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Adverbs in unusual places

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Abstract

This article discusses adverbs in the post-head position of English and German noun phrases. It gives an overview of the relevant data and discusses possible category revisions for the items under discussion. While both languages show considerable overlap in the semantic functions served by the post-head modifiers, the result is often the existence of doublets adjective-noun noun-adverb without any apparent semantic distinction. One meaning distinction made in both languages via the variation between pre-head and post-head position is discussed in detail, namely pairs like <i>international organization </i>vs. <i>organization internationally. </i>It is argued that this semantic difference can be captured by treating the post-head modifiers as collective predicates and the attributive modifiers as singular predicates. Furthermore, it is shown that there is a link to a prototypical adverbial function of the items in post-head position. When appearing within subject NPs, their overall semantic contribution is similar to that of standard frame adverbials. This is shown to be an epiphenomenon of two quite different derivational paths.

References

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