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    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 6

    Idiomatic Noun Phrase?

    Please explain strange noun phrases constructed according to the following word pattern

    a/an Adjective Noun-pl

    I know from the Collins Cobuild Dictionary that it works for a good..., a good many..., a great many.... Also a couple... in AmE.

    But are the following examples follow the same scheme???

    a mere thirty yards from here
    a further six experienced detectives
    a lucky five men
    an astounding five million women
    a modest sixty kilometres an hour
    a full twenty minutes

    It has almost always something to do with numerals. Is it the necessary condition for using this word pattern? What is the formal name for such Noun Phrases?

    Is an article a permanent element of a broader determiner like a few, a little --> ... [a lucky] + five man...? What is the role of the indefinite article here???

    Is there an element missing? Like astounding {number of} five million women, ... a modest {speed of} sixty kilometres an hour..., a full {period of} twenty minutes.

    if so, what's the missing element in ...a mere 5 per cent..., a good many..., a great many... Are there any other set phrases like these?

    Thank you for your patience

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 6

    Re: Idiomatic Noun Phrase?

    Does anyone know the answer please?

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