From: Moon-Ryul Jung (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 01:41:22 EST
> I am afraid I disagree that this is simply a definition of a modifier. I am
> reluctant to accept your principle because it is far from being obvious to me. A
> modifier modifies the head noun. It will give additional information about the
> head noun, but whether this information helps to determine the referent or adds
> further descriptive information should not IMO determine a syntactical analysis.
In many cases it would difficult to draw the line between these two.
True. This difficulty should not prohibit us from distinguishing
"predicate attributes" from "modifiers" in my sense.
As you also noted below, KOIMWMENOUS is better described to be an
NP(O)-Complement rather than a constituent of an NP.
Considering KOIMWMENOUS AUTOUS as an NP is a different syntactic analysis
from considering it as an NP plus its complement.
KOIMWMENOUS a complement to an NP AUTOUS.
If you want to stick to your approach, you could devise a syntactic
category that can cover both NP and NP + Complement, and stop the
syntactic analysis at the level of that category, leaving a further
analysis to pragmatics. That would be quite interesting. But without such
category, my syntactic analysis would have to distinquish
an NP from an NP + Complement. If you say it requires pragmatic
which goes beyond the domain of syntactic analysis, I would have to agree.
Should I, however, always avoid using pragmatic information to find the
syntatic structure of a sentence?
Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea
> > But first of all, I do not consider KOIMWMENOUS AUTOUS as an NP
> > because the following analysis comes to my mind.
> > This analysis has been long taught in English school grammar.
> > What is the problem with this analysis?
> > hEUREN KOIMWMENOUS AUTOUS
> > V NP(O)-complement NP(O)
> > 'he found them SLEEPING
> > NP(S) V NP(O) NP(O)-Complement
> > In this analysis, NP(O)-Comp is a predicate that
> > explains NP(O), rather than a modifier of NP(O).
> I would not consider an NP(O)-complement a predicate, but I am willing to accept
> it as a predicate attribute. I am not sure I would call "sleeping" an NP at all.
> It is normally called a "participial adjective". If you go to the underlying
> structure, you will find a predicate in the dependent clause, as in: "he found
> them as they were sleeping."
> I suppose this is the background for calling it a predicate attribute. The
> important point is that it relates to the object and gives further information
> about the object rather than the subject and the verb/predicate.
> I agree that English grammar requires predicate attributes as in "He found Peter
> awake". Some English grammars call "awake" a "predicate adjective", others just
> an "adjective".
> So, I think you are right. It is probably better to call it a complement to the
> NP(O) rather than a constituent within the NP. A complement to an NP does not
> need to be an NP itself. What was my main interest, though, was that normally
> such complements follow the NP they relate to, just as adjectives and other
> modifiers tend to do, but in this particular case, it precedes, and this implies
> that the complement has greater relative focus than the pronoun it complements.
> Best wishes,
> Iver Larsen
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