Grammatical category

Grammatical category

A grammatical category or functional category is a linguistic term encompassing, among other things:

A grammatical category is a set of features which express related conceptual distinctions of grammatical function. The features in the same category are mutually exclusive, often expressed in a formally similar way, and may be subject to agreement constraints.

For example, in English, the grammatical number of a noun such as bird in:

  • The bird sing-s.
  • The bird-s sing.

is either singular or plural, which is expressed overtly by the absence or presence of the suffix -s, and is constrained by the grammatical number in sing-s singular and sing plural.

The list of all overtly expressed categories in a language constitute the functional items of that language, as opposed to its lexical items.


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