Article. General notion

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1. General Overview of the Category of Article in English and French
1.1 Article. General notion

An article is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun and to specify the volume or numerical scope of that reference. Article can be also thought of as a special kind of adjective, because it combines with a noun and contributes to the meaning of the noun-phrase. Many linguists place the article in the category of determiners. M. Ia. Blokh in his book “Theoretical Grammar of the English Language” says “The article is a determining unit of specific nature accompanying the noun in communicative collocation.” The linguists L. A. Barmina and I. P. Verkhovskaya have the same idea about the article as a determiner. They attribute it to a syntactic class of words called determiners which modify a noun. The dictionary of Thesaurus gives the definition of the word “article” as a determiner that may indicate the specificity of reference of a noun phrase. Webster’s New World College Dictionary refers to the article as used as adjectives. Also in this context we would like to add the words of the linguist B. Ilyish who devoted a whole chapter of his book “Stroi sovremennogo angliyskogo eazika” to the study of the article. He remarks that the article is usually a separate unit which may be divided from its noun by other words, chiefly adjectives.

So, we may conclude that the first feature of the article can be that the article is a determiner of the noun that refers to, that is why it can have some functions of an adjective and it is used as a separate unit.
Another feature of the article is that articles, definite or indefinite, are traditionally considered to form a separate part of speech. V. L. Kaushanskaya in her book “The Grammar of the English Language” specifies the article as a structural part of speech. In E. M. Gordon’s book “A Grammar of Present-Day English” we also meet the notion of a structural word as the linguist gives the following definition of the article: “The article is a structural word specifying the noun”.
According to these two definitions we can define the second feature of the article – it is a structural word.

Judging upon the definitions given by the different linguists and the dictionaries listed above we can draw a conclusion and deduce a general definition for the article that would include all its features: An article is a structural part of speech, which is combined with a noun to determine it.

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