A grammatical category is an analytical class within the grammar of a language, whose members have the same syntactic distribution and recur as structural unit throughout the language, and which share a common property which can be semantic or syntactic.
Each grammatical category has several "exponents", at most one of which marks a constituent of an expression: a noun or noun phrase cannot be marked for singular and plural at the same time, nor can a verb be marked for present and past at the same time.
For example, the category number has the exponents and in English and many other languages. In English, the number of a noun such as bird in:
- The bird is singing.
- The birds are singing.
is either singular or plural, which is expressed overtly by the absence or presence of the suffix -s. Furthermore, the grammatical number is reflected in agreement between the noun and verb, where the singular number triggers is, and the plural number, are.
Exponents of grammatical categories are often expressed in the same position or 'slot' in the word (such as prefix, suffix or enclitic). An example of this is the Latin cases, which are all suffixal: rosa, rosae, rosae, rosam, rosā. ("rose", in nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, ablative)
Other articles related to "grammatical category, grammatical, category":
... In traditional structural grammar, grammatical categories are semantic distinctions this is reflected in a morphological or syntactic paradigm ... Another way to define a grammatical category is as a category that expresses meanings from a single conceptual domain, contrasts with other such categories, and ... Another definition distinguishes grammatical categories from lexical categories, such that the elements in a grammatical category have a common grammatical meaning - that ...