On the move

The mobility of constituents in the English noun phrase: a multi-method approach


This book should be seen mainly as a contribution to the long-standing tradition of English descriptive linguistics. It gives a complete account of the nature and frequency of possible noun phrase (NP) structures in contemporary British English, including the ones that deviate from the prototypical description we find in handbooks of English. The book focuses on those NPs which are characterized by the fact that one or more of the constituents is not in its prototypical position, but has moved. The detailed description of variant NPs is obtained through the careful combination of corpus data and experimental data. The book addresses the question how corpus data can be combined with intuitive data and offers a practical approach to the task: the multi-method approach. In this approach, corpus data are combined with intuitive data obtained from native speakers in an elicitation experiment.

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”This book provides a careful and considered analysis of variant NPs and, perhaps more importantly, breaks new ground in tearing down the invisible wall between corpus linguists and ‘armchair linguists’ (Fillmore 1992). … I am thrilled at the wealth of interesting data, the plausibility of arguments and the innovative methodology…., both the open-minded linguist from the world of corpus linguistics and the defender of intuition-based methods will certainly profit from reading this book in order to get the best of both worlds. No-one interested in an unbiased approach to linguistic description in general and/or the English noun phrase in particular should miss this excellent book.” in: THE LINGUIST LIST 11.2729, Fri. Dec. 15, 2000
Acknowledgements. 1 The description of the English noun phrase. 2 Methodological considerations. 3 Results of the corpus study. 4 The elicitation experiment. 5 The description of mobility. 6 Summary and conclusion. References cited. Appendices.