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Conjunctions and Other Parts of Speech

Alan Reed Libert

The classification of words in terms of parts of speech is frequently problematic. This book examines the classification of conjunctions and similar words of other classes. It reviews work done from the 19th century to the present on a wide range of languages, including English, German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek, Welsh, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, Ute, and Abun. Most chapters treat conjunctions as opposed to one of the other traditionally recognized parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, adpositions, and interjections. The book’s major focus is on the terminology used to describe words on or near the borders between conjunctions and other parts of speech, such as «deverbal conjunctions», «conjunctional adverbs», «prepositional conjunctions», and «so-called conjunctions».

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In some cases I have modified the gloss of an example taken from a source, and in one case the morpheme boundary marking of the example itself, but I have not changed anything of substance; likewise I have corrected or changed the punctuation, spelling, or formatting in some quotations, but without changing the meaning. I thank the Interlibrary Services section of the University of Newcastle for their fast and efficient acquisition of materials for this book. I thank Jesper Gulddal and Marie-Laure Vuaille-Barcan for help with some Danish and French data respectively.

My usage of ellipsis points is as follows: if they are enclosed in square brackets, I have omitted one or more complete sentences from a quotation, otherwise only a part of a sentence has been removed.

It will be noticed that I have used some sources dating from before the beginning of modern linguistics (whenever one considers that to have been), which most current authors do not do. However, discussion about word classes goes back a long way, and (most of) the people writing about language in the 1800s were not idiots; some of their ideas are unusual, or simply incorrect, but nevertheless they are often interesting and may give us insights.

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