Heavy NP shift

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"Heavy NP shift" is a particular manifestation of shifting where a "heavy" noun phrase (NP) appears in a position to the right of its canonical position under certain circumstances. Although the term is coined according to the tradition of transformational grammar, which describes the process to be done by movement of the NP, the term is also used by linguists who do not believe in transformational grammar. Heaviness is determined by the grammatical complexity. Ross (1967) may have been the first to look at heavy NP shift in some detail.

See also[edit]


  • Ross, J. 1967. Constraints on variables in syntax. Ph.D. Dissertation, MIT.