LINGUIST List 14.3534

Sat Dec 20 2003

Disc: Re: "Fun" as Adjective

Editor for this issue: Sarah Murray <>


  1. David Denison, Re: 14.3514 Disc: New: "Fun" as Adjective

Message 1: Re: 14.3514 Disc: New: "Fun" as Adjective

Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 08:39:10 -0000
From: David Denison <>
Subject: Re: 14.3514 Disc: New: "Fun" as Adjective

> "Key" would be another example of a noun used as an adjective that
> somehow does not ring true as predicate adjeective. Although "The game
> was fun" works, "The game was key" does not seem to. 

It's not in my (probably rather conservative) idiolect, but fully
adjectival uses of _key_ are quite easy to find, including examples
like the "The game was key". I listed _key_ among several examples of
gradient conversion from N to A in:

Denison, David (2001) 'Gradience and linguistic change'. In Laurel
J. Brinton (ed.) _Historical linguistics 1999_. John Benjamins,
Amsterdam and Philadelphia PA, pp. 119-144.

Details in the paper, also downloadable as a pdf on my website,

David Denison
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