[Ads-l] Coordinate Noun Phrase Constraint violated on Facebook

Geoffrey Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Fri Jul 20 17:52:28 UTC 2018

Please ignore the political message (or not, as you choose) but there’s a meme floating around on Facebook that straightforwardly violates Ross’s Coordinate Noun Phrase Constraint (or any of its modern versions). Apologies if you’re not into such syntactic minutiae:

How much treason do you need to stand by and watch Trump commit?

How much treason{i} do you need to [                                           ]

                                     [stand by] and [watch Trump commit X{i} ]

(FWIW George Lakoff found a few of these several years ago, but I haven’t seen one live in a while)


Geoffrey S. Nathan
WSU Information Privacy Officer (Retired)
Emeritus Professor, Linguistics Program
geoffnathan at wayne.edu

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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