Semantic, pragmatic and lexical aspects of the measure phrase + adjective construction

Murphy, M Lynne (2006) Semantic, pragmatic and lexical aspects of the measure phrase + adjective construction. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia, 38 (1). pp. 78-100. ISSN 0374-0463

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Abstract

While some adjectives are modified by measure phrases (e.g., 3m high), others are not (#30 euros expensive). Semantic and pragmatic hypotheses have been proposed to account for this, but they are confounded by the fact that the class of modifiable adjectives differs by language. After surveying the phenomenon and previous accounts, I argue that Germanic languages have a limited number of partially lexicalised MP+Adj constructions. Then, using historical corpus and web data, I present and argue for the hypothesis that new MP+Adj constructions are added to the language by analogy, but only when motivating factors, such as the need for measure-unit clarification and conciseness, are strong enough.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Depositing User: Lynne Murphy
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:25
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2012 11:54
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16230
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