Date of Award
Master of Arts
This study characterizes the subject-verb agreement that occurs with group of NP and number of NP. These two complex noun phrases can agree with a verb as a singular or plural noun. These two particular items were selected as number of NP has a relatively firm description of its quantification behavior described in existing literature while group of NP has not been shown to have describable rules governing its quantity. Using data collected from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), 1200 concordance lines centered on group of and number of which agree with a verb in a clause were extracted for study of several co-occurring features. Individual features such as determiners and modifiers are examined with respect to their distribution with singular or plural-agreeing verbs to identify patterns of agreement and potentially indicate trends, if not causal relationships. Some features, such as determiners preceding the first noun number, show trends with respect to the verb-demonstrated quantity of the noun phrase. Other features, such as premodifiers on either noun in group of NP do not appear to co-occur in demonstrable patterns. By creating a description of quantification in this way, this study lays the foundation for more targeted future studies of quantification in cognition, grammar, and semantics.
Samuel Drew Ascoli
Ascoli, Samuel Drew, "A group of subject-verb agreements: finding quantity in group and number" (2015). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 14310.