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The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language reads

Postpositive present (or absent) denotes a temporary state of affairs: compare the present government. The same applies to involved and concerned, though here the attributive sense differs more (cf. deeply involved activists, concerned parents).

However, oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com does not seem to include the second meaning as an adjective

CONCERN: [often passive] to affect/involve somebody/something: Don't interfere in what doesn't concern you. The loss was a tragedy for all concerned (= all those affected by it).

What does temporary state of affairs mean in this context? How does it distinguish the postpositive concerned?

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    'The present sheriff' means the one in office for the time being. They are temporarily in office. 'The sheriff present' means the one in attendance at the meeting, say. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 19:52
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    Oxford Learner's Dictionary is a learner's dictionary—it doesn't list all the meanings of every word, just the most common ones. Look at Merriam-Webster definition 2b. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 20:02
  • @Edwin Ashworth - I understand your point. However, surely the point of 'present' in this 'postpositive' use is not that the person is (or was) in office temporarily: all office holders are in office 'temporarily' (except the Queen, members of the US Supreme Court and others appointed for life). Isn't the point that the holder of the post is sheriff at the time referred to in the sentence?
    – Tuffy
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 20:29
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    @Tuffy: postpositive means after the noun. The present sheriff is the one currently in office. The sheriff present is the one who is in the room with you at this very moment. The second usage is considerably more temporary than the first. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 20:47
  • @Tuffy I'm just showing that the CGEL comment is applicable, not that it's necessarily all that useful as a classification or explanation. Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 15:10

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Your reading of CGEL's text needs to be revisited. Let's add back some context:

[12] ii the people present, the cars involved, the students concerned, the city proper . . .

The adjectives in [12ii] occur both attributively and postpositively, but with a difference in sense. Postpositive present (or absent) denotes a temporary state of affairs: compare the present government. The same applies to involved and concerned, though here the attributive sense differs more (cf. deeply involved activists, concerned parents).

Now let's delete the intervening sentence about a temporary state of affairs (which pertains only to present and absent):

The adjectives in [12ii] occur both attributively and postpositively, but with a difference in sense. . . . The same applies to involved and concerned, though here the attributive sense differs more (cf. deeply involved activists, concerned parents).

I think you can see that what is being said (though not terribly clearly) is that concerned has a different sense depending on whether it is used attributively or postpositively.

Now look up concerned in some other dictionaries to understand the difference in sense CGEL is getting at:

The concerned [caring] students freed the zoo tigers.

The students concerned [implicated] were expelled after the freeing the zoo tigers.

The zoo tigers concerned [involved] were seen wandering the neighborhood.

Concerned [worried] neighbors are staying inside.

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  • Merriam Webster’s Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary : CONCERNED 2a. having an interest or involvement in something: a discussion that will be of interest to everyone concerned; The lawyers called a meeting of all the concerned parties
    – GJC
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 23:16
  • @GJC: From CGEL: "Special rules apply with compound determinatives like somebody, anything, etc.: see §9.6." Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 18:06

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