Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:

$34378

Still Needed:

$40622

Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington


Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

Discussion Details




Title: 'The Matter' - NP Substitution for AP
Submitter: Hank Mooney
Description: The phrase 'the matter' is used in English as a synonym (??) for the word
'wrong', as in

'Something was the matter with him.'

'What's the matter?'

'Is something the matter?'

The use of a noun phrase in a syntactic slot that calls for an adjective is
unusual, and I'm wondering if anyone has addressed this usage and its
implications for syntactic theory in an article or book.

Some questions that come to my mind are:

Are there other instances of noun phrases substituting for adjectives in
English?

Any instances of similar things in other languages?

How do speakers process this usage?

Hank Mooney
granjon@sonic.net
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2008
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
LL Issue: 19.2156
Posted: 06-Jul-2008

Search Again

Back to Discussions Index