ordinated noun phrases as subject (notably with either--or, neither--nor and in existential there-sentences), this usage is generally regarded as incorrect.

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quantifying determiner (kvantor): a determiner which specifies the number or amount of something. E.g. two pounds, many people, much room, little food, some books.

question (spørsmål): a communicative function whereby the speaker demands information from the hearer. Questions are either wh-questions or yes/no questions. They are typically realized by interrogative sentence types.

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recipient (mottaker): a semantic role used to denote a person who receives something (≈beneficiary). The syntactic function that typically expresses the recipient role is indirect object, though recipient can also be expressed by means of a prepositional phrase (beneficiary adjunct).

reciprocal pronoun (resiprokt pronomen): a pronoun which implies mutuality, viz. each other and one another.

reference (referanse): the relationship between a word and the world it is used to describe. The reference of a noun is the thing or group of things that the speaker has in mind when using the word. Reference can be specific (to a particular thing or group of things) or generic (to a whole class of things, without any particular example of it in mind). The lexical word classes have reference; nouns to things/persons/phenomena, verbs to processes/actions/situations, adjectives to qualities/properties, adverbs to qualities/properties, or to time/place/reason etc.

referent (referent): a thing/person/phenomenon that a word refers to.

referential it (det personlige pronomen it): it used as a pronoun, with reference to something that has been mentioned before (anaphoric reference) or to something that will be specified later (cataphoric reference).

reflexive pronoun (refleksivt pronomen): a pronoun which always co-occurs with a noun or pronoun with the same reference, viz. myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.

regional variation (regional språkvariasjon): variation in pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, etc depending on where people come from.

register (register): a style of language characteristic of a certain situation or a certain communicative purpose. Registers generally differ in formality (as regards grammar as well as vocabulary).

regular verb (regelmessig verb): a verb which forms the past tense and the past participle by adding (e)d to the base form. E.g. walk – walked – walked; fade – faded – faded.(Compare irregular verb.)

relative clause (relativsetning): a subordinate clause introduced by one of the relative pronouns, or by the relative determiner whose. The typical syntactic function of relative clauses is adjectival , viz. as postmodifiers of nouns. The relative clauses thus mainly belong at phrase level, as parts of noun phrases. E.g. They have nothing that you need. It may be difficult to find a flat at a price you can afford. We all create for ourselves a world in which it is tolerable to live. Among the other artists whose paintings were discussed were Boucher, Courbet, and Fra Angelico.
Relative clauses can also be introduced by a relative adverb (where, when, how, why). The syntactic function of the relative clause is still postmodifier within a noun phrase. E.g. This is the street where we used to live. That all happened at a time when people had more time for each other.
Adjectival relative clauses can be restrictive or non-restrictive. A relative clause can also be sentential, i.e. its antecedent is the matrix clause. In that case it is analysed as a disjunct, since it represents a comment on the fact/action expressed by the matrix clause. The relative pronoun used in a sentential relative clause is always which. E.g. Gertrude got very angry, which surprised even herself.

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relative pronoun (relativpronomen): relative pronouns are used to introduce relative clauses.The English relative pronouns are who, whom, which, that, and Ø (zero). (Norwegian has only two relative pronouns: ‘som’ and Ø.) The relative pronoun refers back to the antecedent of the relative clause. In the relative clause, the relative pronoun represents the antecedent and has the same syntactic function (=subject) as a full noun phrase would have in its place, as shown in (1) and (2).
(1) Andrew has a sister who is a doctor. -- (2) Andrew’s sister is a doctor.

request (forespørsel): a communicative function typically expressed by an interrogative or an imperative sentence. A request is used to ask for goods and services. It is more polite, or less direct, than a command. E.g. Could you post this letter for me? Can I borrow your car? Tell us a story, please. A request can always be accompanied by the word please.

reported speech (dekt tale): a rendering of what somebody has said. Reported speech can be direct, in which case there is a direct quotatation of what was said, or indirect, in which case a nominal subordinate clause (that-clause or indirect question) renders the content of what was said. See also free indirect speech.

reporting clause (): a clause accompanying a direct or indirect quote (cf. reported speech). A reporting clause consists of a subject (a “sayer”) and a verbal that refers to the act of speaking. In addition there may be a receiver of the message (typically to X) and any other adverbial phrases. In cases of direct speech the reporting clause may be placed either before or after the quote. With indirect speech the reporting clause must precede the subordinate clause that renders the quotation. The reporting clauses are underlined in the following examples: She said, “my name is Vera”. “My name is Vera”, she said. She said that her name was Vera.

restrictive relative clause (restriktiv/nødvendig relativsetning): a relative clause which is necessary in order to specify the referent of the noun phrase in which the relative clause is a postmodifier. In writing, there is no comma between the antecedent and a restrictive relative clause, and in speech, there is no tone unit boundary between the antecedent and the restrictive relative clause. The sister who is a doctor lives in Oslo. = of the sisters that I could possibly be referring to, I'm now talking about the one who is a doctor. Compare the non-restrictive His sister, who is a doctor, lives in Oslo. = He has one sister. She happens to be a doctor. She lives in Oslo.

reversed wh-cleft (utbrytningssetning med wh-setningen til slutt): a wh-cleft sentence with the nominal relative clause at the end, i.e. in subject predicative position. E.g. That is not what I said. Her prettiness was what he had noticed first.

rhetorical question (retorisk spørsmål): a sentence with the form of a question, but with the function of a statement. Rhetorical questions are often used in order to express an opinion. Example: What could be more democratic than to give people a direct say in these things? What could be more arrogant than to deny it to them? (='Nothing could be more democratic/arrogant'). A speaker who uses a rhetorical question does not require an answer from an addressee (as opposed to the use of ordinary questions), but believes (or pretends) that the addressee agrees with him/her.

right dislocation (høyredislokering): a sentence construction whereby a referent is mentioned twice; first by means of a pronoun, and then by means of a full noun phrase at the end of the sentence (i.e. to the right of the body of the sentence). E.g. Is she all right, your mother? Right dislocation is typical of spoken English, and is used when the speaker wants to make sure that the referent of the pronoun is properly understood by the hearer, or wants to draw extra attention to it. Compare left dislocation.

root (rot): a lexical morpheme, i.e. word or part of a word which has meaning, and which cannot be divided into smaller meaningful units. It can function as a stem, and it may combine with derivational and inflectional affixes. In the word unkindness, the root is 'kind', while 'un' and 'ness’ are derivational affixes/morphemes.

root modality (ikke-epistemisk (optativ) modalitet): modal meaning expressing the subject's readiness, obligation, permission, or ability to do something. Root modality can be expressed by modal auxiliaries, marginal modal auxiliaries, and modal auxiliary equivalents.
Willingness/readiness: will, would, dare
Obligation: must, shall, should, ought to, have to, need
Permission: may, might, can, could
Ability: can, could
Possibility: may, might, can, could
Compare epistemic modality.

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semantic role (semantisk rolle): a term referring to the general meaning of clause elements. Examples of semantic roles are agent ('doer of an action'), affected ('affected by the action'), effected ('the result of the action'), beneficiary ('beneficiary of an action')

semantics (semantikk): the study of the meaning of words.

sense (betydning): an element of the meaning of a word; a description of the characteristic features of what the word refers to. E.g. the sense of grasshopper is 'an insect which can jump high and makes a sharp noise by rubbing its legs against its body'. Compare reference.

sense relation (betydningsrelasjon): a relation between two or more words that concerns their meaning. Examples of sense relations are synonymy ('same' meaning, e.g. terrible/horrible) and antonymy (opposite meaning, e.g. terrible/excellent). See further hyponymy, metonymy.

sentence (uavhengig setning, periode): an orthographic unit of words, extending from a capital letter up to a final punctuation mark; a full stop, a question mark, or an exclamation mark. Generally, a sentence consists of one or more clauses. A usage rule says that a complete sentence must contain a subject and a verb (and must be a main clause). In describing speech, it is common to talk about 'utterances' rather than sentences.

sentence form (setningsform): the form, or typical word order of a clause/sentence. Also referred to as sentence type. The sentence types in English are declarative (marked by the word order S+V), yes/no interrogative (marked by the word order V+S), wh-interrogative (marked by the word order wh-word+V (+S)), and imperative (marked by the word order V, with the verb in the imperative, and usually no subject). The sentence form may signal the communicative function of the sentence, although there is no one-to-one correspondence between form and function. However, typically declaratives function as statements; interrogatives as questions or requests; and imperatives as commands.

sentence fragment (setningsemne): an independent structure which is not formally a complete sentence (it may consist of only one word), but serves a communicative function which is equivalent to that of a sentence. E.g. Who? (question); No thanks. (statement); what a surprise! (exclamation); Out! (command)

sentential relative clause (relativsetning med (en større del av) en setning som korrelat): a type of non-restrictive relative clause with the matrix clause as its antecedent. It is analysed as a disjunct, since it represents a comment on the fact/action expressed by the matrix clause. The relative pronoun used in a sentential relative clause is always which. E.g. He has written all these poems, which is interesting. (=It is interesting that he has written all these poems.) She is applying for a new job, which may be an advantage. (=It may be an advantage that she is applying for a new job.)

s-genitive (s-genitiv): a realization of the genitive whereby the 'possessor' is marked by the genitive s and/or an apostrophe. The genitive s follows an apostrophe when it is attached to nouns in the singular. With a plural noun, the genitive is marked only by an apostrophe after the plural s. E.g. Mary's books, the girl's hair, the boys' toys. When a plural noun does not end in s, the s-genitive is expressed by apostrophe + s, as with singular nouns: the men's room, children's books, people's habits. The s-genitive is typically used when the 'possessor' is human. It can also be used when the 'possessor' is an animal which is considered to have personality, e.g. a pet. The s -genitive is also used with other types of 'possessors’, particularly in journalistic writing, where it is important to be brief and concise (as the s-genitive is shorter than the of-genitive). Compare also double genitive. The s-genitive functions as a determiner when it is followed by a noun (I saw Peter's house), and as head of the noun phrase when it occurs on its own (That house is Peter’s).

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short passive (passiv uten uttrykt agens): a passive construction with the agent expression left out. E.g. My car was stolen last week; the proposal was voted down; that letter was never written. Short passives are more frequent than long ones, and are used when the agent is irrelevant or unknown, or when mentioning the agent is unnecessary for other reasons, e.g. that it is obvious or very general. Compare long passive.

simple past (enkel preteritum): the past tense with no marking of perfecive or progressive aspect. E.g. She left him. They returned to Paris.

simple present (enkel presens): the present tense with no marking of perfecive or progressive aspect. E.g. She loves grammar. They admire Shakespeare’s plays.

simple sentence (helsetning (uten leddsetning), særsetning): a sentence consisting of one (main) clause. A sentence that is not simple, is compound or complex.

singular (entall): a feature of the category number. In English it applies to nouns, pronouns, and verbs. A singular form of a word refers to, or applies to, one person, thing, or phenomenon. Compare plural.

situational reference (referanse til noe utenfor teksten): reference to something outside the text, e.g. to something in the physical surroundings of the speaker. E.g. Shall I open the window ? (=the window in this room) There is a lot of bad weather in this country (the country in which we live) It takes two hours to fly from here to London. (=from where we are)

social variation (sosial språkvariasjon): variation in pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar etc. according to the social standing of a speaker.

specifying genitive (bestemmende genitivsledd): an s-genitive with determiner function, e.g. Tom's room, Mary's little lamb, today's paper. Compare classifying genitive.

specifying modifier (beskrivende adledd/beskriverledd): a modifier in a noun phrase which specifies a quality or property of the referent of the head noun. Unlike classifying modifiers, it does not single out a particular type of referent. Specifying modifiers can be premodifiers or postmodifiers. The meaning of a specifying modifier and the head noun in combination is always predictable from the meaning of the modifier and the meaning of the head. E.g. beautiful garden, comfortable chair, small room. (Examples of the same nouns with classifying modifiers: rose garden, high chair, dining room)

speech act (talehandling): an act which is carried out by means of certain words, spoken by a person with the authority to perform such an action. E.g. I sentence you to five years in prison. (If spoken by a judge in court, this utterance will send somebody to prison for five years.) I hereby pronounce you man and wife (If spoken by someone in charge of a wedding ceremony, the man and the women are married.)

split infinitive (infinitiv med et ledd mellom to og verbet): an infinitive verb phrase with an adverb between the infinitive marker and the verb, e.g. to absolutely reject this usage, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Usage books often warn against the use of the split infinitive, as many people feel that the infinitive verb should follow the infinitive marker directly. Thus it is recommended that the adverb should be placed either before the infinitive marker or after the verb. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with the split infinitive, and it is sometimes the best or only way of avoiding ambiguity, e.g. she refuses to actively try to make them change their minds.

statement (utsagn): a communicative function typical of declarative sentences. A statement is used for giving information and expressing opinions. E.g. (I would like to tell you that) the concert starts in an hour. Sentence types other than declaratives may also function as statements. A good example is rhetorical questions. The context and/or the intonation will usually make it clear whether a question is rhetorical.

stative passive: a passive-like construction with a form of the verb be + a past participle. The construction refers to a state. E.g. The house was nicely redecorated = Huset var pent oppusset. The window was closed = Vinduet var lukket/stengt. In a stative passive, the participle functions more or less as an adjective (in the example, closed contrasts with the adjective open, rather than with the verb opened), and can be analysed as a predicative in a S-V-sP structure. Compare dynamic passive.

stative verb (statisk verb): a verb which refers to a state, and which requires no action on the part of the subject. E.g. be, have, contain, know, resemble. The distinction between stative and dynamic verbs is relevant for the use of the progressive aspect and the passive voice, neither of which combines easily with stative verbs. Note that verbs of perception (e.g. see, hear), and verbs of opinion and of thinking (e.g. think, believe, understand) behave as stative verbs.

stem (stamme): the main part of a word to which inflectional morphemes/suffixes may be added, viz. the base form of a verb, the singular form of a noun, the positive form of adjectives and adverbs. It consists of a root, sometimes in combination with derivational affixes. In the word drivers, the stem is 'driver', and 's' is an inflectional suffix. The root is 'drive', and 'r' is a derivational suffix. The word unfaithful is a stem consisting of the root 'faith' and the two affixes 'un' and 'ful'.

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structural parallelism (parallellisme i ordstilling): the use of the same syntactic pattern in successive sentences. Structural parallelism can be a means of creating cohesion in a text.

subject (subjekt): a clause element which comes in addition to the verb in all complete sentences. The subject is typically realized by a noun phrase.In declarative sentences the subject is usually placed in front of the verb, at the beginning of the sentence. The prototypical meaning of the subject is a 'doer of an action', but subjects can also have other types of semantic roles. In the following sentences, the subjects have been underlined: She inserted a Yale key in the lock, and found herself in a narrow hall. The hall smelled of apples and loam. It was very narrow. To the right an open door led into the shop.

subject complement: another term for subject predicative.

subject predicative (subjektspredikativ): a clause element that comes in addition to a subject and a copular (two-place) verb. A subject predicative is normally placed after the copular verb. E.g. She is happy. He felt a fool. The soup tastes nice. The school became famous for its achievements in sports. They are students. They seem a happy crowd. A subject predicative is realized by an adjective phrase or a noun phrase (as shown above), or by a nominal subordinate clause. E.g. The problem is finding the right person. The question is how to find the right person. The fact is that I overslept. What you see is what you get.

subject–auxiliary inversion (inversjon av subjektet og et hjelpeverb): the placement of an auxiliary in front of the subject. (Do-insertion is used if there is no other auxiliary in the verb phrase.) Interrogative sentences regularly have subject-auxiliary inversion unless the verb is a simple form of to be. In declarative sentences, subject-auxiliary inversion occurs after certain fronted elements: negative or restrictive element, so +adjective/adverb. E.g. Not a single note did she miss. Only here did he feel at home. So weak did he feel that he didn't get up for a week.

subject–verbal inversion (inversjon av subjekt og verbal): the placement of the whole verb phrase in front of the subject. In declarative sentences, subject-verbal inversion takes place after fronted adverbial particle or fronted place adverbial in a presentative construction without the existential there, after a fronted -ing or past participle clause , and optionally in reporting clauses placed after the quotation in direct speech. In addition, for subject-verbal inversion to take place, the verbal must usually be realized by a simple verb phrase, and the subject must be realized by a (noun-headed) noun phrase. E.g. Here comes the bride. Under the root of a big fir tree lived Mrs. Rabbit with her four children, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter. Standing in the doorway is Johnnie Walker. "How are we today?” asked the doctor. In interrogative sentences where the verbal is a simple form of to be, subject-verbal inversion occurs regularly: Are you comfortable? Wasn't he Mr. Right after all?

subjunctive (konjunktiv): one of the three moods of the verb phrase, the other two being the indicative and the imperative. The subjunctive is rare in present-day English, though it is sometimes used in counter-factual clauses (if -clauses, concessive clauses, etc.), e.g. If I were rich, I’d just travel all the time (- I'm not rich). With verbs other than be, the indicative is nearly always used in this kind of clauses. Particularly in formal (written) American English, the so-called mandative subjunctive is used in that-clauses expressing a demand, regulation, or obligation. E.g. They demanded that the person responsible be fired. Susan insisted that he speak to a psychiatrist. In British English, should + infinitive is generally used instead. (...that the person responsible should be fired;... that he should speak to a psychiatrist). The subjunctive also survives in some set formulas such as Be that as it may; so be it, long live the Queen. In these cases the meaning of the subjunctive is either concession or a wish. Except in the set phrases, the use of the subjunctive mood is optional in present-day English. Be is the only verb which has a subjunctive past tense form (were). In all other cases the subjunctive is expressed by the base form of the verb. A subjunctive verb form is finite, but does not vary for person or number. (Thus the subjunctive is distinguishable from the present tense of the indicative only with a third person singular subject.)

subordinate clause (leddsetning): a clause which fulfils a syntactic function in a phrase or in another clause. Subordinate clauses may be finite or non-finite , and their functions may be adjectival, adverbial, or nominal. Another term for subordinate clause is dependent clause, which emphasizes the fact that a subordinate clause cannot form a complete independent sentence on its own.

subordinating conjunction (underordnende konjunksjon - subjunksjon minus relativpronomen): a conjunction which introduces a subordinate clause, and thereby links the subordinate clause to the superordinate clause. E.g. when, if, after, because, since, unless, as, whether, that.

suffix (suffiks, endelse): a kind of affix which occurs after a root. Suffixes can be inflectional, e.g. walk-s, walk-ing, walk-ed, or derivational, e.g. happi-ness, use-ful, clear-ly. See also morpheme.

superlative (superlativ): a form in adjective/adverb comparison, indicating the highest degree. The superlative form of monosyllabic (and many disyllabic) adjectives/adverbs ends in -est (quickest, highest, ugliest, narrowest). Otherwise the superlative is formed by placing the adverb most in front of the adjective/adverb.( most interesting, most careful, most happily).

superordinate clause (oversetning): a clause which contains a subordinate clause. The superordinate clause may itself be a subordinate clause; the main point is that it has a clause as (part of) one of its clause elements.

superordinate term (overordnet begrep): In a relation of hyponymy, the superordinate term is the word which has the widest reference. E.g. building (in relation to cottage, house), make-up (in relation to lipstick, eye-liner).

synonym (synonym): the synonym of a word is another word with (essentially) the same meaning. Thus little and small are synonyms of each other.

synonymy (synonymi): a sense relation between two words. If two words are synonymous, they have (essentially) the same meaning. E.g. nice/cosy, rich/wealthy, and picture/image.

syntax (syntaks): an area of linguistic study. The syntax of a phrase refers to how the words in the phrase can be combined, e.g. the order of modifiers and head, or the number/types of modifier that go with a head). The syntax of a clause refers to how clause elements are combined, i.e. what kinds of clause elements can occur together, and which order they can occur in.

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tag question (halespørsmål, tilhengerspørsmål): a type of interrogative which never constitutes a separate sentence, but is appended to a declarative or an imperative sentence. A tag question consists of an auxiliary and a pronoun, referring to the subject of the matrix clause. The auxiliary is do or another operator (see do-insertion). E.g. The book is out of print, isn't it? The book isn't out of print yet, is it? As shown, a tag question can be positive or negative; it tends to be negative when the matrix clause is positive, and vice versa. A tag question spoken with a rising tone can have a function similar to a yes/no-question, while a tag question spoken with a falling tone generally asks for the hearer's agreement.
When added to an imperative, the tag question often turns a command into a request (particularly when spoken with a rising tone), thereby 'softening’ the utterance. E.g. Close the window, will you?/Close the window, won’t you? The tag question also specifies the subject of the imperative.

tense (tempus, (verb)tid): a category of the verb phrase. Tense locates an action in time relative to the 'here and now' of the speaker. Only finite verbs can show tense. English has only two morphological tenses (i.e. tenses which have special forms rather than combinations of forms): present tense and past tense. Verbs in the present tense generally refer to 'now', while verbs in the past tense generally refer to 'before now'. (She lives in New York. vs. She lived in New York.) Alternatively the present tense can be seen as expressing directness or closeness in time and/or reality, while the past tense expresses distance: Since you are rich, you can buy that house. vs. If you were rich, you could buy that house. Both the present and the past tense can combine with the progressive and the perfective aspect.

that-clause (at-setning): a type of nominal subordinate clause introduced by the conjunction that or zero (Ø). A that-clause typically functions as a subject or a direct object (but can also function as an apposition in a noun phrase, as a predicative, or as a complement of an adjective). E.g. It is apparent that no acceptable formula has been found. The mayor said (that) he would run for re-election. The reply was that they would agree to attend. Are they indifferent to the fact that the dog can easily pick up germs from the preceding patient? I am afraid they will knock over my ink. These nominal that-clauses can be easily distinguished from relative clauses introduced by that by trying to replace that by which or who. (This naturally works only for relative clauses.)

to-infinitive (infinitiv med to): an infinitive verb phrase with the infinitive marker to.

tone unit (intonasjonsenhet): a stretch of language that represents a complete pitch pattern (in speech). A tone unit often corresponds to a grammatical unit, most commonly a clause. A tone unit must contain an accented syllable that acts as nucleus and involves change in pitch. It may also contain accented syllables before the nucleus (=head) and unaccented syllables before the head (=prehead) or after the nucleus (=tail). See also intonation. A tone unit may also correspond to an information unit, conveying a piece of new information, most commonly following a piece of given information. Most commonly the new information will be signalled by nuclear accent, i.e. a movement in pitch. See also information principle. In the following example the # marks the tone unit boundaries in a stretch of speech. The slashes mark falling or rising nuclear tones.

well I wrote b\ack # as [@m]. worded it as diplomatically as I c\ould # and s/aid # - if accommodation was d/\ifficult# I could of course get back to L\ondon # the same n\ight # you kn\ow #. really quite l\ate# - but if they wanted people ar\/ound#. to t\/alk to # - then I would be very happy to st\ay # - and got a letter back s\aying # we have arr\anged# for you to st\ay #


topic sentence (setning som uttrykker emnet for et avsnitt): a sentence that is placed at the beginning of a paragraph and expresses the main topic for that paragraph. The use of topic sentences is a way of organizing written discourse.

transitivity (transitivitet): a term referring to whether or not a verb occurs with a direct object. A transitive verb occurs with a direct object; an intransitive verb occurs without one. Example of transitive verbs: He stole priceless painting. They found a skeleton in the closet. As subcategories of transitive verbs, a ditransitive verb requires an indirect object in addition to the direct object (She offered him a drink), and a complex transitive verb requires an object predicative in addition to the direct object (They named him Peter). See also valency.

type–token ratio (forhold mellom antall forskjellige ord i en tekst og det totale antall ord): a measure of vocabulary richness in a text, i.e. the relationship between the total number of words in a text (=number of tokens) and the number of different words (=types) in the text. The type-token ratio is arrived at by dividing the number of types by the number of tokens and then multiplying by 100.Ahigh figure in the type-token ratio indicates rich and varied vocabulary.

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unattached participle clause (partisippsetning uten forankring i oversetningen): a participle clause whose understood subject is not properly anchored in the matrix clause. E.g. Having found out what the expenses would be, the conclusion was that I needed ten shillings. (The rule for avoiding unattached clauses is a follows: If a participle clause functions as an adverbial, its understood subject should be identical to the subject of the matrix clause. If a participle clause functions as a postmodifier in a noun phrase, its understood subject should be the antecedent of the clause.) Thus, a corrected version of the above example might be: Having found out what the expenses would be, I arrived at the conclusion that I needed ten shillings. An unattached participle clause is often referred to as a 'dangling modifier'.

uncountable (utellelig): a feature of some nouns. An uncountable noun refers to something which is seen as a mass, rather than an entity. Uncountable nouns do not vary between the singular and the plural. They co-occur with singular verbs, determiners and pronouns. E.g. water, tea, sand, pollution, money, furniture, gold. Since uncountable nouns cannot be referred to as 'one' or 'many' they cannot occur with the indefinite article (a/an, which means 'one') either, and they do not combine with the plural -s.

unit meaning (entallsbetydning): the 'singular' meaning of a collective noun with the emphasis on the group as one body. When a collective noun has unit meaning, it is referred to by means of singular personal pronouns, and it will agree with a singular form of the verb. E.g. The board has its meetings every Tuesday. Compare distributive meaning.

unit noun (substantiv som brukes for å gi tellelig referanse): a noun which is used to refer to countable units of something which is otherwise uncountable.E.g. a bar of chocolate, a bit of luck, a piece of advice, a strand of hair, a loaf of bread, a cup of coffee.

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valency (valens): a feature of lexical verbs. The valency of a verb determines how many clause elements there must be in a sentence in addition to the verbal. A verb with a valency of one (=a one-place verb) needs only a subject in order to build a complete sentence. A verb with a valency of two (=a two-place verb) needs two other clause elements (subject + direct object , subject + subject predicative, or subject + adverbial). A verb with a valency of three (=a three-place verb) needs three other clause elements (subject+ indirect object + direct object, subject+ direct object + object predicative, or subject + direct object + adverbial). No English verb has a valency of more than three.

verb (verb - ordklasse): one of the lexical word classes. A 'doing' word, which refers to an action, a process, an event, or a state. E.g. walk, think, discuss, live, die, be, stay, have, sit, multiply. (Note: in the first edition of EGTU, the term ‘verb’ was also used for ‘verbal’.)

verbal (verbal - setningsledd): a syntactic function, always realized by a verb phrase. The verbal is the central element in a clause; the element that determines the number of obligatory elements in a clause. (See valency). A complete sentence consists of at least subject and verbal.

verbless clause (setning uten verbal): an elliptical clause structure without a verbal. A verbless clause can usually be expanded to a full clause by filling in a form of the verb be (and sometimes a subject, too). Verbless clauses tend to function either as an adverbial or as a free predicative. E.g. When in Rome, do as the Romans. Whatever their faults, they are not hypocrites. He drove on, wary and shaken. (cf. when you are in Rome; whatever their faults may be; and he was wary and shaken.)

verb phrase (verbfrase): a main verb, sometimes preceded by one or more auxiliaries and/or catenatives. The syntactic and semantic features that may be present in a verb phrase are: tense (present or past), modality, aspect (perfective or progressive), voice (active or passive)
E.g. he watches; present tense, main verb
he is watching; present tense + progressive + main verb
he may be watching; unmarked modal + progressive + main verb
he should have been watched; remote modal + perfective + passive voice + main verb
he will have been being watched; unmarked modal + perfective + progressive + passive voice + main verb
he used to be watched; marginal modal, past tense + passive voice+ main verb
he will tend to watch; unmarked modal + catenative (usuality) + main verb
he keeps having to be watched; catenative, present tense + (marginal) modal + passive voice + main verb

vocative (vokativ): an optional clause element whose function it is to name the addressee of an utterance, e.g. in order to attract his/her attention. E.g. How are you, Mary? Mr. Jones, where were you at nine o'clock last night? Peter, there's somebody here to see you. Come off it, Harry!

voice (diatese): a category of the verb phrase, viz. the opposition between the active (Peter ate the apple ) and the passive (The apple was eaten by Peter ).

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weak form (svak form): a pronunciation of a word that entails some degree of phonological reduction. Only a relatively small number of words have weak forms, and they are all function words. The phonological reduction can consist in reducing the number of phonemes in the word (e.g. his: /hIz/ has a weak form /iz/) and/or in using one of the weak vowels (i, u, and schwa) instead of the full vowels. The general rule for using weak forms is as follows: The weak form of a word is used whenever the word is unstressed, unless the word occurs finally in a tone unit.

wh-cleft (utbrytning med wh -ord):see clefting. E.g. What I told him was to move out.

wh-determiner (wh-ord som fungerer som bestemmerord): a word beginning in wh- and functioning as a determiner in a noun phrase. E.g. Which book were you talking about? What time is it?... investors whose income is taxed at high rates... Whatever land you can see here belongs to somebody.

wh-interrogative (spørresetning med spørreord): a sentence type; an interrogative sentence which contains a wh-word (what, where, when, which, who, whom, whose, why, how). The wh-word is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence, and is followed by the finite verb. Unless the wh- word has the syntactic function of subject, the word order of a wh -interrogative is as follows: wh-word+ finite auxiliary + subject + verbal. E.g. Why did you want to study English? What is your name? When will they come? If the wh-word functions as subject, the word order of the wh-interrogative is simply: wh-word (=subject) + verbal. E.g. Who wants a second-hand grammar book? The typical communicative function of a wh-interrogative is a wh-question. The wh-word is sometimes placed in positions other than initial (e.g. With what shall I mend it? You said what?).

wh-pronoun (wh-pronomen/spørreord): a pronoun beginning in wh- and introducing a wh-question or an indirect question. Wh-pronouns are what, which, who(m),whose. Compare relative pronouns.

wh-question (spørsmål med spørreord): a communicative function ; a question where the hearer is asked to fill in a particular piece of information. A wh-question is typically realized by a wh- interrogative sentence, in which the wh-word represents the missing piece of information that the hearer is asked to supply. E.g. What do you want?, Where do you live? When does the film start? Who are you talking to? How do you analyse this sentence? A wh-question is typically spoken with falling intonation.

wh-word: a cover term for all the function words typically beginning with wh: viz. what, when, where, which, who, whom, whose, why, how. These words have various syntactic functions; they can be relative pronouns, wh-pronouns, wh-adverbs, and wh-determiners.

word (ord): the smallest linguistic unit that can have a syntactic function. A word has an expression side (combination of sounds, or of letters) and a content side (an independent meaning).

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yes/no-interrogative (spørresetning uten spørreord): a sentence type marked by inverted word order (usually subject-auxiliary inversion - unless the verbal is a simple form of to be or - less frequently - to have). E.g. Is your mother at home? Have you done your homework? Will he understand this? The typical communicative function of a yes/no -interrogative is a yes/no-question, though other functions are possible, e.g. request (can you lend me a pound, please?).

yes/no-question (ja/nei-spørsmål / spørsmål uten spørreord): a communicative function; a question to which the expected answer is yes or no. In other words, the speaker wants the hearer to say whether something is true or false. E.g. Are you a student? Have you been to Greece? Do you know your next-door neighbour? A yes/no-question is typically realized by a yes/no-interrogative, but can also be realized by a declarative sentence, spoken with a rising intonation. E.g. So, you're a student of English? A declarative accompanied by a tag (with rising intonation) also typically functions as a yes/no question. E.g. You’re fond of grammar, aren't you?

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zero article (null-artikkel): the absence of an article in a noun phrase. Indefinite plural nouns occur regularly with the zero article (Carrots are good for you). Likewise, uncountable nouns with indefinite/non-specific reference usually have the zero article (I've got [Ø] sand in my shoes). Furthermore, proper nouns normally occur with no article (Peter just left).

zero relative (relativsetning uten relativpronomen): a relative clause in which the relative pronoun has been omitted. In Standard English this is only possible in restrictive relative clauses which contain a subject (so that the relative pronoun would have replaced the direct object or another clause element). Grammar is the subject [Ø] I love best.

zero that-clause (at-setning uten subjunksjon): a nominal that-clause in which the subordinating conjunction has been omitted. The function of the clause can still be recognized as nominal, and that-insertion is always possible. She said [Ø] she wasn’t hungry.