Quantifier-Pronoun Flip

Examples of Quantifier-Pronoun Flip

This study is a continuum of the designated study on Quantifiers. If you wish to learn all there is about Quantifiers, you may click this LINKOpens in new window. However, if your interest is based solely on Quantifier-Pronoun Flip, continue with this study.

When all, both, and each appear in a noun phrase (NP) whose head is a pronoun, they must be followed by of, and the pronoun is therefore in the object form, as shown in 12).

The quantifier and the pronoun can optionally switch positions through a rule called QUANTIFIER-PRONOUN FLIP.

As 13) shows, when this happens, the pronoun, which no longer follows of, has the subject form.

Quantifier-pronoun flip also applies to pronouns that are not sentence subjects, as is the case in 14). In 14b), the NP to which the flip applies is the object of the verb unpacked, so the flipped pronoun in 14c) remains in the object form.

  • 14a)  John unpacked all (of ) his books.
  • 14b)  John unpacked all of them.
  • 14c)  John unpacked them all.

For some native speakers, quantifier-pronoun flip with each can apply only to subjects NPs. Applying it to object NPs, as is the case in 15b), produces a questionable sequence as is in 15c).

  • 15a)  John reviewed each of the books.
  • 15b)  John reviewed each of them.
  • 15c)  ?John reviewed them each.
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