On the development of nouns as internal dependents in the contemporary english noun phrase
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On the Development of Nouns as Internal Dependents in the Contemporary English Noun Phrase. Iria Pastor Gómez University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Summary. Introduction Corpus research Towards an explanation Conclusion and further research References. Introduction.

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On the Development of Nouns as Internal Dependents in the Contemporary English Noun Phrase

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On the Development of Nouns as Internal Dependents in the Contemporary English Noun Phrase

Iria Pastor Gómez

University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)


Summary

  • Introduction

  • Corpus research

  • Towards an explanation

  • Conclusion and further research

  • References


Introduction

  • Nominal modifiers:

    • Cocktail party

    • Solution phase clock reaction

  • Previous research:

    • Biber & Clark (2002):

      • Nouns as important as adjectives in their role as modifiers

    • Raumolin-Brunberg (1991):

      • Changes through time favour the use of nouns as modifiers

  • Goal:

    • In-depth analysis of Present Day English nominal modifiers


Corpus research

  • Frown and Flob Corpora of English Written Texts (cf. Hofland et al 1999)

  • Samples from early 90’s

  • Variables:

    Speech communityText category

Reportage

Fiction

American English

Science

Essays

British English

Editorial


Corpus survey

  • 100,000 words analysed

  • Speech community:


Corpus survey

  • Text category:

    • American English:


Corpus survey

  • Text category:

    • British English:


Corpus surveyFurther observations

  • Structural patterns:

    • Oil extraction equipment

    • Nuclear power era

Compound noun

MODIFIER

Modifying noun modified by adjective

MODIFIER


Corpus surveyFurther observations

  • Structural patterns:

    • Supervisory and headquarters position

    • Southampton Catholic society

Coordinate of adjective + noun as MODIFIER

Modifying noun before modifying adjective


Corpus surveyFurther observations

  • Structural patterns:

    • Long sequences of nominal modification:

      • [[Cable television] regulation bill]

      • [[Sensitive-area] [exposure-time] products]

      • Disambiguation:

        • Hyphens (e.g. Launch-control rooms)

        • Context and previous info


Corpus surveyFurther observations

  • Institutionalised vs. non institutionalised patterns:

    • Dialect variety:


Corpus surveyFurther observations

  • Institutionalised vs. non institutionalised patterns:

    • Text category in American English:


Corpus surveyFurther observations

  • Institutionalised vs. non institutionalised patterns:

    • Text category in British English:


On the way towards an explanation

  • Linguistic economy:

    • press language

  • Recursiveness:

    • limits imposed by memory

  • Permanence provided by nominal premodifiers:

    • tea cup vs. cup of tea

    • wide use in scientific writing

  • Nominal premodifiers in relation to previous knowledge and contextual info:

    • the red dress girl vs. the girl who is wearing a red dress


Conclusion and further research

  • Nominal modifiers in Noun Phrase structure are defined as:

    • expressive, coherent and non repetitive forms based on a previous knowledge, which provide the text with a unitary character

    • Institutionalisation process

    • Interest in oral language and evolution of nominal modification from the 90’s onwards

    • Influence of the media in the use of nouns as modifiers

lexicalisation


References

  • Biber, D. and Victoria Clark. 2002. “Historical shifts in modification patterns with complex noun phrase structures”, in Teresa Fanego et al. (eds.). English Historical Syntax and Morphology. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 43-66.

  • Biber, D. et al. 1999. Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman.

  • Goldberg, Adele E. 1995. Constructions: a Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Hofland, K., Anne Lindebjerg and Jørn Thunestvedt (eds.) 1999. ICAME COLLECTION of English Language Corpora. University of Bergen: The HIT Centre.

  • Varantola, Krista. 1993. “Modification of nouns by nouns. Bad by definition?” in Hans-Jürgen Diller, S. Kohl, J. Kornelius, E. Otto, G. Stratmann (eds.) Anglistik & Englischunterricht. The Noun Phrase in English. Its structure and variability. Heidelberg: Winter.


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