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Hi.

- Vaults full of research attest to how emerging-market optimism is more soundly based than rich-country pessimism. (The Economist)

I view the first four words as an NP, with research being the head, "vaults full of" being something like a quantifier, because it is research that attest, not vaults. But why doesn't attest agree with research by  using third person singular? What do I miss?

Regards,

Robby zhu.

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Hi Robby Zhu,

@Robby zhu posted:

Hi.

- Vaults full of research attest to how emerging-market optimism is more soundly based than rich-country pessimism. (The Economist)

I view the first four words as an NP, with research being the head, "vaults full of" being something like a quantifier, because it is research that attest, not vaults. But why doesn't attest agree with research by  using third person singular? What do I miss?

Regards,

Robby zhu.

I see that 'vaults' is main subject here. I read it like this: 'Vaults (that are) full of research attest....' I don't think 'research' is the subject of 'attest' here.

Hi, Robby zhu,

@Robby zhu posted:

- Vaults full of research attest to how emerging-market optimism is more soundly based than rich-country pessimism. (The Economist)

I agree with Ahmed that "vaults full of research" is the subject, and that the verb needs to agree with its head, which is the plural noun "vaults."

In this noun phrase, "vaults full of" functions as a quantifier. If we had "large amounts of research," the verb would also need to be in the plural (attest).

Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say:

- The existence of vaults full of research attests to ...

It it not actually the rooms full of documents that attest to that, but the fact that they exist, that is, the fact that there is a lot of documentation that supports that line of thought.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

I agree with Ahmed and Gustavo that "vaults" should be interpreted as the head of the subject NP. To make "vaults full of" function as a quantifier analogous to "lots of" or "handfuls of," it can be changed to "vaultfuls of," as in the following clause from a sentence in the magazine The Economist: "banks are sitting on vaultfuls of the stuff that they want eventually to sell" (source).

To make "vaults full of" function as a quantifier analogous to "lots of" or "handfuls of," it can be changed to "vaultfuls of," as in the following clause from a sentence in the magazine The Economist: "banks are sitting on vaultfuls of the stuff that they want eventually to sell" (source).

That's an interesting word. I had never come across it.

@ahmed_btm posted:

'Vaults (that are) full of research attest....' I don't think 'research' is the subject of 'attest' here.

"large amounts of research," the verb would also need to be in the plural (attest).

.

Thanks. This example is very convincing.



it can be changed to "vaultfuls of," as in the following clause from a sentence in the magazine The Economist: "banks are sitting on vaultfuls of the stuff that they want eventually to sell" (source).

Great. I think I've just learned how words like spoonful, handful etc. came into being.

Last edited by Robby zhu

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