Persian adjectives in the light of Typological Prototype Theory

2020. №2, 104-123

Amin Karimi
Vali Rezai
University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran;


This study seeks to examine the lexical category of adjective in Persian using the Typological Prototype Theory (TPT) as its theoretical framework. This study aims to (a) evaluate TPT in determining the prototypical features of Persian adjectives, (b) account for the morphological and syntactic differences between prototypical and non-prototypical adjectives in Persian, and (c) determine the association between frequency of occurrence and prototypicality of Persian adjectives. Having collected the data from Persian Language Database as w ell as Bijankhan Corpus and analyzed them based on the criteria and sub-criteria of TPT, we concluded that TPT can distinguish between Persian adjectives denoting property, action and object, but is actually incapable of accounting for the behavioral diff erences among the sub-categories of these adjectives due to the insuffi cient set of criteria and sub-criteria proposed for this purpose. Actually, this theory could prove more helpful in distinguishing between prototypical and non-prototypical parts of speech if it had considered the monosemy and polysemy phenomena, more various syntactic functions of POS, diff erent morphological features like derivation, and class range. It was also shown in this research that there exists a relationship between the traditionally-categorized adjective types in Persian and their degree of prototypicality, in such a way that property adjectives and object adjectives are the most and the least prototypical respectively, while the action
adjectives are in between them in terms of prototypicality.

For citation:

Karimi A., Rezai V. Persian adjectives in the light of Typological Prototype Theory. Voprosy Jazykoznanija, 2020, 2: 104–123.