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Chris Collins

NYU | A Study of Happy Birthday in Honor of Noam Chomsky on his 90th Birthday

Published onApr 19, 2019
Chris Collins
·

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 shirt!

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.

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