NYU | A Study of Happy Birthday in Honor of Noam Chomsky on his 90th Birthday
Happy birthday to you!
A happy 90th birthday to you!
Happy 90th birthday to you!
A belated happy birthday to you!
*belated happy birthday to you!
A happy and blessed birthday to you!
*Happy and blessed birthday to you!
A very happy birthday to you!
*Very happy birthday to you!
Generalization: HBDD (Happy Birthday Determiner Drop) can only apply if the adjective happy is unmodified and c-commands all other elements in the DP.
Nice second shirt!
Nice blue shirt!
Nice and comfy shirt!
Very nice shirt!
Generalization: In regular Determiner Drop (DD), the adjective can be modified as in (14) (compare to (9)). Therefore, DD in English does not obey the same conditions as HBDD.
I wish you a happy birthday/a happy father’s day/a merry Christmas
*I wish you happy birthday/*happy father’s day/*merry Christmas
What a nice shirt (that is)!
*What nice shirt (that is)!
Generalization: Both kinds of determiner drop are blocked if the DP with a dropped determiner is dominated by some other constituent.