Look at the dictionary meanings below. I have copied them from the New Oxford American English Dictionary (the application for the dictionary on my Macintosh laptop):

pedant: (noun) a person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning.

virtuoso:(noun) a person highly skilled in music or another artistic pursuit.

I'd have expected who is to be present in the case of virtuoso as well. Is the use of who is optional in this context?

  • Dictionary definitions are rarely full sentences, and use ellipsis to save space. If a reader can easily understand the definition of virtuoso without the words "who is", what's the point of adding them - to please the pedant? ;-) – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica May 1 '19 at 7:28
  • It's fine. The AdjP "highly skilled in music ..." serves as a post-head modifier of "person". – BillJ May 1 '19 at 8:03
  • Note that when adjectives have their own post-head dependents, they normally occur in post-head position. The adjective "skilled" has the adverb "highly" and the PP "in music ..." as dependents, so it cannot occur in attributive position, cf. the ungrammatical *"a highly skilled in music or another artistic pursuit person". – BillJ May 1 '19 at 8:16
  • I am confused. Are sentences like "The word 'virtuoso' means a person highly skilled in music." grammatical? I tried to illustrate my question with the help of sentences from a dictionary. I have always wondered if constructs such as "that is", "who is" are required when describing objects. Can someone answer more definitively? – Kedar Mhaswade May 2 '19 at 3:05

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