Modification in non-combining idioms

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Scott McClure


This squib discusses metalinguistic modification, expressives, domain modification, hypallage, and conjunctive modification within verb phrase idioms. The examples presented here show that non-combining idioms, to use terminology based on that of Nunberg, Sag & Wasow 1994, allow for modifiers on their internal constituents, but only in certain circumstances. This observation is shown to be derived from the fact that the idiomatic reading of these non-combining idioms is associated with the entire verb phrase.

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Scott McClure, Nuance Communications, Inc.

NLP Research Engineer, Nuance Communications, Inc.