searching grammatical relations

Brian MacWhinney macw at
Sun Mar 4 15:38:21 EST 2018

Dear Jamie,
    In your recent email, you asked about ways to search for these types of adjectival modifications:

green sheep
great big sheep
sheep that’s green
something special

as well as some (not fully defined) set of related constructions.

The first two can be searched with COMBO, although you will need to have one +s for adj+n, another for adj+adj+n, and perhaps even one for adj+adj+adj+n.  And you will need some wildcards.  The third is questionably not a grammatical relation between adj and noun at all.  The fourth is fairly specific to "something" but related to the more general small-clause resultative, as in "I painted the wagon red".  

Some of these can be spotted through COMBO.  A more powerful method would use information on the %gra line, but we don't yet have a program that can do this.  We will put it on our program wish list.


--Brian MacWhinney

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