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The post was edited. The present question was a tangent to the original question, so please excuse the windy logic.

In The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Huddleston and Pullum (2002) interpret "where/wherever" as prepositions in interrogatives and "fused relatives":

(1) Where/wherever I go is my decision.

(2) I go where/wherever she goes.

Substituting "anywhere" or "everywhere" for "where/wherever" produces a similar, if not the same, structure and function (and "nowhere" can substitute for "where" with the opposite function). So, the question is: why do they classify anywhere and everywhere (and nowhere and somewhere) as determinatives? I presume it's because of the parallel with any/every/some/no- -body/one/thing. But, is that it (a surface resemblance to other words)?

Page 683: "Besides where we have the compound determinatives anywhere, everywhere, nowhere, somewhere. Where commonly introduces PPs with the form of fused relatives: The keys aren’t where they should be. Similarly wherever: You can sleep wherever you like."

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    What difference does it make what they (or anybody) call it? Names come later; data comes first. Where she is happy is a fused Wh-clause, short for the place where she is happy. It has to refer to a locative expression, just as when has to refer to a temporal one. Feb 13, 2023 at 2:12
  • @DW256 My apologies. I thought I read it in reference to "where" on page 1068, but I was mistaken. Nevertheless, on page 683, they refer to (any/every/some/no)where, as determinatives: "Besides where we have the compound determinatives anywhere, everywhere, nowhere, somewhere. Where commonly introduces PPs with the form of fused relatives: The keys aren’t where they should be. Similarly wherever: You can sleep wherever you like." Substitute "anywhere" for "wherever" in the last example and the question remains the same.
    – user473438
    Feb 13, 2023 at 8:16
  • I can see how any/every/some/no are determiners, before a noun. However, I don't see how anywhere, everywhere, nowhere and somewhere function in the same way. Except uses like the Beatles' Nowhere Man.
    – Lambie
    Feb 13, 2023 at 19:20
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    The question title and tag say "determiners", but you've written "determinatives" in the question body and your comment. Are you using those terms interchangeably? May 25, 2023 at 18:31

2 Answers 2

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I assume that they are talking about uses like:

You can work remotely from anywhere in the world.

Or:

People came to the stadium from everywhere.

Note that "anywhere" and "everywhere" can head noun phrases, not just prepositional phrases. You also can't add a separate determiner to them (*"the anywhere in the world").

Much like other determiners, they also tend to precede adjectives when used in this sense: compare "anywhere warm" to "the warm place," and note that *"warm anywhere" is invalid.

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    Re: "from anywhere in the world", "from everywhere": Note that "from" can take a prepositional phrase as its complement (consider e.g. "The call is coming from inside the house"), so these examples don't demonstrate that "anywhere" and "everywhere" can head noun phrases.
    – ruakh
    Feb 14, 2023 at 0:58
  • Argh. Now I'm confused also.
    – alphabet
    Feb 14, 2023 at 7:23
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So, the question is: why do they classify anywhere and everywhere (and nowhere and somewhere) as determinatives?

They address this in chapter 5, §9.6 "Compound determinatives" (pp. 423–4).

Specifically, they write:

The analysis of the locatives as heads of NPs is motivated by their use as object in constructions like Have you got anywhere to spend the night?

(where the "locatives" in question are everywhere, somewhere, anywhere, and nowhere, plus the variants with ‑place instead of ‑where).


I presume it's because of the parallel with any/every/some/no- -body/one/thing. But, is that it (a surface resemblance to other words)?

It's more than just a surface resemblance; in the same section as I quoted above, they also write:

The compound determinatives take the same pre-head modifiers as the determinative bases they contain (see §11): […]

(e.g. "not every" ⇔ "not everyone", "hardly any" ⇔ "hardly anyone"), and explain that this leads them to classify these words as determinatives rather than pronouns. (They also mention that these words freely take "the same range of post-head modifiers as common nouns", as in e.g. everything in the collection, and point out that this also distinguishes them from pronouns.) Although directed at explaining why these are determinatives rather than pronouns, much of it also applies to explaining why these are determinatives rather than prepositions.


(1) Where/wherever I go is my decision.

(2) I go where/wherever she goes.

Substituting "anywhere" or "everywhere" for "where/wherever" produces a similar, if not the same, structure and function (and "nowhere" can substitute for "where" with the opposite function).

I would challenge this statement a bit. We never say *"wherever that I go", but we can say "anywhere that I go" and "everywhere that I go" and so on. That might be compatible with analysis as a preposition — there are prepositions such as provided that can take content clauses with or without that — though I'm not sure, since in the case of anywhere we clearly have a relative rather than a content clause. Regardless, I definitely think this difference is enough to justify analyzing "anywhere" and "wherever" independently, and at least potentially analyzing them differently. For example, we can analyze "anywhere that I go" as the determinative "anywhere" plus the integrated relative "that I go" as post-head modifier. (That analysis may still depend on analyzing the where part as a preposition for purposes of interpreting the gap in the relative clause — note that we would say "any location that I go to", not just "any location that I go" — but anywhere itself would be a determinative under that analysis.)

Incidentally, I'm not convinced of your claim that we say ?"wherever/anywhere/everywhere I go is my decision"; it sounds weird to me, and I can't find any similar examples either in CGEL or on books.google.com. I won't say that wherever/anywhere/everywhere never introduce an interrogative content clause — there may be examples I'm not thinking of, or dialectal usages I'm not aware of — but I definitely don't think that's the norm.

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