On the Problem of Parts of Speech Identification in the English Language: A Historical Overview

  • Yurii Kovbasko Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University
Keywords: parts of speech, word classes, grammar, syntax, semantics, morphology


 The paper focuses on the problem of identifying parts of speech in the historical perspective cov­ering the period of 1700–2019. It provides an insight into classical Greek and Latin approaches to exploring parts of speech, which lay foundation for further formation of the English tradition of parts of speech identification. More than 400 genuine grammar books, comprising variegated approaches towards parts of speech classifications that were used to functioning and are currently adopted in the English language, were analysed. The research suggests that classical approaches, Greek and Latin, in particular, had a profound impact on establishing the original English tradition in parts of speech identification. Since the period of standardisation (the 18th century) in the English grammar tradition, over 30 different classifications have been in use, either becoming popular and applicable in the Eng­lish language or going into disuse. In the present paper, all classifications are analysed in detail and arranged into 5 groups and 13 subgroups, respectively.