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  1. I would like to go somewhere new tonight.
  2. I met someone nice at the party

Are the preceding two sentences the same as the following, but with ellipsis applied?

  1. I would like to go somewhere [that is] new tonight.
  2. I met someone [who is] nice at the party.

If not, how can this apparent ᴀᴅᴠᴇʀʙ + ᴀᴅᴊᴇᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ construct be otherwise explained?

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  • Does this answer your question? passive Vs active or omission of 'which is'. JLawler gives various examples of whiz-deletion, including one not involving participial clauses. 'Somewhere', 'someone' are pronouns, not adverbs. Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 13:30
  • Is your main question whether postnominal adjectives should always be analysed as whiz-deleted reduced relative clauses? Or is your main question why in the locative adverbial somewhere new you have a postnominal adjective modifying the nominal element that it immediately follows? Nominal phrases like somewhere new, two miles away, every Monday morning are just as viable as locative, directive, or temporal adverbials as prepositional phrases like to Jim’s house, into town and adverbs like outside, early are. Don’t get hung up on parts of speech; look at syntactic constituents.
    – tchrist
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 14:24
  • Somewhere new = to some place that is new. 'Somewhere' = 'to some place' in this case, is a prepositional phrase that gives an answer to the question 'where.' So it is basically an adverb of place in your given sentence.
    – Mr. X
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 13:00

2 Answers 2

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After further research, I think that somewhere is actually an indefinite pronoun in this sentence, although it only appears as an adverb in the Cambridge Dictionary.

Both of my examples are therefore INDEFINITE PRONOUN + ADJECTIVE which, according to this article, requires a postpositive adjective.

The remaining part of the puzzle is why somewhere new can follow go without a to- preposition. tchrist in his comment on my question describes somewhere new as a locative adverbial, which would not require a to- preposition.

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I agree with Benjamin Kuykendall's answer. Certain kinds of noun phrases related to time or place can be used like prepositional phrases (the function played by prepositional phrases is often categorized as "adverbial", so you could also say "can be used adverbially") without a preposition. For example, we can say "I met someone nice that day": this sentence clearly contains the noun phrase "that day", with the determiner "that" and the noun "day". Without an added preposition, "that day" can be used as an adjunct of time in a sentence like this, taking the same function as the prepositional phrase "at the party" in your sentence.

There are various possible analyses of this: we could say that the noun phrase "that day" can be used directly with this function, or you could say that in sentences like these, the noun phrase "that day" is contained inside of a prepositional phrase or adverbial phrase that is somehow formed without the presence of any explicit preposition or adverb. But however you analyze it, it's clear that there are some pro-words that show the same kind of behavior as "that day". Temporal pro-words like this include today, tomorrow, yesterday. "Somewhere" is used for locative functions, as is "someplace". You could analyze "somewhere new" as a noun phrase or as some kind of prepositional phrase where "somewhere" acts as a preposition fused with a head noun. Although words like "where" are sometimes categorized as "adverbs", I think you have to treat the adjective "new" in "somewhere new" as modifying the pronominal element of "where".

Other related posts:

Another word that could be analyzed as combining adverbial and pronominal elements is "nothing": in a sentence like "They were up to nothing good," "nothing" functions to express both the indefinite object of the phrasal verb "up to" (a pronominal function), and the negation of the clause (an adverbial function). "Nothing" expresses in one word the same thing as the two separate words "not ... anything". A previous question about "nothing": On the Use of "nothing"


The question of whether the postpositive adjective construction involves an elided "that is" or "which/who is" is not related to the analysis of "somewhere". Some descriptions of postpositive adjective constructions in English refer to something called "whiz-deletion", which basically seems like your idea of an elided "that is". If this actually occurs, it would occur in many sentences, not just ones with "somewhere": e.g. "The plate left in the kitchen was my favorite" can be analyzed as the result of whiz-deletion of "The plate [that/which was] left in the kitchen was my favorite."

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  • The reason why forcing a Donatus-style part-of-speech analysis breaks down here is because you have to look at the grammar of a sentence from the perspective of syntactic constituents, not that of individual words’ respective parts of speech. Think about all the many types of adverbials (especially locative adverbials) that you can replace these blanks with: Tonight we’re planning to go ____, so I put your key ____. Both blanks each represent a single constituent syntactically, but in both cases quite a variety of possibilities exist structurally.
    – tchrist
    Commented Dec 15, 2019 at 14:34

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