Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066

CiteScore 2018: 0.97

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.384
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.409

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 48, Issue 3


On the syntax and pragmatics of lexical categories: a comment on Mark Smith

Mark Baker
Published Online: 2010-06-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2010.023


While agreeing with Smith that the lexical categories cannot be defined pragmatically, I disagree with his implication that Baker 2003 is a pragmatic theory. Rather, I attempt to clarify my view that the definitional differences between nouns, verbs, and adjectives are primarily syntactic in nature. These syntactic differences stand in a natural correspondence to the pragmatic differences discussed in the literature in many cases, but when syntax and pragmatics go separate ways, category distinctions clearly follow the syntax. Given this, it stands to reason that the accuracy of the definitions can only be assessed if the syntactic structure of relevant examples has been accurately determined. I discuss a few suggestive examples of how this might be done in some “contentious” cases.

About the article

Correspondence address: Department of Linguistics, Rutgers University, 18 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA. E-mail:

Received: 2010-01-05

Published Online: 2010-06-17

Published in Print: 2010-05-01

Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 48, Issue 3, Pages 779–785, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2010.023.

Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Simeon Floyd
Linguistic Typology, 2011, Volume 15, Number 1

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in