intro-to-syntax

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The head of a NP

krasimira
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 09:03:26 GMT

I watched the videos about the exam where Satish said that in the NP '63% of the adult population', 'population' is the head of the NP. Why isn't the pradicator agreed with the subject? Isn't it 'percentages' the head and 'of the adult population' is the postmodifier realized be the PP which includes a NP (with a head 'population')? Then the head of the NP which functions as the subject of the clause agrees with the pradicator.

satishpatel
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:03:54 GMT

Well observed. Your question shows your insight. Yes, this is a bit tricky. My colleague, Magnus Levin at Linnaeus Uni, did his PhD on this and other collective nouns. There is an argument for both 'percentage' and 'population' to be the head. eg. percent could be equates with some as in 'Some students passed the test', then clearly 'students' would be the head. For my part, as regards testing ... I have accepted both as being ok as it is ambiguous.