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									                             FOUNDATIONS OF SYNTAX
                                          Lecture course
                                           Handout 3

Nouns, Modifiers, Determiners
Noun s ubtypes
Count nouns. Indef article/plural possible. Types:
       a) Ordinary: books/a book, apple (!), paper1 ,
       b) Identical sing/plur: aircraft, series, species; deer, salmon (wild animals)
Noncount/Mass nouns. Types:
       a) Ordinary (no plural, no affix) – material: food, drink; abstractions: wheat, leather,
               paper2 , paint, rain, fog, knowledge, creativity,…
       b) Fake plural noncount: (subjects) maths, linguistics; (phys act) athletics, gymnastics;
               (disease) mumps, measles; (game) darts, billiards, dominoes,…
       c) Plural noncounts: goods, congratulations, proceedings, thanks, mains, earnings
       d) Two-parts in one (plural with ‘counters’): (pairs of) glasses, jeans, scissors, pincers
Counters for uncounts: bit, chunk, dash, drop, lump, sheet, piece, pile, portion, … + of
Noncounts as counts: two teas, one coffee; a great paint; a further difficulty;
               an in-depth knowledge (of sg);
Counts as noncounts: egg (as material), language (abstraction), …
Multiple agreement. Collective nouns – plural or singular: company, board, jury, staff…

Gende r: determining selection of certain pronouns (wh-, personal, reflexive)
animate, inanimate, personal, nonpersonal, familiar/less familiar animal, male, female, dual
(doctor), common (baby), collective (family)

Determiners
Obligatory items to accommodate NPs in their syntactic environment: covert (=zero) or overt.
Necessary to indicate the kind of reference the NP has: definite, indefinite, generic, specific.
Types inside NPs – distributional, according to subtype of N:
       a) ±count: the, POSS (my, your…); any, no, some, what, which, whose
       b) ±count, −plur: this, that
       c) +count,−plur: a/an, one, another; each, n/either, every
       d) −count, −plur: much, little; NB. a little(!)
       e) +count,+plur: many, both, several, few; NB. a few (!)
        f) ±count, +plur: these, those
       g) −count AND +count, +plur: all, any, enough, some, such-2, what-2, ZERO

Independent determiners – elliptic, anaphoric         : see underlined items above.

Reference. Generic: ZERO [−count/+count,+plur]; a/an [−plur]; the [−plur: caution!]:
       Sugar is sweet. A hat/Hats is/are worn on the head. The car/tiger/lark is a nuisance.
       *The sugar is sweet. The/*A car has ruined the environment. (*The) Man is mortal.

Definite: the, this/these…, both, POSS [±plur]. Indefinite [−spec]: a/an, (a) little/few,   any,
what, some [±plur]…

Indefinite [+spec]: a/an, another, some, several,…
       +spec: He saw a swan. −spec: If you see a swan…±spec: Catch a swan for me!
                                                                     Syntax HO #4, page 2

Modification and complementation
Order of prenominal items:
'Quantifiers' 'Referentials' '(Non)unicity           Numericals,           (Adj/N+) Noun
                               -indicators'          'Standardizers'
all, half,     the, Jack's,      only, same          first - 3 - tallest    happy prince(s)
both, many, my, this, a/an other, single             next - few - entire    stale bacon
what, such, these, whose                             3rd - dozen - best     stone cup(s)
|             WHICH, EVERY, ...           |
|              DETERMINERS                  |                MODIFIERS             |


4.2.2. Noun modifiers: a) Premod: AP, N
                      Order of A’s: evaluation >size > physical quality > shape > age >
                                    colour > participle > origin >material >type >purpose
    b) Postmod: PP, AP (with complement), clause (finite: rel cl; nonfinite: V-en/-ing, to VP),
              appositive NP
Noun + Compl: PP, clause (finite: that/wh clause; nonfinite: to VP)

Orde r of attributive adjective phrases
colour precedes material:
A yellow plastic container was found at the scene of the crime.
(*A plastic yellow container was found …)
Shape normally precedes material and material normally precedes purpose:
 You need one of those round, wooden, bathing tubs.
References to place or origin usually come after colour or shape and before material:
 You need one of those round, Swedish, wooden, bathing tubs.
(*You need one of those bathing, Swedish, wooden, round tubs.)
Evaluative adjectives which describe opinions or attitudes often come before more neutrally
descriptive ones:
 She’s a remarkable old woman. She’s just got such a fantastic, long memory.
(*She’s an old remarkable woman. *She’s just got such a long fantastic memory.)

An example including a number of these types would be:
          (e) (s) (q) (ag) (c) (o) (p)
These wonderful, monumental, strong, old, grey, Indian, log-carrying elephants of Thailand
       (e) (sh)
You can also sit in the beautiful, semicircular courthouse and listen to the trial of the farmer.
It was designed by Bror Marklund and the whole all unbelievably won the 1964 award
  (e) (o) (p)            the most beautiful Swedish public building.
  (e) (pa)          ... the beautiful walled city of Avila, birthplace of Saint Teresa;
  (e) (s) (ag)             It was a beautiful little old church.
  (e) (c) (pa) Where was that just most beautiful black-and-white timbered house?
                                                                      Syntax HO #4, page 3


Uncounts in E, often count Ns in other lgs.
accommodation*, advice, applause, assistance, baggage, camping, cash, chaos, clothing,
cutlery, equipment, evidence, furniture, hair, harm, health, homework, housework, housing,
information, knowledge, leisure, luck, luggage, money, music, news, progress, publicity,
research*, rubbish, safety, shopping, spaghetti, spinach, traffic, transport, travel, underwear,
violence, weather, work. (* = plural possible in some non-British varieties)

Partitive expressions (counte rs)
a loaf of bread, two slices of bread/cake/cheese/chicken breast, a bar of chocolate/soap,
a bit of fun, a piece of furniture, a stroke of luck, a spell of bad weather, …

There are two piles of dirty washing over there. Whose are they?
He always adds a nice touch of humour to the commentary.
They say we might just get a spot of rain in the late afternoon.
We had a spell of very mild weather in January.
Shall I get six slices of cheese, or is that not enough?

Postmodification
1. Relative clauses:
relative pronoun on the basis of a two-term gender-system, personal/non-personal
The group who were/which was responsible...
form: nominative, accusative, genitive
adverbs as relative pronouns, often preferred without the antecedent noun: this is (the place)
where he was born

Restrictive relative clauses: that can also be used (+which, who(m), may appear together with
a preposition), zero relative pronoun also used if it is not the subject of the relative clause
Quantified heads: such girls as he knew, as many girls as he knew, more girls than he knew

Nonrestrictive relative clauses
who, which used as pronouns, comma in writing, semantically closer to coordination or
adverbial subordination

Sentential relative clauses
the antecedent is a whole clause, sentence, or even several sentences
She didn’t understand it, which surprises me.

Appositive clauses: different role for that (not a subject/object, like in relative clauses)
The belief that no one is infallible is well-founded.
Nonrestrictive appositive clauses: that is used!
This fact, that that is obligatory, should be easy to remember.

2. Nonfinite clauses: implicit subject corresponds to antecedent
       -ing participle clauses: active interpretation
       -ed participle clauses: passive interpretation, not available for intransitive verbs
       infinitive clauses: The man (for John) to consult is Wilson.
                                                                      Syntax HO #4, page 4

       Nonrestrictive postmodification: reduced relative clause
       The substance, discovered almost by accident, has revolutionized medicine.

       Appositive postmodification: common with infinitives: the appeal to join them

3. Postmodification by PPs
the commonest type of postmodification, the full range of prepositions involved
       the of-genitive:      John’s hope of (Mary(’s)) winning a prize
                             Bill’s hope of Sarah’s arrrival
                             restrictive/nonrestrictive
       minor types of postmod.:
               adverb phrases: the road back
               postposed adjectives: something strange
               postposed mode qualifiers: Lobster Newburg

Premodification
       adjectives: further premodifiers of their own: his really very delightful cottage, such a
               beautiful cottage, !so beautiful a cottage
       participle: - ing, -ed (active and passive meaning: our recently departed friend)
       -s genitive: a fisherman’s cottage, ambiguity
       noun: the trouser leg, the arms race compounding
       adverbial: his far-away cottage
       sentence: I visited his pop-down-for-the-week-end cottage. I asked I don’t know how
               many people.
Multiple premodification
       with single head: his last brilliant book
       with multiple head: the new table and chairs
       with modified modifier: his really quite unbelievably delightful cottage,
               these/this French women’s clothing,
                the (pleasant [<(house property) tax> office] furniture)
Discontinuous modification: You’ll meet a man tomorrow carrying a heavy parcel.
comparable facilities to ours, different production figures from those given earlier


THE DETERMINER PHRASE
similarly to sentences, a nominal expression may be indefinitely complex
That tall girl standing in the corner who became angry because you waved to her when you
entered is Angela Hunt.

Components of the DP:
      the D and N heads
      premodification for the noun: adjectives, nouns
      postmodification: PPs, nonfinite clauses, relative clauses
Apposition: DPs of identical reference: My dentist, Susan Williams

Modification: restrictive/nonrestrictive (my famous mother)
Explicitness: finite, nonfinite, verbless: The taxi ((which is) waiting) outside...

								
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