Download Investigating the Students` Ability to Recognize Adjectives

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Georgian grammar wikipedia , lookup

Sanskrit grammar wikipedia , lookup

Udmurt grammar wikipedia , lookup

Chinese grammar wikipedia , lookup

List of diminutives by language wikipedia , lookup

Agglutination wikipedia , lookup

Macedonian grammar wikipedia , lookup

Kannada grammar wikipedia , lookup

Compound (linguistics) wikipedia , lookup

Arabic grammar wikipedia , lookup

Modern Hebrew grammar wikipedia , lookup

Serbo-Croatian grammar wikipedia , lookup

Latin syntax wikipedia , lookup

Ukrainian grammar wikipedia , lookup

Zulu grammar wikipedia , lookup

Swedish grammar wikipedia , lookup

Scottish Gaelic grammar wikipedia , lookup

Pipil grammar wikipedia , lookup

Inflection wikipedia , lookup

Spanish grammar wikipedia , lookup

Sotho parts of speech wikipedia , lookup

Lithuanian grammar wikipedia , lookup

Old Norse morphology wikipedia , lookup

Literary Welsh morphology wikipedia , lookup

Modern Greek grammar wikipedia , lookup

Ancient Greek grammar wikipedia , lookup

Portuguese grammar wikipedia , lookup

Malay grammar wikipedia , lookup

Yiddish grammar wikipedia , lookup

Japanese grammar wikipedia , lookup

French grammar wikipedia , lookup

Russian grammar wikipedia , lookup

Esperanto grammar wikipedia , lookup

Polish grammar wikipedia , lookup

Comparison (grammar) wikipedia , lookup

‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
Investigating the Students’ Ability to Recognize
Adjectives through Suffixes
Ass.Inst. Zainab Al-Kaisy
Teacher Training Institute
Ministry of Education
2011/10/6:‫تقديم البحث‬
2012/1/26:‫قبول النشر‬
Adjectives are important parts of speech that are used in
every day language. Their importance is clearly obvious as
there is no sentence without an adjective of any kind. They
can be easily recognized if one has the knowledge to
differentiate between the different parts of speech of the
language. And when words have adjectival suffixes, the
task will be easier. The present study aims at investigating
fifth-year institute students’ ability to identify adjectives
by their suffixes. To fulfill the aim of this study, the
researcher has constructed a test, which comprises two
questions: the first is a multiple-choice question at the
recognition level and the second is a completion question
at the production level.
‫استقصاء قابلية الطلبة في التعرف على الصفات من خالل اللواحق‬
‫ تكمن أھمية‬.‫الصفات ھي قسم مھم من أقسام الكالم التي نستخدمھا في حياتنا اليومية‬
‫ يمكن التعرف على‬.‫الصفات في أنه ال توجد جملة بدون وجود نوع من أنواع الصفات‬
،‫الصفات بسھولة إذا كان الشخص له القدرة على التمييز بين أقسام الكالم المختلفة‬
‫ تھدف‬.‫ولكن عند إضافة اللواحق الخاصة بالصفات فأن المھمة تكون أسھل بكثير‬
‫الدراسة الحالية إلى استقصاء قدرة طلبة المعھد في التعرف على الصفات من خالل‬
‫ ومن أجل تحقيق ھدف البحث عمدت الباحثة إلى بناء‬.‫وجود اللواحق الخاصة بالصفات‬
‫ األول اختيار من متعدد لمستوى التعرف وسؤال التكملة‬،‫اختبار يتكون من سؤالين‬
.‫لمستوى اإلنتاج‬
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
Section One
1.1 The Problem
Teaching all vocabulary in English is an impossible task for
teachers to teach and for learners to learn. So teachers must find a
way to facilitate teaching vocabularies. A tricky way to solve this
problem is to group words into their syntactic category and
teaches students how to figure out what unknown words could be
or mean. Teachers can teach their students to infer meaning by
analyzing the context clues and the morpheme clues (Ebbers,
Knowing morpheme clues especially the most common
suffixes for distinguishing parts of speech can help students to
figure out the part of speech of the word. Suffixes combine words
into groups; i.e. into the different part of speech because there are
certain suffixes for each part of speech. There are noun, verb,
adverb and adjective suffixes (though some can be used for more
than one part). Suffixes which are in concern in this paper are
some adjectival suffixes.
It is difficult to determine an adjective when it stands alone, as
there is nothing in the adjective that determines its syntactic
function, but when suffixes are added and these words positioned
in sentences the problem become much easier (Quirk and
Greenbaum, 1973:131).
Though the task of identifying adjectives may seem easy, as
there are few adjectival suffixes that can be memorized, EFL
students find difficulty in determining adjectives. They neglect the
syntactic clues and the morpheme clues that clarify the part of
speech and pay attention to meaning only. Iraqi EFL learners face
difficulties in identifying and recognizing adjectives and even
when suffixes are added the problem is still there.
1.2 The Aim of the Study
The aim of the study is to investigate EFL students' ability to
recognize adjectives by their position, and their suffixes.
1.3 The Hypothesis of the Study
It is hypothesized that fifth year institute students are unable to
recognize adjectives neither by their suffixes nor by their position.
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
1.4 The Limits of the Study
This study is limited to the fifth year students, Department of
English, Teacher Training Institute of the academic year 20102011. It is limited to certain adjectival suffixes (able, ent, ive, ic,
ous). It is also limited to adjectives in the predicate position as it is
an essential pattern of sentences.
1.5 The Significance of the Study
The present study sheds light on fifth year institute students'
ability to recognize adjectives since they are an important part of
speech and add colour to sentences, paragraphs and texts.
Adjectives add details to the noun and are used to describe people,
things, etc.
Section Two: A General Survey on English Suffixes and
2.1 Introduction
To mention all derivational suffixes in English would be
somehow a hard task, so this paper will focus on a handful of
derivational suffixes. It will be restricted to adjectival suffixes; i.e.
adjectives that are made by adding adjective suffixes with specific
emphasis on the most well known ones in English.
2.2 The Importance of Adjective as Vocabulary in Language
English is the main language used in many countries for
newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the internet. And it
is the language used in almost all fields of knowledge. So, it is
highly essential to master as it has become as an ideal language
for expressing our feelings, needs, ideas, etc. (Stål, 2009:4).
Learning vocabularies is a very important part of language
learning and is necessary for communication and for the
grammatical structure. “the more you know of the surrounding
words, the more contextual support will be received, and the
easier it will be to decode the unknown words” (Krantz
1998:118). Stal (2009) argues that since high-frequency words are
more important than others, learners should first focus on words
that occur more than once in their textbooks. Adjectives are one of
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
them. They are an essential part of speech. Adjectives compose a
fundamental category of words in most languages. They can be
found in the everyday language. Adjectives make the language
more colorful. They add color and vibrancy to our language much
like the rainbow, whether there are many of them in a text, speech
or whether they are used sparingly. They are words that give your
writing and speech flavor (woods:Int). Knowing as much
adjectives as possible will build up the students' repertoire.
However, by learning the variations in meaning that occur when
suffixes are added to words, one can increase his vocabulary.
2.3 The Importance of Suffixes
One way for improving EFL general reading comprehension is
to know something about how suffixes function (DeForest, 2000).
Suffixes are very useful in language learning because if one
knows how to identify suffixes and what they mean, one can
identify what kind of word it is in terms of grammar and increase
one’s vocabulary. It is well known that the kind of final suffix
determines the part of speech of the word. Students who are
morphologically aware of this will readily realize what part of
speech the word is (Schuster, 1965:98).
The main thing that a suffix shows is how it will be used in a
sentence and how it is classified, in terms of whether the word is a
noun, a verb, an adverb, or an adjective.
Suffixes help EFL learners to infer confidently unknown word
meaning or grammatical function of the word without the help of
the teacher as suffixes are considered to be an inside clues for the
meaning of words; i.e. morphemes convey syntax through suffixes
(Ebbers, 2009).
Knowing these suffixes will help the learner to:1- work out the meaning of words.
2- recognize word class.
2.4 Definition of Adjective
Adjectives are words that describe, modify, qualify, limit or
give more information about another person or thing in a sentence
whether nouns or pronouns. Adjectives give and describe nouns in
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
terms of such qualities as size, colour, number and kind.
(Wikipedia, 2011: Int)
2.5 Classification of Adjectives
Adjectives can be viewed according to their syntax and
semantics (Eagles ,1996).
2.5.1 Syntactic classification of adjectives
Syntactically adjectives can be viewed as to three features:
position, complementation and alternation.
1- Position: Adjectives can occur in
(a) Attributive position only as a noun modifier (in front
of a noun) inside a noun phrase. These adjectives can
be signified as those which identify something as
being of a particular type. It is often referred to as
classifying adjectives, and rarely occurs in the
predicative position unless we specifically want to
emphasize a contrast; other adjectives which
generally appear in the attributive position are those
which are used for emphasis. Some of the adjectives
that are used attributively are principal, chief, main,
utter, sheer (Quirk et al,1985:417).
e.g. She wears a woolen jacket.
(b) In a predictive position only after the verbs (be,
seem, become, consider, stay, sound, taste or any
other linking verb). These adjectives either include
those which describe feelings, such as fine, content,
glad, ready, sure, sorry and upset or they include a
group of adjectives with prefix a-, such as asleep,
alive, alone, ashamed, awake, aware, afraid, a float,
aglow, etc. (Foley and Hall,2003:217).
e.g. He was afraid.
e.g. She is fine.
(c) Both positions. These adjectives are called central
adjectives. Most adjectives can occur in both
positions; i.e. attributively and predicatively. (Quirk
et al,1985:417).
e.g. She has read an interesting story.
e.g. Your ideas are interesting.
(d) As an object complement after a direct object
(whether this object is noun, noun phrase or a clause)
and after certain verbs (those which express cause or
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
have a causative meaning, or express the result of a
process denoted by the verb (Ibid:420).
e.g. My sister keeps her room tidy.
e.g. He pulled his belt tight.
(e) After the definite article (THE) as a head of a noun
phrase either to refer to a group or class of people or
to refer to uncountable things which is usually in the
superlative form. (Ibid:421)
e.g. The rich should help the poor.
e.g. I read two books to them; he preferred the sad
book, but she preferred the happy.
e.g. She admires the mystical.
e.g. The best is yet to come.
In a postpositive position: After a noun or pronoun
they modify (in certain phrases especially in official
and institutional terms), they are called post nominal
adjectives and also after those ending in –body, -one,
-thing, -where) (Ibid: 418).
e.g. The people present are fat.
e.g. The president elect is black.
e.g. Anyone intelligent can do it.
e.g. Something small and shiny would help.
(g) After the noun: Some adjectives that describe size or
age can immediately occur after the noun that
indicates a unit of measurement. (Maxwell and
e.g. She was about five feet tall.
e.g. Her baby is ten months old.
(h) Interpolate position: They can either follow or
precede the noun they modify; they should be
punctuated as the following examples (Wikipedia:
2011: Int).
e.g. Startled, the small yellow bird stopped singing.
e.g. The boy, happy with his lollipop, did not look
where he was going.
e.g. Tense, expectant and alert, we waited to see what
would happen.
2- Complementation: Adjectives can be differentiated in terms
of the complement they subcategorize into (Quirk et al,1985:
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
a- No complement at all. These adjectives do not need a
complement to clarify the meaning of the adjective. E.g red,
ugly, etc.
b- Prepositional complement. This kind of adjectives may
need a preposition (in, at, of, to, about, on, with, by, from)
followed by either 1-a phrase (a noun/pronoun) or by 2verbal complement to complete its meaning.(Ibid)
1- e.g. He is fond of detective films.
e.g. We were amazed at the circus animal.
2- e.g. We’re not interested in selling our house.
c- Clausal complement. This kind of adjectives may need a
clause (A group of words that has a verb and a subject) i.e
(wh- or that clause) to complete its meaning.(Ibid)
e.g. He was uncertain what to do next.
e.g. It was not obvious how far the amendment process would go.
d- Sentential complement. This kind of adjectives needs a
sentence (S+V+com) to complete its meaning.(Eagles,1996
e.g. It is possible that they leave.
e.g. I am confident that she will succeed.
e- Infinitival complement: This kind of adjectives needs an
infinitive to complete the meaning.(Quirk et al,1985:1221)
e.g. I am sad to leave.
e.g. The book was easy to read.
e.g. The boys easiest to teach were in my class.
g- ing –form: This kind of adjectives needs a participle clause
to complete its meaning.
e.g. It is pointless buying so much food.
e.g. They’re busy painting the kitchen.
3- Alternation
Alternation means the ability or inability to convert clausal
complement of the adjective to the subject position of the
sentence. Some adjectives can do this; others cannot (Eagles,
e.g. I am sad to leave.~~~ To leave is sad for me.
e.g. Sam was brave to leave. ~~~To leave was brave of Sam.
But not I am eager to come. ** ~~~To come is eager.
2.5.2 Semantic Classification of Adjectives
Adjectives can be recognized and identified by four criteria
which include the ability to be in predicative and attributive
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
position, the ability to be pre-modified by intensifiers and the
ability to take the comparative and superlative form. These four
criteria are used to classify adjectives semantically though these
semantic criteria have syntactic implication (Greenbaum and
Quirk, 1990:129).
1- Gradability
Adjectives can be described in a scale. The lowest point on the
scale is known as absolute form, the middle point is known as the
comparative form and the highest point is known as the
superlative. Some adjectives take the (er, more) and (est, most) to
express gradability like dangerous, aggressive, beautiful, ugly,
while others can not take this; e.g. dead, pregnant, married,
unique (Quirk et al, 1985:434).
2- Inherent versus non-inherent adjectives
The ability of adjectives which occur in an attributive position
to reoccur in a predicative position is called inherent quality of the
adjective in the noun itself; i.e. most adjective noun sequence such
as (a red car) which is in attributive position can be reformulated
into: a car which is red which is in a predicative position (Quirk et
al, 1985:434).
My old friend ~ can be reformulated into My friend is old.
On the other hand, non-inherent adjectives do not have the ability
to reformulation of the sentence; i.e. a small businessman cannot
be formulated into ** A businessman who is small, but refers to a
businessman whose business is small.
e.g A firm friend is not ~ a friend who is firm
3- Stative versus dynamic adjectives
Stative adjectives denote a state or condition, which may
generally be considered a permanent quality in the noun they
modify such as big, red, and small (Ibid:435). Stative adjectives
cannot be used in 1- imperative construction as
** Be big / red / small.
And 2- cannot be used in progressive construction like
*** He is being big / small / red.
In contrast, dynamic adjectives denote attributes which are not
permanent in the noun they modify or can be called upon when
needed. So they can be used in 1- imperative construction like
__ Be brave.
And can be used in 2- progressive construction like
__My parents are being foolish again.
__Your son is being disruptive in class.
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
4- Central versus peripheral adjectives
Adjectives that fulfill the criteria of gradability and the ability to
occur attributively and predicatively are called central adjectives.
Those which do not fulfill all the criteria are known as peripheral
adjectives (Sundaram,1998).
5- Restrictive versus non restrictive
Restrictive adjectives identify the nouns’ referent; i.e. restrict
the reference of the noun; e.g. a certain person, a particular child,
while non-restrictive adjectives are those that do not restrict the
reference of the noun because they are already identified (Quirk et
al ,1985:430).
2.6 Suffix Classification of Adjectives
Adjectives can be classified according to their suffixes into:
(wikipedia, 2011:Int)
1- Adjectives which are formed from nouns(whether common
or proper): Those include (ed, ful, i, ish, less, like, ly, y, al,
ic, ous, esque).
2- Adjectives which are formed from verbs: Those include
(able, ive).
3- There are a number of suffixes that can be used as both
nouns and adjectives. These include (ese, ian, ist, ite).
2.7 Kinds of Adjectives
Knowing kinds of adjectives in their order in a sentence is very
important as there are sort of adjectives written in front of others.
Looking at the types of adjectives commonly used is a good way
to build up an adjective set in speaking or writing without any
mistakes and a great way to get to know them. This knowledge
helps students to know where and when to use adjectives and
where it is possible to add suffixes to them. There are many kinds
of adjectives (Wikipedia, 2011: Int). They include:1- Descriptive adjectives: They describe nouns or pronouns. They
answer the question (What kind?). Descriptive adjectives are
considered the major kind of adjectives as there are unending
adjectives to describe every detail in the noun. They include:
a- Color like red, white, pink, red, orange, yellowish, dark-green,
blue, purple, black, white, gray, brown, tanned, pastel, etc.
b- Shape like broad, skinny, crooked, round, circular, square,
triangular, oval, sleek, blobby, flat, rotund, globular, spherical,
wavy, straight, cylindrical, oblong, elliptical, zigzag, squiggly,
crooked, winding, serpentine, warped, distorted, .
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
c- Size and weight like big, tall, large, huge, heavy, light, big,
small, tiny, tall, short, fat, thin, slender, willowy, lean, svelte,
scrawny, skeletal, underweight, wide, enormous, huge, vast,.
d- Qualities like wet, dry, fluffy, painted, scuffed.
e- Personality traits like aggressive, ambitious, cruel, thrifty,.
f- Time like modern, old, ancient, annual, early, late, morning,
night, evening, everlasting, initial, first, last, overdue, belated,
long-term, delayed, punctual,.
g- Appearance like adorable, elegant, beautiful, timid.
h- Feelings like afraid, comfortable, faithful, hungry.
i- Sound like loud, noisy, blaring, soft, silent, vociferous,
screaming, shouting, thunderous, blaring, quiet, noisy,
talkative, rowdy, deafening, faint, muffled, mute, speechless,
j- Touch like hard, rough, sticky, slippery, bumpy, smooth, grainy,
coarse, pitted, irregular, scaly, polished, glossy, lumpy.
k- Material like wooden metal, iron, paper, silver, stone, brick,
glass, nylon, tin, lead, copper, .silk, satin, plastic, brass.
2- Proper adjectives- are adjectives that derived from proper nouns via
the process of derivation. They answer the question (what is he or it?)
They include the following:
ian (Italian, Norwegian)
-ean (Chilean, Korean)
-an (American, Mexican)
-ese (Chinese, Japanese)
-er (Icelander, New Zealander)
-ic (Icelandic, Greenlandic)
-ish (English, Irish)
-i (Iraqi, Pakistani )
3- Limiting adjectives- they are used to specify only certain or
specific nouns. They are limited to the noun that they describe
and, hence, are known as limiting adjectives: They answer the
question (How many?).They include:
a- Cardinal numbers- one, two, three, etc.
b- Ordinal numbers- first, second, third, fourth, etc.
c- Articles- A, an, the…..pertains to one item only.
4- Adjectival pronouns. They include the following:(Stål,2009)
a- Indefinite Pronouns: They are used as adjectives. They
give indefinite or general information about the noun.
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
They include many, several, some, most, all, any, few,
each, every.
b- Demonstrative pronouns: They answer the question
(which one?).They include this, that, these, those.
They refer to something either present or may be
mentioned in another sentence.
c- Interrogative adjectives. They answer the question
(What, Which and Whose?). They include: who,
where, what, which.
d- Possessive
(whose?).They include my, your, his, her, its, our, their,
e- Relative Pronouns. They include: which, whichever,
what, whatever, whose, whosever.
e.g. He may take whichever one he wants.
e.g. I took what little time I had left.
5- Compound adjectives: They are the adjectives that are made
up of more than one word; one of them is an adjective. They
include the following combinations (Wikipedia,2011:Int).
1- Adjective + noun like blackboard, deep-sea, fulllength, last-minute.
2- Noun + adjective like snow-white, trouble free, worldfamous.
3- Adjective + adjective like blue-green, bitter-sweet,
4- Preposition +adjectives like over-ripe,
5- Adjective + preposition like forthwith,
6- Adjective+ past participle like cold-blooded, kindhearted, open-minded, and well behaved, etc.
7- Adjective +present participle like good-looking, farreaching, never-ending, and mouth-watering, etc.
6- Derived adjectives: They are the adjectives that are formed
via the process of derivation (adding different prefixes and
suffixes). It is for this reason considered as an open class.
They include many of the above kinds of adjectives like
descriptive and proper adjectives (Wikipedia, 2011).
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
Section Three: Procedures
3.1 Population and Sample Selection
EFL learners in this research are fifth-year students of the
Department of English/Teacher Training Institute/Al-Mansoor of
the academic year (2010-2011). The reason for choosing this
sample is that they are acquainted with the different kinds of
suffixes that form different parts of speech and because they are
acquainted with adjectives (their position,kinds) in their academic
years as they are supposed to have a complete course in English
grammar including this kind of information. Hence, the researcher
wants to see whether fifth-year students can recognize an
adjective by its position and by its suffix.
The number of students who attend the test is 24, (4) students are
excluded because they are repeaters.
3.2 Test Construction
The researcher constructed a test about the following types of
adjective suffixes (ive, ous, ic, ent, able), distributed on both parts
of the test of nearly the same number. The test consists of two
parts, the first is concerned with the recognition level and the
second is concerned with the production level. At the recognition
level, the test is of two questions; the first consists of 12 items and
the second consists of 10 items (the total number is 22) and at the
production level, the test is of one question which consists of 18
items. i.e. all the items of the test are 40. Each item of the test is
given one mark if it is correct, and zero if the item is incorrect.
(See Appendix 1)
3.3 Test validity
The test gives the concept of validity when it measures what it
intended to measure (Madesn, 1983:178). In order to ensure the
face validity of this test, it was exposed to a jury of experts (see
appendix 2) to provide the researcher with their opinions in
verifying the items of the test, checking its validity and suitability.
The jurors agreed upon its validity and suitability.
3.4 Test Reliability
Reliability refers to the degree of consistency of the test scores
measurement (Oller, 1979:4). One of the methods that can be used
to find out test reliability is the split-half method, which requires
scoring the odd-numbered items and the even-numbered items
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
separately. Then, the correlation between scores on the odd and
even numbered items is calculated. By using Pearson Correlation
formula, the reliability coefficient of the test is computed to be
(0.66). Using Spearman Brown's formula for re-correction, the
reliability correlation coefficient is found to be (0.79). This
indicates that the test is reliable and acceptable.
Section Four: Results, Conclusions, Recommendation and
4.1 Result Analysis
In order to find out fifth-year institute students can recognize
adjectives by their suffixes and by their position; the t-test formula for
one sample is used. As shown in the table below (Table 1), the calculated
t-value is (0.296), which is less than the tabulated value (2).
Table 1 t-test statistics for the study scores in the test
Level of
Calculated Tabulated
Test Analysis shows that students do not know adjectives
by their position. This can be clearly shown in their
answers as only 51% of the items are correct as all the
adjectives in the test have the same position which is
predicate position, as shown in Table 2.
Table 2 Percentage of the students' correct responses of the items
Recognition items
29.069 %
Production Items
20.104 %
All the items
51.041 %
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
Table 3 The students' percentage of the items according to suffixes
All items
10 %
Table 3 shows that the suffix (-ent) is the most difficult suffix
to students as only 10% of the items are correct and this is a very
big problem concerning adjective recognition, and that the suffix
(-ous) is much easier to students as 28.3% of the items are correct.
The students' responses show that although some adjectives have
the same suffix but students have mistaken the correct answer, this
can be attributed to the newness of the word; i.e. the words are not
very familiar to them, though these words have adjectival suffixes
and in an adjective position. According to Corder (1981:105),
guessing is one of the techniques that EFL learners use to
overcome inappropriateness of their knowledge and this is what
happens in many items that students choose incorrectly in the
recognition level like (3,7,2,8)and the production level like(2,6,9).
It is known that recognition is much easier than production and
this is shown in the students’ answers of the suffexs (-ive, -able)
in Table 3 but some suffixes converse this fact like the suffixes (ous, -ic, -ent)), in which students have no difficulty in producing
the suffix in production level, but in the recognition level there is
a problem. This can be attributed to the learner's limited
knowledge of the target language (James,1998:170).
Some students have answered incorrectly in some items and they
answered correctly in other items of the same suffix as it is clearly
obvious in the suffix (ive) in the items (1,6,)and the suffix(able) in
the items(7,10,21). This can be due according to Keshavarz (1999:
109) to ignorance of rule restriction. Students pay attention to the
meaning of the new words and neglect the position and suffix of
the word that give clues to the part of speech of the word.
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
4.2 Conclusions
In the light of the analysis of learners' responses, the researcher
has come to the following conclusions:
1- It is proved that the fifth year institute students can not
recognize adjectives by their suffix or by their position
well, and this supports the hypothesis of the study.
2- EFL learners recognize adjectives as long as the most
familiar adjective suffixes are added, but when
unfamiliar suffixes are added, they face problem in
identifying them.
3- EFL learners do not have a good grasp of suffixes and
how they can direct the part of speech of the word.
4- Morphological awareness helps EFL learners to figure
out unknown words encountered in the future.
4.3 Recommendations
On the basis of the results of the research stated above, the
following recommendations are suggested:
1- Intensive practice is needed in identifying adjectives by
suffixes, position and other properties of adjectives.
2- EFL instructors are advised to attract EFL learners' attention
that adjectives can be identified for the first time by the
position rather than meanings.
3- Attracting students' attention to morpheme clues as well as
context clues in recognizing adjectives which is an
important way for EFL learners to know the part of speech
of the word.
4- EFL instructors are to devise new ways to teach adjectives
by asking their students to describe things, objects and
persons as adjectives are easy to teach since the rules
surrounding them are straightforward especially when
suffixes are added.
5- Practice in an amusing way is the shortest way to make EFL
learners master using adjectives in writing and speech.
6- EFL instructors should concentrate on the most difficult
adjective suffix to language learners.
4.4 Suggestions for further Studies
In the light of the results obtained, the following suggestions
for further studies can be put forward:
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
1- A similar study may be conducted in other institutes for both
sexes (males and females).
2- A similar study can be conducted for other kinds of suffixes;
i.e. verb suffixes, noun suffixes.
3- A similar study may be conducted to compare between the
students' ability to recognize and identify verb suffixes from
noun suffixes.
Corder,S.P.(1981).Error Analysis and Inter-language. Oxford.
Oxford University Press.
DeForest, J (2000) Retrieved January,13,2011from www.ins.dfi.
Ebbers, Susan M. (2009). Vocabulary through Morphemes:
Suffixes, Prefixes, and Roots for Intermediate Grades. Retrieved
January,11,2011. From http//
Eagles(1996)Eagles central Secretariat . Retrieved June,10,2011
Foley, Mark and Diane Hall (2003) Advanced Learners' Grammar .
Longman: England.
Greenbaum, Sidney and Quirk, Randoulph (1990) A Student's
Grammar of the English Language . Longman: Hongkong.
James, (1998) Errors in Language Learning and Use: Exploring
Error Analysis. London: Longman.
Keshavarz, M(1999) Contrastive Analysis and Error Analysis.
Rahnama Publisher. Tahran.
Krantz, G. (1998). Vocabulary Acquisition: A Study of Reading
Strategies. University of Gothenburg, Department of English,
Madsen, H.(1983). Techniques in Testing. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
Maxwell, Kerry G and Clandfield, Lindsay (2011) Adjectives and
noun modifiers in English. Retrieved June,2, 2011 From
Oller, J.W.(1979). Language Testing at School : A Pragmatic
Approach. London: Longman Group LTD.
Quirk, R ; Greenbaum, S ; Leech, G. ; Svartvik , J (1985).
A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. New York:
Longman Inc..
Quirk, R. and Greenbaum, S. (1973). A University Grammar of
English. London :Longman.
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
• Schuster, Edgar (1965). Grammar, Usage and Style . McGraw-Hill,
Inc. New York.
• Sundaram, Raghu(1998).The Importance of the English Language.
Retrieved March 21, 2011, from
• Stål,Olle .(2009) Adjectives in English Course Books. Göteborg
University. Retrieved March,21,2011.
• Wikipedia(2011) Retrieved June,2,2011.
• Woods, Geraldine. Adding Adjectives to Make Your Writing
More Descriptive. Retrieved December,12,2011 .From
The Test
Appendix 1
Recognition Level
Q. 1 /A/ Write the number of the item and the letter (a, b, c, d) that best
shows the part of speech of the underlined words:
1- 1- A solution of the problem of toxic waste is elusive.
a. Adv
b. Adj
c. N
d. V
2- The assistant was courteous and helpful.
a. Adj
b. Adv
c. N
d. V
3- My first meeting with her was quite a romance.
a. N
b. Adv
c. Adj
d. V
4- Things are frantic in the office right now.
a. Adv
b. N
c. V
d. Adj
5- Any further payments are contingent upon satisfactory completion
a. V
b. Adj
c. Adv
d. N
6- His enthusiasm was contagious.
a. Adj
b. V
c. Adv
d. N
7- The prince concluded his tour with a visit to a concert.
a. Adj
b. N
c. V
8- Acid is corrosive.
a. V
b. N
c. Adj
d. Adv
9- It is highly debatable whether conditions have improved for lowincome families.
a. Adv
b. V
c. N
d. Adj
10- The fun was furious.
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
a. N
b. Adj
c. Adv
d. V
11- The girls exhibited great powers of endurance during the climb.
a. Adv
b. V
c. Adj
d. N
12- Old people are more conservative than young people.
b. N
c. Adj
d. Adv
13- His later years were charitable to poor people.
a. Adj
b. N
c. V
d. Adv
14- The frightened child gripped its mother's hand.
a. V
b. N
c. Adj
d. Adv
15- He was absent because he was ill.
a. N
b. Adj
c. Adv
d. V
16- Appearances are always deceptive.
a. V
b. Adv
c. V
d. Adj
17- Which is the departure platform that from which the train leaves?
a. Adj
b. V
c. Adv
d. N
Q.1/B/ Circle the adjective that best completes the meaning of sentence
1- This report is highly………….
speculative speculating
2- The results of the meeting were not………..
significantly signification
3- Prices in the market today are…….…….
4- He was always ……….. in his youth.
5- Her parent's morals are very...………… on her behavior.
6- Morals are not………... from religion.
7- My teeth are very ……... to clod food.
8- His response was …………….
9- Much of the plans presented were not…….…….
10- The political issue about Darfur is ……………
‫ ……………المجلد األول‬2012 ‫العدداألول‬.…… ‫مجلة كلية التربية‬
Production level
Q.3 Give the adjectives to the following words
1- Reason: …………………………………
2- Create: …………………………………
3- Confidence: ……………………………..
4- Danger: …………………………………
5- Poet: ………………………………………
6- Narrate: …………………………………..
7- Difference: ………………………………..
8- Romance: …………………………………
9- Suffice: ……………………………………
10- Ambition: ……………………………….
11- Enthusiasm: ………………………………
12- Vary: ………………………………………
13- Desire: ……………………………………
14- Assert: …………………………………….
15- Agree: ……………………………………
16- Consider: …………………………………
17- Continue: …………………………………
18- Sympathy: ……………………………….
Appendix 2
The Jury
The jury members arranged alphabetically and according to their
academic titles is:
1- Ass.Prof. Shatha Al-Sa’adi (College of Education for Women,
University of Baghdad)
2- Ass. Prof. Layla Al-Haj (College of Education for Women,
University of Baghdad)
3- Inst. Nawal Fadhil (College of Education for Women,
University of Baghdad)
4- Inst. Maysaa Rasheed (College of Education for Women,
University of Baghdad)
5- Inst. Abeer Hadi ( English Department, Islamic University