Concepts
Describing things

Introduction:
When we use language to describe what is going on around us we use verbs to tell the actions and nouns to indicate the objects that we see. However, the words car, man, and building could indicate multiple objects in a scene we are discussing. We could point or use 'pointing words' or demonstratives such as this and that to indicate which one we are talking about. However, pointing to objects can be ineffective, especially if we are talking about objects that are not present. Instead we can use adjectives to indicate which car, which man, or which building we are talking about, as in the red car, the tall man, or the oriental building. Let's look first at the grammar of adjectives and then see some surprises when we take discourse and pragmatics into account.

Grammar:

Discourse and Pragmatics:
There are two hidden surprises with adjectives that we need to look at. The first has to do with the polarity of gradable adjectives and the other with whether or not adjectives really are used to create pictures in the mind.