A two-rule analysis of measure noun phrases
Date of Issue2003
International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (10th : 2003)
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
In this paper we present an analysis of English measure noun phrases. Measure noun phrases exhibit both distributional idiosyncrasy, in that they appear in positions normally lled by degree adverbs: a ten inch long string; and agreement discord: ten inches is enough, it is ten inch/*inches long. The analysis introduces one idiosyncratic construction, the Measure Phrase Rule, which links together syntax and in ectional morphology. Combined with existing rules, in particular the Noun-noun Compound Rule, the new rule accounts for the both the distributional and agreement idiosyncrasies. The rule has been implemented and tested in the ERG, a broad-coverage grammar of English. Our analysis supports the position that broad-coverage grammars will necessarily contain both highly schematic and highly idiosyncratic rules.