Language and Linguistics

The concept of grammatical categories with properties

Grammatical Categories

A grammatical category is a system of opposed grammatical forms with homogeneous meanings. Members of one grammatical category are united by a common grammatical meaning and differ in particular meanings. In this article we will elaborate you the concept of grammatical categories

The grammatical categories are subdivided into morphological and syntactic ones. Among the morphological categories, there are, for example, grammatical categories of type, voice, time, mood, person, gender, number, case; whole grammatical classes of words (parts of speech) are characterized by the consistent expression of these categories. The number of opposed members within such categories may vary.

The concept of grammatical categories in traditional grammar was restricted to the following morphological concepts, which correspond to grammatical morphemes that can be combined with lexical categories:

1) Gender

 in languages ​​such as English, this relationship must be described from the natural gender, derived basically from a biological distinction between male and female.

2) Number

singular or plural.

3) Person : 

covers the distinctions between first (refers to the speaker), second (refers to the listener) or third person (to all others).

4)Time : 

time refers to the verb and can be present, past, future.

5)Mode : 

grammatical accident of the verb that expresses the attitude of the speaker at the moment of enunciation: subjunctive mood.

6) Aspect 

 the grammatical category that distinguishes in the verb different ways of representing an action according to its duration, its development, and its conclusion: imperfect and perfect tenses are distinguished in the conjugation, names that refer to the verbal aspect.

7) Voice 

a grammatical incident that expresses whether the subject of the verb is an agent (active voice) or patient (passive voice) or middle.

However, we can distinguish in other languages ​​the grammatical gender, whereby nouns are classified according to a gender class and, normally, articles and adjectives take different forms to agree with the gender of the name. In German, for example, there are three genders that do not correspond to the sex distinction. 

Properties of grammatical categories

The characteristic features of grammatical categories include:

  1. modifying type of categorizing attribute,
  2. his involvement in syntax,
  3. the obligatory choice of one of its meanings for (word) forms from the categorized population,
  4. availability of a regular way to express it.

Formative grammatical categories

According to the degree of “correlation” among the formative grammatical categories, the following are distinguished:


 (sequentially correlative, inflectional ), modifying (that is, suggesting the presence of correlations) for all words of a given part of speech (case and number of a noun, tense, and mood of a verb, consistent grammatical categories of verbs and adjectives);


(inconsistently correlative, basic educational, lexico-grammatical), suggesting the presence of correlations only for some significant subclass of a given part of speech (for example, the gender of animate nouns, the type and voice of the verb, the degree of comparison of adjectives, diathesis).

We hope that after reading this post you have understood fully the concept of grammatical categories

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