so many & too many

so many & too many

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Determiners can be joined with adverbs to describe quantities of countable plural nouns.

\w+_RG \w+_DA2

Unfortunately, iWeb corpus doesn’t allow us to search for “so many” + collocates. As a result, we can refine our investigation at WebCorp LSE which allows much more wild card searching. It is, however a bit small and uses a different coding system. Looking for “so many” as an adverb and determiner produces almost nothing. As a result, just a search for “so many” with no coding attached shows that they have it coded as an adverb + adjective. Regardless, we can get some useful collocate data without stopwords (words which are the most common top hundred or so) to get data like this:

External Collocates for “so many”

 Word   LTotal  L4 L3 L2 L1  Total  R1 R2 R3 R4  RTotal 
 people  136 42 43 46 5 2992 2240 334 180 102 2856
 things  56 20 16 15 5 1164 745 279 52 32 1108
 years  96 25 42 23 6 1026 855 22 18 35 930
 times  53 9 14 26 4 822 734 20 5 10 769
 ways  20 3 9 4 4 616 472 110 7 7 596
 different  39 12 17 10   612 540 5 19 9 573
 see  438 35 25 49 329 517 4 12 21 42 79
 others  29 3 16 8 2 511 458 5 15 4 482
 just  262 70 39 56 97 430 10 35 69 54 168
 great  114 34 66 14   371 192 24 22 19 257

This data basically shows us that the most common word is “people” directly after our phrase, as in “so many people” or on the left the verb “see” as in “see so many“. The tagger on Webcorp has “many as an adjective. And we also know that “many” can be a pronoun. We might then be losing our attempt to find adverbs modifying degree.

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