Words are the most basic elements of human communication. Each language has words for every item the speaker needs to communicate with others.
Phrases are constructed out of one or more related words.
Sentences are made up of a sequence of Phrases. A sentence in any language is the minimum set of words that will communicate a complete idea.
Consider the Sentence "I know English".
"know" is the Verb that specifies the action in the sentence. "I" specifies who performs the action and is called the Subject of the sentence. "English" is the Object of the sentence as it specifies what I know.
Linguists have theorized that ALL of the world's 6,000+ languages follow an Universal Grammar in sentence construction.
The main Parts of Speech in English are:
Noun -a word (other than a Pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things (common noun), or to name a particular one of these (proper noun) table, dog, teacher, Canada
Pronoun -a word that can function by itself as a noun phrase and that refers either to the participants in the discourse (e.g. I, you) or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse (e.g. he/she, it, this) I, you, we, he/she, it, this
Verb -a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence (to) work, (to) learn, (to) eat
Adjective -a word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it big, red, easy, soft
Determiner -a modifying word that is used with a noun to point to a specific instance of the noun the, this, that
Adverb -a word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb or a word-group, expressing a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, degree slowly, quietly, well, often
Preposition -a word governing a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation like time, place and direction to another word or element in the clause at, to, in, over
Conjunction -a word used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause and, but, if
In this chapter we will color-code the parts of speech to make them easy to identify.
We will illustrate this with a sample sentence.
|Word||Usage||Part of Speech (POS)|
|The||Specific instance of noun (fox)||Determiner|
|brown||description of noun (fox)||Adjective|
|fox||name of an animal||Noun|
|quickly||description of verb (jumped)||Adverb|
|over||describes position of noun (dog)||Preposition|
|the||Specific instance of noun (dog)||Determiner|
|lazy||description of noun (dog)||Adjective|
|dog||name of an animal||Noun|
|Rule:Sentence = Subject + Verb + Object|
|The boy||wrote||a letter|
In this sentence:
The Subject, Verb & Object composition of a sentence is universal in all languages. The sequence of these three components (S,V,O) will be different across languages.
English is a called a Head-First language and the Verb occurs before the Object. Sentences in English will always follow the S-V-O sequence.
Bangla (like other Sanskrit-derived "Indic" languages) is called a Head-Final language. In these languages, the Verb will occur after the Object. Sentences in Bangla will always follow the S-O-V sequence.
Because of this "switch", the English phrase sequence of "Subject-Verb-Object" will always be "Subject-Object-Verb" when translated to Bangla.
You would want to use a Determiner when you are pointing to a specific person, place or thing. For example, you can say "dog" to point to a class of animals called dogs as in "dogs eat meat". Or you can be more specific and say "the dog ate my homework". If the dog you are pointing to is nearby you would probably say "this dog ate my homework" while a dog further away would be referred to as "that dog ate my homework".
There is a set of determiners that are formed as the possessive case of a pronoun or noun. Using the construct above, the dog could be "my dog", "your dog" or "his/her dog". Here, "my" means "belonging to me". "your" means "belonging to you" and "his/her" means "belonging to him/her". A longer list of possessive determiners will be shown in a later chapter.
In everyday speech, these six Determiners -- the, this, that, my, your and his/her -- and should handle most situations.
|the|| + -টা |
|this|| এই + -টা |
ei + -Ta
|that|| ওই + -টা |
Oi + -Ta
|my|| আমার |
|your|| তোমার |
|his/her|| ওর |
The Noun, with the Determiner, in the Subject/Object would look like the following:
|the dog|| কুকুরটা|
|this dog|| এই কুকুরটা|
|that dog|| ওই কুকুরটা|
|my dog|| আমার কুকুর|
|your dog|| তোমার কুকুর|
|his/her dog|| ওর কুকুর|
The starter rules have only dealt with Subject-Object-Verb structure of English/Bangla Sentences and the use of 3 Parts of Speech - Nouns, Determiners and Verbs.
These rules can be supplemented by other rules as we introduce Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Conjunctions and Prepositions into the Grammar.
To form a Sentence, all the Rules specified above will apply, especially the Subject-Object-Verb sentence construct. We just have to use the Bangla words to form the Bangla Sentence. We will continue with the sentence "The boy wrote a letter".
First, we will find the Bangla words.
-টি suffix to boy (-Ti)
The English (Head-First,SVO) sentence would be constructed in the following way:
|The boy||wrote||a letter|
The Bangla (Head-Final,SOV) sentence would be:
So the English
The boy wrote a letter
ছেলেটি একটা চিঠি লিখেছে (chheleTi ekoTa chiThi likhechhe) in Bangla.
In this example, we created a grammatically correct Bangla sentence by applying the Subject-Object-Verb structure rule to the vocabulary of the equivalent Bangla words.
This means that the language learner does not have to memorize the sequence of words in every language they learn. If they understand the universal grammar syntax, and they understand the "switches" set for the language, then the learner will be able to construct grammatically correct syntax.
All that we now need is an adequate vocabulary of Bangla words that lets us express our thoughts.
In subsequent chapters, we will set up rules for the different Parts of Speech that will make up the sentences that will best express our thoughts. We will then give you a starter set of words for each of the different Parts of Speech that you will encounter.