back to article Word boffins back Rimini Street in Oracle row: 'Full' in 'full costs' is a 'delexicalised adjective'

The United States and linguistic experts have sided with Oracle-botherer Rimini Street in its Supreme Court battle to claw back $12m from its copyright settlement with Big Red. Oracle originally sued third-party support biz Rimini Street and founder and CEO Seth Ravin in 2010 after the Rimini downloaded support materials from …

Doesn't sound right

This sounds suspiciously like common sense is prevailing in a US litigation case. This makes me feel really quite uneasy.

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Coat

Re: Doesn't sound right

When you say "really quite uneasy", is the "quite" delexicalised or not?

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Re: Doesn't sound right

is the "quite" delexicalised

I would be inclined to say no, though linguists with more experience in this area might well disagree. "quite" as a non-specific quantifier is more or less the most common contemporary denotational usage.

Contrast the phrase "quite a few", a collocation in which "quite" arguably is delexicalized (though you could consider it an ironic inversion of the lexical meaning).

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Facepalm

US Litigation is bonkers

That is all

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Excuse my lack of understanding ...

"In this case, 'full' can no more alter the meaning of 'costs' than it can the meaning of 'moon,' 'speed,' 'time,' 'parking lot,' or 'house'".

Full moon as in not a waxing phase?

Full speed as in not being stuck behind a cyclist?

Full time as in not half time?

Full parking lot as in a parking lot without an illuminated 'NO SPACES' sign?

Full house as in a house that isn't occupied by 150 squatters?

I really don't see this argument ...

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Holmes

Re: Excuse my lack of understanding ...

The moon is complete, irrelevant of how much you see.

Full time extends from The Big Bang to ... well, we don't really know. It's certainly more than 90 minutes though.

Full speed is C - the speed of light.

But regardless of all that, the point was that the 'full' is there to emphasise the 'costs', not to determine what constitutes a cost. Otherwise you get people claiming things like "I needed a new suit for this trial, so that's an extra £2000 cost incurred that you have to reimburse".

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Re: Excuse my lack of understanding ...

Full moon, as in the moon isn't missing any pieces and is therefor the moon

Full speed, as in all of the speed you are currently going

Full time, as in the time and not half of it

Full parking isn't even grammatically correct

I really don't see your argument.....

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Re: Excuse my lack of understanding ...

They are not correct in some of their examples, which does not help. In 'full glass' and 'full car park', the word 'full' is used as an adjective. However, 'full time' and 'full house' are compound nouns. The house in a full house is not a dwelling, unless you are talking about a massive party in someone's home. Similarly, full time is not an overflowing collection of time, but a set phrase.

'Full moon' is literally used as an example of a compound noun in this article , for example.

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Re: Excuse my lack of understanding ...

Oracle is pushing for costs not normally considered in legal cases.

Take this example:

"Full time as in not half time?"

This question requires a specific quantity of time (you cannot assuredly have half of an indeterminate amount). That specific quantity would be "full time", and more than that would be "more than full time". For illustration, consider a standard working week in the US. Full time is normally 40 hours per week, half time 20 hours per week, and more than 40 would be "overtime." Oracle's interpretation of "full" in this context would allow up to 168 hours per week as "full time.", simply because that time exists within a week, even though it is not part of the customary definition.

Or take the "full parking lot" as one with no free parking spaces. Oracle's argument, essentially, would be that such a lot is NOT full because you CAN cram more cars into it (by filling up the driving lanes, stacking cars on top of each other, etc.) But such an interpretation would ruin the functional definition of a parking lot, being a place to temporarily place vehicles to be readily removed for use later.

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Re: Excuse my lack of understanding ...

"In this case, 'full' can no more alter the meaning of 'costs' than it can the meaning of 'moon,' 'speed,' 'time,' 'parking lot,' or 'house'".

Full moon as in not a waxing phase?

In this example, "full" does not alter the meaning of "moon". "Moon" still refers to the same thing that the unmodified noun describes. That is the argument.

And similarly for your other examples. They are not claiming the noun phrase is not a modification of the meaning of the bare noun; they are claiming the adjective does not alter the referent of the bare noun.

Thus the preceding bit about the adjective taking its meaning from the noun, and not vice versa.

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Re: Excuse my lack of understanding ...

However, 'full time' and 'full house' are compound nouns.

They can be, but those are not the only valid parses of those phrases found in actual usage.

The house in a full house is not a dwelling, unless you are talking about a massive party in someone's home.

It most certainly might be a dwelling. Among my speech community, I'd say the use of "full house" to describe a dwelling with many people in it is far more common than, say, the poker term.

Similarly, full time is not an overflowing collection of time, but a set phrase.

By "set phrase" I suppose you mean an idiom (or a collocation, but since collocation is purely a statistical description, calling "full time" one doesn't support your argument). Again, "full time" may be used idiomatically (though in US English it's more often written as a compound than as a phrase), but it can also be used as a normal noun phrase. It might be a poor example for purposes of their argument, but it's not strictly incorrect.

'Full moon' is literally used as an example of a compound noun in this article , for example.

So what? Even when considered a compound noun rather than a separable noun phrase (a dubious distinction, frankly), their argument about it holds. In "full moon", "full" defers to the unmodified meaning of "moon".

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Pint

'Full' glass of beer

It'll come down to the definition of 'costs' taken in context.

If, by the definition of costs, they mean 'taxable costs', that's clear and reasonably closed (although see the discussion on beer below). If they mean any and all 'costs', both taxable and non-taxable that can remotely be associated with the case, that's open-ended and subject to much argument.

A cynic would say that lawyers will naturally argue for that latter, as that gives them more business.

A similar discussion over the meaning of full continues in the UK to determine what a full pint of beer constitutes. It turns out that a 'full' pint is legally allowed to be 95% liquid, with the rest being the head.

The linked article is from 2008, and this one Metro:Here’s how you know if you’re not getting a full pint is from earlier this year.

If I could get away with paying my bills in 'full' while keeping 5% back myself, I would. And spend it on beer.

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Holmes

The bit that interests me is using "corpus linguistics"

Corpus Linguists tend to work in statistics rather than absolute rules and judgements.

So although they would say x is a delexicalised adjective it would often be governed by something like "97% of the times in 2000 occurrences based on a corpus of size 5000000 tokens taken from the specific domain of texts of legal representations in the USA"

Corpus linguistics is based on actual usage rather than abstract rules.

Domain of the corpus is core to this idea, the classic case is the difference in the use of adjectives to describe legal and non-legal drugs.

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