Type noun uses in the English NP
A case of right to left layering
This article addresses the relatively neglected question of identifying and characterizing the various uses of sort, kind and type in the English NP. It does so on the basis of close analysis of a set of data extracted from the Times subcorpus of the COBUILD corpus. The proposed description refers to the general functions fulfilled by elements of the NP, which, from right to left, form an objective — subjective continuum. At the same time, we characterize the specific grammatical, collocational and discoursal patterns that can be observed to shape each use in the empirical data. In this way, we distinguish, besides the generally recognized head and qualifier uses, also modifier, postdeterminer and quantifier uses. We then consider these intra-NP type noun uses as a possible case of Adamson’s (2000) hypothesis, which correlates subjectification with leftward movement in the NP.
Keywords: English NP, type nouns, functional approach, grammaticalization, layering, subjectification
Published online: 26 May 2008
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