Saturday, October 3, 2009

Structural ambiguity

A competitor in a Food Network show I watched recently was described as an "award-winning cake and sugar artist". Fairly straightforward, but my language faculty at first wanted to parse this is [[award-winning cake] and [sugar artist]] rather than [award-winning [cake and sugar] artist]. This is essentially the opposite of low attachment, so I'm not sure what was going on. Perhaps a desire for coordinated phrases to be coordinated as high as possible in the syntactic structure of the phrase.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your blog is Ryan's Linguistics Blog! In syntax, I suggest to change your blog naming Ryan's Linguistic Blog since Linguistic in the phrase functions as adjective and so Ryan's possessive 's.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is Ryan's Linguistics Blog! In syntax, I suggest to change your blog naming Ryan's Linguistic Blog since Linguistic in the phrase functions as adjective and so Ryan's possessive 's. -Arie Andrasyah Isa-

linguistlessons said...

Not quite. Nouns can also occupy that type of position. For instance, if I had a blog about dogs, I could call it "Ryan's dog blog". There "dog" would not be functioning as an adjective.