Determiners functions particularise the noun referent in different ways: by establishing its reference as definite or indefinite, by means of the articles (a book, the book, an actor, the actor), or relating the entity to the context by means of the demonstratives this, that, these, those (which are deictics or ‘pointing words’), signalling that the referent is near or not near the speaker in space or time (this book, that occasion). The possessives signal the person to whom the referent belongs (my book, the Minister’s reasons) and are sometimes reinforced by own (my own book). Other particularising words are the wh-words (which book? whatever reason) and the distributives (each, every, all, either, neither). Quantifiers are also included in the determiner function. Quantification may be exact (one, seven, a hundred, the first, the next etc.

Determiners are words that help to limit the meaning of nouns with respect to specification (precision) and numbers. They usually appear before nouns or adjectives that describe nouns. Example:
* I need some money for shopping.
* He would need many books for the preparation.

The italicised words above are determiners. Over hundred words are used to perform the roles of determiners in various sentences and contexts. Many of these words are drawn from pronouns, while others are from adjectives. 

In the grouping of determiners, different writer seem to toe different ways based on their definitions of determiner. For instance, Swan defines determiners as words like a, the, this, my, some, every, either, several, enough; they “come at the beginning of noun phrase, but they are not adjectives” (ibid.: 147). This last clause is subject to skepticism. Determiners are however taken as a part of the minor word class by some linguists; they are taken from different parts of speech and assigned the functions the play in identifying nouns. Many adjectives are wedded into determines. Take the sentences below for example:
* Few books were in the shelf at the library (few as a quantifier).
* Plenty things await my arrival (plenty as a quantifier).
* New girls are employed by the hotel management (new as a qualifier).

Also read: The Crosscategorial Features of Prepositions

In the argument of Swan (1996) as shown above, few, plenty and new are in the above sentences realized as adjectives; yet the argument that these various words, thought adjectives but, used to identify the subjects of their content sentences is a determiner individually is undisputable. In fact, all the qualifiers and quantifiers that are not pronouns which are used to introduce nouns in different sentences are adjectives, but determiners at the moment. Remember, the subject is the head of the sentence and shares affinity with determiners particularly. Therefore whatever word suitable to announce the subject at any given time automatically becomes a determiner at the point; the class of the word notwithstanding. Pertinent to this chapter are those determiners that are closely aligned with sentence subjects. The grouping below self-narratively explains determiners to any learner.

Many writers found it very convenient to separate all, both and half as pre-determiners. I do not find it convenient to group them thus. The reason is simple; virtually all determiners could pre-determine their subjects while some selected numbers may be marked Post modifiers. Of course, what we have carefully summarized into two blocks (specifiers and quantifiers) above is broadened in different grammar books as pre, central and post modifiers.  The difference is that the broad discussions by those grammar books were intended to contain the modification roles of determiners across several positions of nouns in sentences, not particularly the subject alone. 

(1.1) Specifiers:
Specifiers are those determiners that are more or less marked for specifications. They particularly do not indicate quantity like quantifiers. Specific roles include denoting definiteness, indefiniteness, demonstrative, and possessions etc. of the subjects they introduce. In The Structure of Modern English Grammar, we discussed the above specifiers roles under regular determiners and pre-modifiers. Regular determiners are those determiners that are relatively unchanging in their nature. As a part of specifiers, regular determiners are marked specifically for specific numbers. They also are not intensified further.

(1.1.1) The Article
Articles are the oldest of the determiners taught in schools. It is the first aspect of determiners that students are confronted with, earliest from the lower academic levels. Every child that had passed through learning in nursery and primary schools is familiar with the articles a, an and the. These are indefinite and definite articles respectively.

(A) The Definite Article: The is termed definite article because it is believed to specifically point at something definite. Definite article, unlike the indefinite ones, does not specify the number of the subjects it introduces. What is very pertinent to note is that “the” article speaks of something that the audience is believed to have had information about previously. Note: it is presumed; not that the audience must in all the cases have prior information of the object in reference. 
* The child is crying.
* The books are interesting.
* The men were obsequious.
The definite article is used in two varying ways by speakers of the English language:

(1) The as a connotative plural determiner:  A closer observation to the sentences above will prove to us that the definite article is used to introduce subjects irrespective of their number. When the subject that the introduces is a proper noun in such a way that such a subject has a connotative reference to a set or a collection of species belonging to a common core, such a subject is realized as a plural subject; and as such it agrees with plural verbs. Example:
* The Igbo are a distinct people among Nigerians.
* The Yoruba are too subtle to rely on.
* The Ngenes are people of war.
* The Onojas are men of high standing.
* The government have passed a decree.
Although it is convenient for the subject (Government) to take singular verb, in is necessary to note that the influence of article the is capable of compelling the same subject to take plural verb as shown above. We must clarify our audience that this is one of the exceptional conditions in the use of the definite article. This situation is not prominent among users of the English language. Using the singular verb, has, in the above sentence is not wrong. The reason it is cited here is to make users of the English grammar know that it is not completely wrong should they hear or read such an expression. On the other hand, it may be mildly defended to fall under Notional Concord. The same idea also holds when management is introduced by the. Example:
* The management have taken a decision on the issue.
            * The management has taken decision on the issue.

(2) The as a deregulated determiner:  While in the first examples the is used for connotative reference, the deregulated the does not follow any constraint. It introduces any subject irrespective of its number. The accompanying verbs this time agree with the subjects with respect to whatever number the subject carries. 

(B) The Indefinite Articles: While the is marked definite, articles a and an are indefinite. Indefinite articles are used to introduce subjects that are mainly common nouns. The determiner of the suitable article to be used with any proper noun is the orthography of such a word (s). Article a is used before those subjects that begin with a consonant, while an is used to introduce subjects beginning with vowel sounds.
* A woman came looking for you.
* An Abam warrior fought the Jukun singlehandedly.
* An orange was found on my teacher’s table just now.
* An incubator saved the child that was born prematurely.
* A man who eats outside lives for the public.

(C) The Zero Article:
When a subject that is supposed to be preceded by a determiner appears alone in a sentence and the absence of the supposed article does not affect the meaning created by the sentence we say that zero article has occurred. Put simpler, the absence of a marker which is grammatically significant is called the ‘zero article’. ‘Zero’ doesn’t mean that an article has been omitted, as may occur in most newspaper headlines, but is a category in its own right.
* Orange is a good fruit.
* Book gives the highest information.
* Name is an identity.
* War is politics carried out by violent means.
* Television is a double blessing.
The most frequent type of generic statement is the one expressed by the zero articles with plural count subjects or subjects that are common nouns.
* Ostriches are common in South Africa.
* Courses offered in the university are enormous.
Zero articles with plural count subjects may have generic or indefinite reference according to the predication. See instance from the sentences below:
            * Frogs have long hind legs (generic = all frogs).
            * Animals that live in captivity play with their food as if it were a living animal           (indefinite = an indefinite number of food).
A subject comprising a mass noun with zero articles can be considered generic whether or not it is modified:
            * Ghanaian coffee is said to be the best.
It is definite only when it is preceded by the. Singular uncountable subjects expressing indefiniteness are used with the zero articles (eg. Wine is one of this country’s major exports). Indefinite plural subjects are also used with the zero articles.

(1.1.2) Indicators
Our choice to separate demonstratives, non-assertive dual determiner and negative dual determiner from articles is because it is discovered that, in the assessment of their relationship with the subjects they introduce, they show more indication of numbers than articles. Again, while articles are conditioned by phonetic regulations, demonstratives, non-assertive dual determiner and negative dual determiner are not thus regulated. The regulation this latter group receive is only prompted by the subject’s number. Their roles are generally to indicate the subject being referred to.

(A) Demonstratives: Demonstratives are determiners borrowed from demonstrative pronouns to indicate the numbers of the subjects they introduce in sentences. They are pronouns used as adjectives to modify nouns. As specifiers, they are marked for numbers. Examples:
            * This generation is very inconsiderate (singular subject).
            * That boy has been playing all day (singular subject).
            * These books were helpful to me during my exams (plural subjects).
            * Those goods have expired (plural subject).
Demonstratives particularise the subject referent by indicating whether it is near (this, these) or not near (that, those) to the speaker, in space or time or psychologically. They can refer to both human and non-human entities in both singular and plural (this century, these girls, that cat, those brakes). Like the demonstrative pronouns, the determinatives are used in anaphoric, cataphoric and situational reference. An anaphor refers to a word or phrase that refers to the activity in the past. The demonstratives, this and that are used very often to make such a reference. In the same way, these are used to indicate anaphoric plural.
* This woman is the thief who stole ice fish in the market.
* This meal was Jane’s specialty.
* That food was eaten already.
While anaphoric refers to a previous part of a discourse, cataphoric refers to later part of a discourse. Anaphoric reference can be also indirect, which requires some general knowledge. The cataphoric reference implies that the identity of the reference will be established by what follows in the discourse
* This is a security announcement: Would those passengers who have left bags on their seats please remove them?
The demonstratives this and these are also used to introduce a new topic entity into the discourse. This use is particularly common in anecdotes (stories) and jokes:
            * This man came up to me and said…, when I was walking along the street.

(B) Non-Assertive Dual Determiner: The term assertive refers to certainty in terms of exactness. For instance, the sentence, Some students are sleeping in the class while the teacher is teaching, is an assertive sentence because the determiner, some, clearly indicates that certain number of students are sleeping. It is not assertive when the speaker says, anybody sleeping in the class …. Determiners used for these senses are shown below:
                                                            Assertive           Non-assertive
Determiners/pronouns                   some                           any
                                                            someone                    anyone
                                                            somebody                  anybody
                                                            something                  anything
Non-assertive dual determiner uses the correlate, either, to show unspecific reference about the subject of a sentence.
* Either Jude took your wrist watch from this table or Diod did.
* Either mom prepares this tasty soup or aunt Sabina.

There is no clear assertion in the above sentences about the certainty of the subject that performed the action involved. The non-assertive is dual because two correlates are involved in the subject’s role. When a correlate, either, is used alone the meaning about the missing subject would rather be implied, not stated.

(C) Negative Dual Determiner: In the same way as has been explained above, dual determiner could be negative. In this sense, the determiner tends to mean that none of the subjects in reference is connected with the action performed in the sentence.
* Neither side of the road is safe to wait a while.
* Neither Jumi was there nor his wife.
* Neither go to that market on time, else you will see nothing to buy.

(1.2) Quantifiers
A speaker may select a referent by referring to its quantity, which may be exact (six students), non-exact (many brothers), ordinal (the first friend), or partitive (three of my friends). Exact numerals: these include the cardinal numerals one, two, three... twenty-one, twenty-two... a hundred and five... one thousand, two hundred and ten, and so on. These functions directly are determinatives. The ordinal numbers – first, second, third, fourth, fifth . . . twenty-first . . . hundredth . . . hundred and fifth and so on – specify the noun referent in terms of order. They follow determinative subjects as in: the first time, a second attempt, every fifth step, and in this respect are more like the semi-determinatives, including the next, the last.

Quantifiers refer to determiners that show quantity, group or mass. Quantifiers are mainly indefinite pronouns. Many quantifiers accept the indefinite article “a” to express quantity. Only few quantifiers are inflected for degree by accepting -er and -est morphemes while introducing their respective subjects. Example:
* Fewer students were in the class.
* The fewest population met was not encouraging.

Indefinite quantifiers: some, any, no, (none). Some specifies a quantity (with mass nouns) or a number above two (with count nouns) as in some money, some time, some friends, some details. Other quantifiers are used to express very small or very large amounts. The word, some, is pronounced in two ways, according to its functions. It has a weak form when used non-selectively as an indefinite determiner, but it is strong when used as a selective quantifier. Determiners sub-grouped as quantifiers are discussed below.  

(1.2.1) Numerals
Numerals simply mean numbers. It stands for those determiners that introduce their subjects by specifying their numbers in figure or in their order hierarchically (first, second…). 

(A) Cardinal: These refer to determiners of number or figures. Cardinal refers to such number as one, two, three … etc. Cardinals always go with plural count nouns, except those which co-occur with singular nouns. Example:
* Ten men were in the hall.
* Two girls went upstairs.
* One book is with me.
In many instances, one is always replaced by the indefinite articles “a” or “an”. In either ways, the proceeding noun is usually single.

(B) Ordinal: This refers to first, second, third… etc. Both can function pronominally and also as pre-determiners/pre-modifiers. Some numerals such as hundred, thousand etc. always have their pre-determiners (usually cardinals) deleted in some usage. Meanwhile, in many of the cases, ordinals are pronominally preceded by articles. Example: the tenth meeting etc.   
Ordinals are relatively different; they co-occur with singular nouns, except when such nouns connote a group. This condition however is exceptional, otherwise, all ordinal co-occur with singular nouns. Note also that it is characteristic of ordinal to introduce their subjects with the help of either articles or possessives. Example:
* Today, the fifteenth day of the month.
* The eleventh boy is not in the class now.
* My first friend has just travelled overseas.
* Thousands of invitation cards were sent for her wedding announcement.
The plural indication of ordinals is particularly peculiar to hundred, thousand, million etc. otherwise the ordinal is preceded by a cardinal numeral. Cardinals and ordinals are qualifiers. We remarked earlier that numerical determiners are sometimes substituted with partitives. Partitives are words or phrases that function as determiners to indicate quantity. Partitives have definite reference and represent subsets from already selected sets. Details are discussed in (1.2.3) below.

(1.2.2) Digits
Ordinarily, digits refer to the set of numbers or figures ranging from 0-9. The tendency to have mathematical figure calculated on the bases of ten digits may be there. As determiner, digits refer to those words (pronouns and adjectives) that are used to introduce subjects that indicate mass number. They also introduce subject whose numbers are not determinable.

(A) Multipliers: Another group of predeterminers are multipliers. They have two types of use similarly to predeterminers. Multiplier refers to the noun so determined with respect to its quantity, e.g. twice the length, double the length, three times her salary, etc. With the following determiner each and every, or the indefinite article, the multiplier refers to a measure, e.g. once a day, four times every year, twice each game.
* Twice the sun rotates daily.
* Once he was given an offer to play for Liver Pool.

(B) The general assertive determiners: Another quantifier that requires attention is what Quirk and Greenbaum (1990) refer to as the general assertive determiners. Some quantifiers are termed the general assertion because, functioning as determiners, they really do not specify the quantity of subjects (nouns) in reference. Quantifiers like some, many, few, little, much, plenty, large, lots, bit, small, big, etc. can be grouped together because of their wholesomeness. They show higher digits and indicate quantity at a higher level.  
* Some books are not worthy of the library.
* Few students were found on the streets around town.
* Many girls wear nudity as a show of fashion.

The assertion found in the expressions above depends on the fact that each of the quantifiers determines a general figure that is greater that one. They indicate greater number than the more silent determiners under the non-assertions

(C)The general non-assertive determiners: Unlike the general assertive that indicates greater quantity without specification, the non-assertive does not show any quantity; instead it gives indications of the presence of its subject. Good examples of non-assertive determiners include any, anything, anyone, anybody etc.
* Any day is okay by me.
* Anybody can come to my office at will.

(D) The quantitative determiners: Quantitative determiners are used to determine quantity. In The structure of Modern English Grammar, we grouped all the determiners under digit together and separated them according to their degree of modifications. In that distribution, what we have here as quantitative determiner was discussed as the determiner that shows optimal range/rating as it is applied in measurement.  We have the distributions as:

Enough is an optimal quantifier because it indicates quantitative level, especially when it introduces non-count and mass subjects/nouns.
            * Enough beans are served to the guests (normal, sizeable, sustainable quantity).
            * Enough books are in the shelf.
It is worthy of note to remind us that, although enough is a determiner and a pronoun, it can also be used in some sense to play the role of an adverb. This happens when it ends a sentence.

(1.2.3) Universals
Universal determiners are so unique in the sense that they are not presumably programmed to mark the numbers of their subjects. They do not determine the number of their subjects; instead the subjects determine their syntactic conditions. This type of determiners is mostly used with singular count subjects (nouns). Particularly, the universal determiners every and each, are peculiar for such singular count subjects.
* Every child is entitled to his right.
* Each student takes a thousand from the money.
We can mark universal determiners for their allocation roles. They allocate their subjects distributively. Again, the verbs that follow the subjects introduced by universal determiners often agree in singularity. The sentences above clarify these.

(A) Possessive: These include not just the possessive determinatives such as my, his, her, its, our, your, their, but also the inflected (’s) genitive form. The ’s determinative must be understood in a broader sense than that of the traditional term ‘possessive’. All, both, half share a positive characteristic, which means that they can stand before articles, demonstratives and possessives.
* All the students standing should return to the class.
* Both these students were in the meeting.   
*Half our students are gone.
They can as well exist on their own without occurring in front of determiners, such as every, each, some, any etc.; they are quantifiers themselves. There are also rules for their particular use. All is used with plural count and noncount subjects. This occurs when all is used as a monologues terminus such that it determines a repressive ending.
* All books are costly to buy.
* All music are essential.
All can also function as an individual each. In this condition, all rather acts distributively like every.
* All he could do was to twist my hand.
* All the money he has stolen, where is it.
Both is used with plural count nouns, e.g. both the books, both books. Half is used with singular and plural count and noncount nouns, e.g. half the book(s), half a book. All/Both/Half of the students. All and both can also stand at the adverbial position, e.g. The students both sat for the exam. Half, since it may be a modifier, creates pairs of words or institutionalized compound, e.g. half an hour, half a bottle of wine, etc.

Former and latter refer back to the first and the second respectively of two entities already mentioned. They are preceded by the definite article and can occur together with the ’s possessive determiners.
* The former’s was rejected.
* The latter’s approved.

(B) WH-Determiners: WH-determiners, such as: which, whose, whichever, whatever, whosoever, which are used as markers of relative clauses. As determiner, they are indefinite relatives used to introduce interrogatives.
* Which book is more useful?
* What name do you have?
* Whose book are you reading?
            * Whichever is good?

Wh-determiners could also be used in non-interrogative sentences. There are instances where wh-determiners are used in assertive sentences to refer to something that had been spoken about.
            * Whatever gain is profitable.
      * Whosoever goes to school learns to be civil.

(C) The Negative Determiners: The last of the quantifiers discussed here is the negative determiners. Negative determiners are those quantifiers of no estimated extent. They are used to introduce subjects that are indefinite in their references. Negative determiners include no, nobody, no one, nothing, none, nobody etc.

* None will attend the class, I assure you.
* Nothing is happening anywhere.
* Nobody has his cake and eats it.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Taylor Swift: 'White supremacy is repulsive. There is nothing worse'

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko has now treated 699 coronavirus patients with 100% success



Tulsi Gabbard says impeachment of Trump would be 'terribly divisive' for country


Marine Charged for Facebook Comments Gets Hearing Date