Talk:noun

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Trim first definition[edit]

Okay, the first definition identifies a noun as "A word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or idea". But under the definition of thing, it states that a thing can be a quality or concept (idea). So, does it really need "quality" and "idea"? Someoneinmyheadbutit'snotme 17:00, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

It's reasonable to interpret "person, place, or thing" using the concrete definition of "thing" (the third in the term's entry), so the clarification seems helpful here. Rod (A. Smith) 04:00, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

English definition[edit]

"A word that can be used to refer to a person, animal, place, thing, phenomenon, substance, quality, or idea; one of the basic parts of speech in many languages, including English."

  • What's with pronouns like "he/she/it", don't they refer to person/things too?
  • What's with adjectives like "green" in e.g. "green wood", don't they to things too?

By that definition it sounds like noun means the same as Latin nomen (in grammar; i.e. substantive, adjective, pronoun, article, numeral), but it should nowadays just mean what's in Latin [nomen] substantivum. -IP, 22:22, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

RFC discussion: March–May 2015[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup (permalink).

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"Sensu lato" definition. Could someone clarify which type of words are nouns in sensu lato but not in sensu stricto? Do they include e.g. pronouns and numerals? Do all adjectives count, as I understand from the Hyponyms-section that "noun adjective" is used here as a synonym to "adjective". I bet the current definition is Gibberish for most English speakers and not only for a poor Finn like me. --Hekaheka (talk) 06:31, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

I think what needs cleaning up is Special:Contributions/93.196.234.31.
He is probably getting toward the distinction between noun and nominal. But, in English (evidently not the anon's language) I don't think many use noun when they mean nominal. DCDuring TALK 11:03, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Do you mean that the second sense should be deleted or possibly brought to rfv or even rfd? --Hekaheka (talk) 21:55, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
English noun (s.l.) does mean "[noun] substantive or [noun] adjective". Maybe it also means declinable part of speech, but I've never encountered such usage.
Also when noun (s.l.) needs a cleanup, so does noun (s.s.): "A word that can be used to refer to a person, animal, place, thing, phenomenon, substance, quality, or idea; [...]" - pronouns can be used to refer to persons, animals etc. too: the human went - he went, the dog barked - it barked.
-93.196.237.158 17:43, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I believe Special:Contributions/93.196.234.31 primarily speaks German as this user has been making odd lists like these using several different IPs. The OED says that noun’s use to mean adjective is rare and gives only three 17th C. sources. If by "sensu lato", the user means a noun or the attributive use of a noun, I have never heard such a usage in all my days of linguistics. There is a term noun adjective, which means a noun used as an appositive, but again, I have never encountered it. I believe that these s.l. and s.s. distinctions should be removed in all entries pertaining to English nouns, and that the terms sensu stricto/lato should either be added to {{label}} or replaced with broadly and narrowly.
Also Special:Contributions/93.196.234.31, please make an account. It will make things much easier for everyone. —JohnC5 05:07, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Regarding that list (though it's not the topic here): One could list all those terms (and many other terms with -wort) alphabetically, but I doubt that it's (more) overseeable and (more) user-friendly and not (more) confusing. Maybe there could be a German wikisaurus, but I don't know if that's 'allowed' here...
  • Well, what you believe is something different than what it is. "noun adjective" means the same as "adjective", while "noun substantive" and "substantive" mean the same as "noun (s.s.)". (Or at least "also" mean, as others might have used or more likely misused these term to mean something different.)
  • Labels could be added, and one might changed it to other English terms (like broadly & narrowly or senso lato & senso stricto instead of sensu lato/stricto), but that doesn't really change anything.
-80.133.114.159 07:58, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Let's not get into a snark competition here. I fully accept that this distinction (noun & adjective vs. noun) used to exist, as seen in the third paragraph of Wikipedia's noun article, though nominal is now preferred in English linguistics. I would be fine if a word such as rare, obsolete, or antiquated was put in front of the s.s. definition. —JohnC5 08:49, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, it might be rare nowaydays, but is still sometimes used, e.g. in translations of Latin texts, where nomen means noun (s.l.), and in reprints of older books (if that counts, like the exemple with the addition "First Indian Edition"). Also the sensu lato and sensu stricto where change to other (English) words, namely narrow sense and broad sense (or should it be "in the narrow/broad sense?). Better? -80.133.114.159 09:43, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
That's much better. Sorry for the fuss. I'm not sure, however, that I understand what "a word that modifies an aforementioned word or describes an aforementioned word’s referent" is supposed to mean. Does this mean "apposition"? Why is it modifying a previous word? If this means "adjective," it could be clearer. —JohnC5 09:51, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, it originally was this: "A name of a thing. Either a noun substantive, which can stand alone and does not require another word to be joined with it to show its signification, or a noun adjective, which can not stand by itself, but requires to be joined with some other word, in order to make sense.". Which was pretty much a rewording from an old book.
Then it was a copy from adjective (replacing "noun" by "aforenamed word") and noun (s.s.). IMHO already noun (s.s.) isn't explained in a good way (by the definition given one might include pronouns). Thus the explanation of noun (s.l.) can't be good either. -80.133.114.159 10:51, 29 May 2015 (UTC)


Verb def[edit]

To convert a word to a noun

Wouldn't "an adjective" instead of "a word" be more specific? Are there any examples of non-adjectives being nouned? ScratchMarshall (talk) 17:55, 25 June 2018 (UTC)