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Postmodifying Attributive Adjectives in English

An Integrated Corpus-Based Approach


Lars M. Blöhdorn

This study investigates three different postmodifying adjective constructions in the English language. While English adjectives generally precede the entities they modify, they may also occur in postmodifying position. This study assumes that the different postmodifying constructions are a positional variation of attributive premodification. The support for this claim is derived from a detailed analysis of the general syntax and semantics of adjectives as well as a cross-check of previous theories with a wide range of actual language examples taken from computerized corpora. An approach from the Prague School ‘Functional Sentence Perspective’ enables this study to accomplish an integrated view of adjectival postmodification.
Contents: Characteristics of English Adjectives – English Adjective Syntax – Language-Universal and Language-Specific Approaches to Adjective Semantics – Light Adjective Phrases – Heavy Adjective Phrases – Adjectives Postmodifying Indefinite Pronouns – An Extended Prague School Approach – The ‘Attributive Postmodification Filter’.