Can anyone see the difference in complexity?  I can't...

I am trying to see the difference between two entries on the English Grammar Profile.  They have this point of grammar under adverbs and under pronouns but have given it different proficiency levels (I tagged the example with claws 7 tagset):

B2 degree adverbs to modify pronouns.

This_DD1 is_VBZ the_AT most_RGT crowded_JJ place_NN1 in_II my_APPGE town_NN1 and_CC you_PPY can_VM buy_VVI absolutely_RR anything_PN1 you_PPY like_VV0 ._.

B1 premodifiers with indefinite pronouns, often to intensify.

You_PPY can_VM find_VVI absolutely_RR anything_PN1 ,_, whatever_DDQV you_PPY need_VV0 ._.

I'm also adding data from a corpus on my blog to see if I can find some logic.   

Thanks for any help in advance, usually I can find this information through my own research but this one has me stumped.



Original Post

Hello, EG, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

I have read through your above post a few times and have absolutely no idea what you are asking. Would you like to clarify the computer language, the awkward underscoring, and the meaning of B1 or B2?

If you do not reply in the next 24 hours, this post will be moved into cyber-limbo. I think you may simply be engaging in advertising. Incidentally, your post ends with a run-on sentence containing a comma-splice error.

Last edited by David, Moderator

Hi David,

The "computer language" is a part-of-speech tagset which is usually used for corpus linguistics.  I find it a quick way to spot the difference in patterns.  B1 B2 are proficiency levels from the CEFR = Central European Framework of Reference for languages, and the two sentences or examples are from two different levels of learner English.  I am developing a teacher aid that is based on the English Grammar Profile and therefore it cannot be commercialised.



EG posted:

The "computer language" is a part-of-speech tagset which is usually used for corpus linguistics.  I find it a quick way to spot the difference in patterns. 

Hi, EG,

Wouldn't it have been easier to write the sentences from your blog rather than those obscure formulas? (By the way, please notice the typo.)

According to the English Grammar Profile:

"You can find absolutely anything, whatever you need." = premodified indefinite pronoun is intensifying, so therefore this is only considered B1.


"This is the most crowded place in my town and you can buy absolutely anything you like." = the degree adverb modifies the pronoun and is therefore considered B2.

It is clear that both structures are similar, the only difference being that the first one is reinforced by the appositive "whatever you need," while the second one takes a restrictive clause ("you like").

I'm not an expert at classifying contents according to their level, but you must know that there are some boundary cases that are shared by adjacent levels. I really don't see the point of making such extremely detailed distinctions. I find it to be a waste of time.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

Hi Gustavo,

Thanks for the extra information. 

I too see useless ambiguity in this case, but generally find there is potential value in the overall system for those who make thousands of level placement decisions for new classes.  I'm trying to automate the tedious parts to leave more time for the rest.

Your grammar points were helpful.  Unfortunately, they don't explain the complexity criterions since they seem poorly exemplified in the first place.  

Thanks again.

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