Double Determiner Constructions

If you're new to these arts, this is the place to ask "stupid" questions and get directions!
Post Reply
User avatar
Micamo
MVP
MVP
Posts: 7186
Joined: 05 Sep 2010 18:48
Contact:

Double Determiner Constructions

Post by Micamo » 16 Oct 2011 04:10

In English, you can use two determiners with a single noun phrase by using an "of" construction of some sort. Take for example:

Some dogs
The dogs
*Some the dogs
Some of the dogs

This can also apply to saxon genitives as well.

Adam's socks
Many socks
*Many Adam's socks
Many of Adam's socks

(An additional construction, "Adam's many socks" is also possible but this has a totally different semantic meaning from the above example. Here it sounds like you're talking about all of Adam's socks, as well as saying he has a lot of them.)

The caveat is that there seems to be a strict order in which the double determiners can occur, and only one determiner of each type (quantificational, genitive specifier, article), with an exception for recursive saxon genitives as in "Sweden's King's Crown." As well, genitives cannot be used in a double construction with articles: *"The of Adam's socks" and *"Adam's of the socks" sounds just plain silly.


My questions are as such: Is there a name for this type of 'of' construction in stacking multiple determiners onto a single noun phrase? Do any languages other than English allow for analogous constructions? Are there totally different syntactic structures that exist that can perform the same function in more exotic languages?
My pronouns are <xie> [ʒiː] / <xer> [ʒɚ]

My shitty twitter

User avatar
Sankon
sinic
sinic
Posts: 395
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:06
Location: At the computer

Re: Double Determiner Constructions

Post by Sankon » 16 Oct 2011 04:30

I would just consider those normal partitive constructions. Not a version of double-stacking.

[Some [dogs]]
[Some [of [the dogs]]]

[Many [dogs]]
[Many [of [the dogs]]]

In each example the quantifier + of construction signifies some part of a whole (the dogs).

In English it seems that we can only have partitives of definite nouns; i.e. you can have Some of the dogs but you can't have *Some of dogs.

This explains why you can only use quantifiers that can denote a partitive sense for this construction, like some and many and few, and not articles or possessives or other adjectives.

I would prefer this analysis especially because you can double-stack, like Adam's many dogs. You can't double-stack some, however, (*Adam's some dogs), but that's probably because some already denotes a partitive sense. Without the of, though, some can just mean "a few" or somesuch.

User avatar
Micamo
MVP
MVP
Posts: 7186
Joined: 05 Sep 2010 18:48
Contact:

Re: Double Determiner Constructions

Post by Micamo » 16 Oct 2011 05:30

Sankon wrote:In English it seems that we can only have partitives of definite nouns; i.e. you can have Some of the dogs but you can't have *Some of dogs.

This explains why you can only use quantifiers that can denote a partitive sense for this construction, like some and many and few, and not articles or possessives or other adjectives.
I'm not so sure. "All" and "none" can be stacked, as can the non-quantifier "each." "Each dog" and "Every dog" is synonymous, but with "each" you can make constructions like "Each of my dogs."

Secondly, you can make constructions like "Part of a dog" so I'm not sure if these things are restricted to definites.
I would prefer this analysis especially because you can double-stack, like Adam's many dogs. You can't double-stack some, however, (*Adam's some dogs), but that's probably because some already denotes a partitive sense. Without the of, though, some can just mean "a few" or somesuch.
"Many" and "Few" can be used as adjectives in this sense and yet they also denote partitive relationships. I think the "many" in "Adam's many dogs" and "Many of Adam's dogs" should be counted as two totally separate lexical entries rather than a single entry that is somehow capable of doing both.
My pronouns are <xie> [ʒiː] / <xer> [ʒɚ]

My shitty twitter

User avatar
MrKrov
banned
Posts: 2414
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:47
Location: /ai/ > /a:/
Contact:

Re: Double Determiner Constructions

Post by MrKrov » 16 Oct 2011 05:39

You're just now figuring this out?

User avatar
Sankon
sinic
sinic
Posts: 395
Joined: 12 Aug 2010 01:06
Location: At the computer

Re: Double Determiner Constructions

Post by Sankon » 16 Oct 2011 06:10

Micamo wrote:
Sankon wrote:In English it seems that we can only have partitives of definite nouns; i.e. you can have Some of the dogs but you can't have *Some of dogs.

This explains why you can only use quantifiers that can denote a partitive sense for this construction, like some and many and few, and not articles or possessives or other adjectives.
I'm not so sure. "All" and "none" can be stacked, as can the non-quantifier "each." "Each dog" and "Every dog" is synonymous, but with "each" you can make constructions like "Each of my dogs."

Secondly, you can make constructions like "Part of a dog" so I'm not sure if these things are restricted to definites.
All, none, and each are quantifiers. And synonymous words don't necessarily need to act the same way.

"Part of a dog" can be explained away because part is a noun; going by my analysis, nouns work differently (which makes sense, as nouns of a completely different lexical category).
Micamo wrote:
I would prefer this analysis especially because you can double-stack, like Adam's many dogs. You can't double-stack some, however, (*Adam's some dogs), but that's probably because some already denotes a partitive sense. Without the of, though, some can just mean "a few" or somesuch.
"Many" and "Few" can be used as adjectives in this sense and yet they also denote partitive relationships. I think the "many" in "Adam's many dogs" and "Many of Adam's dogs" should be counted as two totally separate lexical entries rather than a single entry that is somehow capable of doing both.
That may be, but I don't see how that affects my analysis.

roninbodhisattva
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1793
Joined: 15 Aug 2010 19:03
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Double Determiner Constructions

Post by roninbodhisattva » 25 Oct 2011 22:29

MrKrov wrote:You're just now figuring this out?
This is what I thought.

Post Reply