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oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com:
(1) She was a curious mixture, part grand lady, part wild child.

my parse:
"Part grand lady" is a noun phrase.
"Part wild child" is a noun phrase.
"Part grand lady, part wild child" is a coordinate structure.
"Part grand lady, part wild child" is the appositive to the noun "mixture".
"Part grand lady, part wild child" is the supplement to the noun "mixture".
"Part grand lady, part wild child" is an adjunct.
"A curious mixture, part grand lady, part wild child" is a noun phrase with the head "mixture".

Is my parse correct?
If not, then could you please show me all mistakes I've made?

1 Answer 1

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Various sources claim that 'part' is a (flat) adverb in say

  • The television producer today has to be part news person, part educator.

part [4] {adverb} used as [ADVERB noun, ADVERB adjective]

If you say that something is part one thing, part another, you mean that it is to some extent the first thing and to some extent the second thing.

Perhaps this sort of partitive (eg 'half' in 'half man, half beast') needs a different POS tag.

However, I'd agree that in

  • She was a curious mixture, part grand lady, part wild child.

'part grand lady, part wild child' is an expository parenthetical in apposition to 'a curious mixture'. A colon could be used instead of the comma. An appositive demands that the strings in apposition be of the same type, so I'd say the parenthetical is nominal.

[Collins; re-ordered]

Ning Zhang, in Coordinate Structures, CUP, writes:

In a coordination construction, which is universally available, two or more syntactic constituents are combined, with or without an overt coordinator.

So 'part A, part B' is a coordinate structure just like 'part/ly A and part/ly B'.

I'd not over-analyse.

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  • You wrote: "An appositive demands that the strings in apposition be of the same type, so I'd say the parenthetical is nominal." This sentence is unclear to me. Does it mean you think "part grand lady, part wild child" is a noun phrase? Thanks.
    – Loviii
    Commented May 13 at 12:26
  • It behaves as a noun phrase in this structure. I'll not commit myself further; people have stipulative definitions involving further tests that are arguably subjectively chosen. Commented May 13 at 13:42
  • If "part grand lady, part wild child" is a noun phrase, then it has two heads: “lady” and “child”. I've always thought a constituent couldn’t have more than one head. Am I wrong? Thanks.
    – Loviii
    Commented May 13 at 13:56
  • It's clearly two coordinated elements. I'm saying that 'a curious mixture' and 'part grand lady, part wild child' are complements in apposition, the latter a coordinate structure. Commented May 13 at 15:56
  • 2
    According to this blog post, part is a noun which does not require a determiner or article here; Geoffrey Pullum characterized such phrases as part man, part animal as "idiomatic constructions with anarthrous nominals", and CGEL seems to broadly agree, although not all sources do.
    – Stuart F
    Commented May 13 at 22:17

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