Talk:deaf

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Deletion discussion[edit]

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deaf[edit]

rfd-sense: Deaf people considered as a group. This is the adjective not the noun. We don't list such senses at poor, rich, disabled, blind (and so on) as nouns because they are adjectives preceded by 'the'. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:25, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Actually, we do list such senses at poor and disabled... and Irish, about which there was some relevant discussion; see Talk:Irish#RFD. deaf#Noun might pass the lemming test; Dictionary.com has it, though MW and Macmillan seem to lack it. - -sche (discuss) 14:43, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Lemming-shmemming. I find it hard to discern a boundary between the includable and the nonincludable (as nouns) of such uses of adjectives, other than the nounal introducing a sense not present in the adjectival.
But CGEL has the following types of adjective modifiers as eligible for "fused-head" constructions, of which this could be considered an example: superlative forms of adjectives; definite comparative forms of adjectives; ordinal adjectives; modifiers denoting color, composition, or provenance; adjectives denoting basic physical properties, eg, age, size; and modifier-heads with special interpretations.
Of these, only the last class seem to me to possibly merit inclusion. Syntactically, they are almost always only plural (but see accused and deceased) and only the, and not even demonstratives among determiners, can occur with these adjectives. They include nationalities and ethnicities ("the French" [= "those who are French"]) , certain adjectives ("the rich", "the poor", etc), and certain past participles ("the unemployed"}, and denominal -ed forms ("the gifted"). All of these apply to people and at least some animals or to sentient beings, and are equivalent to "those who are [candidate adjective here]". But there are others ("the impossible", "the immoral"), which are equivalent to "that which is [candidate adjective here]".
I don't buy the distinctions that they make. I offer this summary in case the distinctions seem real to others. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Just a quibble, I think unemployed is an adjective formed from un-+employed, not a past participle (though it wouldn't surprise me to find unemploy#Verb as a back-formation). - -sche (discuss) 17:54, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
It was one of CGEL's examples. It is derived at one remove from employ anyway. And employed works the same, though it's not as common. DCDuring TALK 18:53, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
But what about unemployment? Is it un-+employment, even though un- doesn't normally attach to nouns? Or is it unemployed+ment with deletion of the -ed? —Angr 20:18, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I'd say the latter, considering how sociology and economics works: first there was a non-negligible number of unemployed who surely created problems for the society, then you needed a word for this phenomenon. That said, I think the first sense in unemployment came after the second. --biblbroksдискашн 21:47, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Judging from this Google N-gram, the development might have been as follows: "employment" (a. 1777), "the employed" (sometimes as fused head) (a. 1836), "the unemployed" (sometimes as fused head) (a. 1894), "unemployment" (a. 1931). Obviously I didn't analyze each use to determine whether it was labor or workers that were employed or not, but many, possibly most of the instances seemed to be about labor. DCDuring TALK 22:54, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Kept because there was no consensus to delete it. - -sche (discuss) 08:25, 8 February 2014 (UTC)


Regarding words like this and Irish (see Talk:Irish), I just noticed that we do have the following definition at [[the]]: "Used before an adjective, indicating all things (especially persons) described by that adjective." - -sche (discuss) 00:18, 10 June 2014 (UTC)