This 14th collection of students’ pearls of wisdom, laboriously digitised from hand-
Choose two of the bolded words in the following text and explain how you can assign word classes to each of them:
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
(“Jabberwocky”, Lewis Carroll)
‘mimsy’ is used in describing the noun of the line.
‘mimsy’ is the adjective which has no root word. It probably means weak as the sound of mimsy sounds a little weak. Most adverbs do. ‘Outgrabe’ is an adjective which has no root noun. But it probably has two morphemes. Word class: outgrabe is a preposition.
mimsy is the non-
mimsy could mean shiny. Also we make statements like ‘All awake’.
‘borogoves’ is the head of the NP and is found with the plural verb were. It is in turn the object of the line.
‘borogoves’ is countable because of the subject-
mome is a mass noun and therefore a root word. ‘The mome’ occurs after the conjunction ‘and’, making it a noun phrase.
‘raths’ probably refers to the word class noun as before the word is a noun ‘mome’.
outgrabe: it may mean extremely outrageous. The word is capable of being attached with an inflectional morpheme.
We could use the context technique, but sometimes there is no need for context, because it is clear from sentences which word class different words belong to.
More to come...