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 work under transformational grammar, and may disagree with its basic postulates. Heaviness is determined by the grammatical complexity of the NP. 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.