Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
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It is about cases where an adverb apparently modifies a word of a type that adverbs aren't supposed to be able to modify, like nouns and personal pronouns. It is very much related to this postthis post. Prototypical examples I have in mind:

This was the accepted answer to this questionthis question; so why don't I like it?

It is about cases where an adverb apparently modifies a word of a type that adverbs aren't supposed to be able to modify, like nouns and personal pronouns. It is very much related to this post. Prototypical examples I have in mind:

This was the accepted answer to this question; so why don't I like it?

It is about cases where an adverb apparently modifies a word of a type that adverbs aren't supposed to be able to modify, like nouns and personal pronouns. It is very much related to this post. Prototypical examples I have in mind:

This was the accepted answer to this question; so why don't I like it?

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It seems to me that there are three possible ways to analyze the examples above, none of which seem to me to be satisfactory. Question: which of these, if any, is the best way to analyze the examples above? I would appreciate it if the answer was backed by scholarly sources at the level of Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik and Huddleston and PullumCGEL (as opposed to school or ESL grammars). Possible analyses:

My guess is that this is the preferred answer of traditional school grammars, because such grammars say that in the phrase the Clinton administration, the word Clinton is an adjective (or that it is "used as an adjective"). Why don't I like it? Because of what Huddleston and Pullum haveCGEL has to say about it:

According to Huddleston and PullumCGEL,

5.1 Why mostly red is a constituent

5.2 The analogy with not

In a., not red seems to function somewhat like non-red, suggesting it is a constituent. To further strengthen that point of view, it seems like we can freely move around not red in a., which, if true, means that not red is indeed a constituent in that sentence (the question mark in front of the following examples means that it is however not entirely clear if the sentences are truly grammatical): ?Not red seems the shoe; ?Not red, the shoe seems. Also, it seems that 'not+adjective' can usually be replaced by a pro-form, again suggesting it is a constituent: ?John seems not tired, and Jane seems so, too. Finally, though this is not a conclusive test of constituenthood even if true, it looks like not red can be a stand-alone reply to a question, as in

Jane: I want the other shoe to be red.
Alex: OK, how does this shoe seem to you?
Jane: Not red.

On the other hand, in b., it seems pretty clear that not belongs with does. 

And now notice that

is ambiguous between being read like [Ca] (The shoe is [not red]) and being read like [Cb] (The shoe [is not] red). That's

On the one hand, here is some (admittedly inconclusive) evidence of the possibility of a [Ca]-like reading of [D]. Fronting: ?Not red, the shoe is. Answer ellipsis: "What is that shoe?" "Well, not red..." Pro-form substitution: The one thing I insist on is that all items be anything but red. Well, the hat is n̲o̲t̲ ̲r̲e̲d̲, the shawl is s̲o̲ as well, but the shoes are kind of reddish.

On the other hand, the [Cb]-like reading of [D] is arguably the standard one, though I (who am not a linguist) have had trouble coming up with a clear and conclusive demonstration of that fact. Perhaps this is not that surprising, as verb phrases are often more difficult to test for constituenthood than other kinds of phrases. So far, I only have answer ellipsis (sort of): "That shoe is red!" "Is not!"

The fact that [D] seems to be readable two different ways is why I say not is tricky in this case. The reason whytrickier when it follows is is trickier than when it follows e.g. seems. The reason, of course, is that negation with is does not involve do;: we say don't say *The shoe does not be red. The; our only possibilities are the shoe is not red and the shoe isn't red. (CGEL seems to argue that isn't and is not aren't quite the same thing, unlike she'll and she will, which are. One reason is that isn't cannot always be expanded to is not, whereas she'll can always be expanded to she will. For example, That's a great hat, i̲s̲n̲'̲t̲ it? cannot be expanded to *That's a great hat, i̲s̲ ̲n̲o̲t̲ it?; the question tag must instead be is it not. There are other differences as well, see CGEL, p. 91, which discusses won't vs. will not, but it seems like all the arguments there also apply to isn't and is not.)

And the point of all this, of course, is that [A] is analogous not to the [Cb]-like reading of [D] but to the [Ca]-like reading of it.

It seems to me that there are three possible ways to analyze the examples above, none of which seem to me to be satisfactory. Question: which of these, if any, is the best way to analyze the examples above? I would appreciate it if the answer was backed by scholarly sources at the level of Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik and Huddleston and Pullum (as opposed to school or ESL grammars). Possible analyses:

My guess is that this is the preferred answer of traditional school grammars, because such grammars say that in the phrase the Clinton administration, the word Clinton is an adjective (or that it is "used as an adjective"). Why don't I like it? Because of what Huddleston and Pullum have to say about it:

According to Huddleston and Pullum,

In a., not red seems to function somewhat like non-red, suggesting it is a constituent. To further strengthen that point of view, it seems like we can freely move around not red in a., which, if true, means that not red is indeed a constituent in that sentence (the question mark in front of the following examples means that it is however not entirely clear if the sentences are truly grammatical): ?Not red seems the shoe; ?Not red, the shoe seems. Also, it seems that 'not+adjective' can be replaced by a pro-form, again suggesting it is a constituent: ?John seems not tired, and Jane seems so, too. On the other hand, in b., it seems pretty clear that not belongs with does. And now notice that

is ambiguous between being read like [Ca] (The shoe is [not red]) and being read like [Cb] (The shoe [is not] red). That's why I say not is tricky in this case. The reason why is is trickier than seems is that negation with is does not involve do; we don't say *The shoe does not be red. The point, of course, is that [A] is analogous not to the [Cb]-like reading but to the [Ca]-like reading.

It seems to me that there are three possible ways to analyze the examples above, none of which seem to me to be satisfactory. Question: which of these, if any, is the best way to analyze the examples above? I would appreciate it if the answer was backed by scholarly sources at the level of Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik and CGEL (as opposed to school or ESL grammars). Possible analyses:

My guess is that this is the preferred answer of traditional school grammars, because such grammars say that in the phrase the Clinton administration, the word Clinton is an adjective (or that it is "used as an adjective"). Why don't I like it? Because of what CGEL has to say about it:

According to CGEL,

5.1 Why mostly red is a constituent

5.2 The analogy with not

In a., not red seems to function somewhat like non-red, suggesting it is a constituent. To further strengthen that point of view, it seems like we can freely move around not red in a., which, if true, means that not red is indeed a constituent in that sentence (the question mark in front of the following examples means that it is however not entirely clear if the sentences are truly grammatical): ?Not red seems the shoe; ?Not red, the shoe seems. Also, it seems that 'not+adjective' can usually be replaced by a pro-form, again suggesting it is a constituent: ?John seems not tired, and Jane seems so, too. Finally, though this is not a conclusive test of constituenthood even if true, it looks like not red can be a stand-alone reply to a question, as in

Jane: I want the other shoe to be red.
Alex: OK, how does this shoe seem to you?
Jane: Not red.

On the other hand, in b., it seems pretty clear that not belongs with does. 

And now notice that

is ambiguous between being read like [Ca] (The shoe is [not red]) and being read like [Cb] (The shoe [is not] red).

On the one hand, here is some (admittedly inconclusive) evidence of the possibility of a [Ca]-like reading of [D]. Fronting: ?Not red, the shoe is. Answer ellipsis: "What is that shoe?" "Well, not red..." Pro-form substitution: The one thing I insist on is that all items be anything but red. Well, the hat is n̲o̲t̲ ̲r̲e̲d̲, the shawl is s̲o̲ as well, but the shoes are kind of reddish.

On the other hand, the [Cb]-like reading of [D] is arguably the standard one, though I (who am not a linguist) have had trouble coming up with a clear and conclusive demonstration of that fact. Perhaps this is not that surprising, as verb phrases are often more difficult to test for constituenthood than other kinds of phrases. So far, I only have answer ellipsis (sort of): "That shoe is red!" "Is not!"

The fact that [D] seems to be readable two different ways is why I say not is trickier when it follows is than when it follows e.g. seems. The reason, of course, is that negation with is does not involve do: we say don't say *The shoe does not be red; our only possibilities are the shoe is not red and the shoe isn't red. (CGEL seems to argue that isn't and is not aren't quite the same thing, unlike she'll and she will, which are. One reason is that isn't cannot always be expanded to is not, whereas she'll can always be expanded to she will. For example, That's a great hat, i̲s̲n̲'̲t̲ it? cannot be expanded to *That's a great hat, i̲s̲ ̲n̲o̲t̲ it?; the question tag must instead be is it not. There are other differences as well, see CGEL, p. 91, which discusses won't vs. will not, but it seems like all the arguments there also apply to isn't and is not.)

And the point of all this, of course, is that [A] is analogous not to the [Cb]-like reading of [D] but to the [Ca]-like reading of it.

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