Author Topic: “Such” as a pronoun and “Reduction Transformations”  (Read 2569 times)

Offline amirhossein1988

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“Such” as a pronoun and “Reduction Transformations”
« on: December 24, 2013, 02:59:59 PM »
Hello

I just ran into this in the novel "Pride and Prejudice"

    -"Ah! you do not know what I suffer." -"But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood.'' -``It will be no use to us if twenty such should come, since you will not visit them.''

 1)   The occurrence of "such" here is interesting to me. Is it a pronoun here which is brought instead of "young men of four thousand a year"?
 2)   What is the deep structure of the noun phrase of the if-clause? the surface structure is "twenty such". Is the deep structure "twenty young men who are of 4 thousand a year"?
  3)  When a Reduction Transformation is possible which is better to be used? for example, is it better to say "a man who is of large fortune" or "a man of large fortune"? Any links elaborating on the Reduction Transformations in English would be truly appreciated. As far as I know, there are six RTs. But I need a trustworthy reference for my further studying.


Offline Daniel

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Re: “Such” as a pronoun and “Reduction Transformations”
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 07:41:48 PM »
Quote
1)   The occurrence of "such" here is interesting to me. Is it a pronoun here which is brought instead of "young men of four thousand a year"?
It appears to be. It might be just like this/that/these/those, where it's arguably a pronoun or elliptical noun phrase. In some languages (not English usually) adjectives can replace an NP very easily: "I want the the red [ones]."

This usage is not common. It strikes me as archaic, but it might also just be rare/poetic/creative, equally possible today as then.

Quote
2)   What is the deep structure of the noun phrase of the if-clause? the surface structure is "twenty such". Is the deep structure "twenty young men who are of 4 thousand a year"?
Hard to say without clear judgments on this, but that's possible. I don't, however, see it as a replacement for the whole phrase, but rather a sort of elliptical replacement (whether or not we call it a "pronoun") as in this/that/those/these. So I'd say "twenty such young men who are of a 4 thousand a year" or just "twenty such [young] men".

Note that "such" is a little unusual here, but if we replace it with the near synonym "of that type", it becomes clearer:
"twenty of that type"
"twenty men of that type"
"twenty young men of that type"
...

Quote
  3)  When a Reduction Transformation is possible which is better to be used? for example, is it better to say "a man who is of large fortune" or "a man of large fortune"? Any links elaborating on the Reduction Transformations in English would be truly appreciated. As far as I know, there are six RTs. But I need a trustworthy reference for my further studying.
What theory are you working with exactly? There are lots of ways to approach this, so don't expect any single, exact answer.

I don't understand what you mean by "better". Whichever one is correct is better, of course. If both work equally well, then neither is better based on our data-- if you find more data that distinguishes them, then you'd know.
Given that two strategies are possible in the grammar, it doesn't really matter. It would matter if you had to choose between an existing grammatical strategy and create a completely new "such transformation" unrelated to everything else! That would (probably) be less desirable because it is more complicated.

As for which one to choose, there's even another answer: both. Hankamer (1977*) notes, obviously yet unpopularly, that there's no reason not to assume multiple derivations for any given form. Why not? It might be necessary, and it might just work. Aside from a completely arbitrary assumption that this doesn't occur, we have no reason to reject the idea.

*Hankamer, Jorge (1977). Multiple Analyses. In Mechanisms of Syntactic Change, ed. Li. Texas Press: 583-607.

Anyway, in the end, the answer is: whichever one makes the whole grammar work better. (Not a simple thing to check.)
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