Analyzing sentences: Role of Dates?

mangotea21

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Are dates classified as a specific part of speech?

For example: the utterance "In 1776," ... would it be adequately analyzed as ... "The utterance begins with a preposition In, which is determining the date 1776" or can dates be specified more exactly?
 

TheParser

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Hello, Mangotea:

I do not have the answer, but I would like you to consider a few thoughts of mine.

1. "Americans declared independence in 1776."

a. As you said, in is the preposition in that prepositional phrase.

b. I believe that in most instances, the object in a prepositional phrase must be a noun or pronoun.

c. I believe that in formal English, that sentence would be written as: "Americans declared independence in the year of 1776.

d. And I believe that in very formal English, that sentence would be written as: "Americans declared independence in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred seventy six."
 
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