End of ADS-L Digest - 7 Aug 1995 to 8 Aug 1995 ********************************************** There are 2 messages totalling 178 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. e-mails re: interim report (interim report) (fwd) 2. NEH funding update ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 9 Aug 1995 06:45:59 -0500 From: jeffrey howard allen Subject: e-mails re: interim report (interim report) (fwd) I had indicated in a message that "e-mail" can be used adjectivally, as the modifier of a noun, but I would fully agree with the statement below that it is part of a noun-noun compound. It is simply the problem with English that two different kinds of pre-nominal words can modify the head noun, these being adjectives and nouns. It just so happens that everybody in the world's grammar teacher always say that adjectives modify nouns, so I end having to invent a new way with my engineering technical writers that main nouns can be modified by two either nouns or adjectives. This is evident from the two following examples: engine oil Noun Noun hydraulic oil ADJ Noun I said that "e-mail" acts adjectivially with "message" in the sense of "engine oil" above because it functions in a way that most people (non-linguists) would label an adjective. Due to this problem that I deal with at work all the time for our translation system, I have come up with a list of tests for nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and prepositional phrases that can be used by any ordinary person to do simple sentence parsing. >From these tests, "e-mail" is either a main Noun or a Verb and can be a Noun used to modify another noun (I call them secondary nouns for my public). That's just simply a laymen's way of explaining the term "pre-nominal modifier. Like I said, my writers having engineering and mechanical backgrounds; they weren't English or linguistics majors. JEFF ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Tue, 8 Aug 1995 11:48:40 EDT From: Larry Horn Subject: Keep those e-mails coming in (interim report) So far, the majority shares my conservative dialect in which e-mail is a mass noun or verb but not a count noun. (Incidentally, in response to Bethany and I think someone else, I'd argue that in "an e-mail message", 'e-mail' is not an adjective but a noun within a noun-noun compound, exactly as 'water' in "water torture" or 'milk' in "a milk bath". There's little evidence if any that such modifiers are adjectives, although they cer- tainly share semantic and syntactic properties with adjectives. But then so do PPs as in "an in-your-face response". Pre-nominal modifer, si; adjective, no.)