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Is the all in "John, Bob, and Sue all are hungry" redundant? Does it mean anything beyond "John, Bob, and Sue are hungry"?

  • The "all" here is separable and not part of the subject NP but a quantificational adjunct in clause structure, thus it's optional. – BillJ Sep 26 at 15:25
  • Your sentence is not (well-formed) English. If you wish to include “all” it is better to follow the verb, i.e. “are all”. – David Sep 26 at 18:48
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    All is one of the quantifiers that allow Quantifier-Float, so that John, Bob, and Sue all are hungry is one variant, and John, Bob, and Sue are all hungry is another, of All of John, Bob, and Sue are hungry. Even though the quantifier modifies the noun phrase, you can see how useful it is to niche it in the verb phrase. – John Lawler Sep 26 at 20:12
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    @JohnLawler Even John, Bob and Sue are hungry all is possible, though old-fashioned, if not archaic. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 27 at 0:22
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John, Bob, and Sue all are hungry.

The "all" is separable and not part of the subject NP but an adjunct in clause structure. This is evident from the fact that when the verb is an auxiliary, as it is here, it preferentially follows rather than precedes it, as in "John, Bob and Sue" are all hungry".

Note also the possibility of inserting an adjunct after the subject NP and before the quantificational adjunct, as in "John, Bob and Sue are certainly all hungry".

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