Students understanding the complexity of language

Chapter 01-07: Structure-Class Words Introduction


chapter 1: structure-class words

Structure-class words are mostly closed, relatively small groups of words. They work with (or replace) form-class words to create phrases and clauses. Structure-class words add depth and nuance to our language, and can be used to describe any relationship between form-class words.
As a class, structure-class words have mostly  grammatical meaning and serve as key markers for identifying words or phrases. Structure-class words  generally do not change form, taking neither inflection nor derivation.  This also means that the form and function of a structure-class word is  always the same.
There are seven sets of STRUCTURE-CLASS words described in this section:
 NOTE: there are two words that we do not cover in this section,  that don’t really fit into any category of structure-class word, but we  oftentimes need to account for them:
  • NOT: for our purposes, we are not going into detail on the use of the negative in the English language. If you are asked to identify NOT (or similar word) as part of an exercise, you can simply refer to it as Negative.
  • TO (the infinitive marker): if TO appears before a verb in its base form, it is the KEY MARKER for an infinitive phrase. If you are asked to identify this TO as part of an exercise, you can simply refer to it as Infinitive Marker.