Premodifiers in English: Their Structure and Significance (Studies in English Language)

By Jim Feist

The order and behavior of the premodifier (an adjective, or different editing observe that looks sooner than a noun) has lengthy been a puzzle to syntacticians and semanticists. Why will we say 'the real pink ball', yet now not 'the purple real ball'? And why, conversely, perform a little different premodifiers have loose edition in sentences; for instance we will say either 'German and English audio system' and 'English and German speakers'? Why do a little premodifiers swap the which means of a word in a few contexts; for instance 'young man', can suggest 'boyfriend', instead of 'man who's young'? Drawing on a corpus of over 4,000 examples of English premodifiers from a variety of genres equivalent to ads, fiction and medical texts, and throughout a number of types of English, this ebook synthesises study into premodifiers and gives a brand new clarification in their behaviour, order and use.

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1  creation Examples of Reinforcers are given in desk three. 35. it's particularly unusual for Reinforcers for use with different modifiers, as they're within the examples within the desk; commoner examples are as follows: ‘sheer arrogance’, ‘outright 66  Semantic clarification of unmarked order around the zones desk three. 35  pattern Reinforcers Det. Reinforcer Epithet a entire natural sheer absolute bloody unmitigated limitless manic Descriptor Classifier Head riding adrenaline basket fool excitement rush case lie’, ‘pure fabrication’ (from Quirk et al. 1985: 49); and ‘utter shame’ and ‘­perfect stranger’ (from Huddleston and Pullum 2002: 555). three. five. 2  Descriptive that means in Reinforcers The examples simply given (such as sheer, absolute, outright) essentially do not need perceptual that means; they don't also have conceptual that means. Reinforcers are phrases with grammatical that means, now not descriptive that means; they vary greatly from Epithets and Descriptors in that admire. that may be visible in numerous methods. except mere, they're synonymous. within the word ‘sheer arrogance’, for instance, sheer may possibly effectively get replaced by means of whole, absolute, natural, outright, utter or ideal, in order that they needs to be synonymous (as formerly outlined, §3. 1. 2. 3). yet as Epithets, they don't seem to be synonymous: ‘complete figuring out’ (there are not any gaps within the figuring out) isn't the comparable as ‘perfect figuring out’ (there are not any flaws in it). moment, they don't have antonyms: we won't say *‘incomplete fool’, or *‘imperfect stranger’. As Epithets, they do have antonyms, as in ‘imperfect knowing’ and #‘incomplete understanding’. 3rd, they don't seem to be gradable, or in a different way scalar. for instance, we won't say *‘very utter shame’ or *‘very natural unmitigated using pleasure’; yet in Epithet use, an analogous phrases will be graded: ‘very natural normal water’. three In those respects, Reinforcers distinction strongly with an identical phrases as Epithets. for the reason that Reinforcers haven't any descriptive which means (merely helping toughen that means given by way of the head), they're completely obscure. for instance, in ‘sheer folly’, sheer reinforces folly, yet in ‘sheer arrogance’, it reinforces conceitedness. three. five. three  Expressive which means in Reinforcers Reinforcers appear to convey feeling, however the feeling is mostly vulnerable and really imprecise, and in reality it is determined by the context. a few examples will make The examples express that Paradis is incorrect in saying that Reinforcers are gradable (2000: 251). three 3. five  Semantic constitution of Reinforcers  sixty seven the purpose transparent. In ‘For sheer daintiness, “Hawera” is tough to overcome’ (applied to flowers), sheer conjures up admiration. In ‘Absence paralysed her in sheer aching ache’ (from fiction), sheer conjures up empathetic ache. In ‘It was once a sheer fluke that he started his occupation with Manchester Collieries Ltd. ’, sheer is used neutrally. an identical examples express that the attitudinal that means of Reinforcers can be usually context-dependent: sheer in ‘sheer daintiness’ reinforces the beneficial perspective expressed in daintiness, yet in ‘a sheer fluke’ it inspires neither beneficial nor unfavorable perspective.

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