Friday, September 2, 2016

Open Question: "I'm a big fan of yours"

Linguists, I've got a question. Is there any distinction to be made between (1) and (2)?
  1. I'm a big fan of Rhianna.
  2. I'm a big fan of Rhianna's.
I find both acceptable, but think I think I would prefer (1)? For pronouns, though, I think they must be possessive pronouns.
  1. *I'm a big fan of you.
  2. I'm a big fan of yours.
  3. *I'm a big fan of her.
  4. I'm a big fan of hers.
But I think it's strictly animacy based, since for inanimates I think the possessive form is ruled out, or is at least worse.
  1. I'm a big fan of coffee.
  2. *I'm a big fan of coffee's.
  3. I'm a big fan of Star Trek.
  4. *I'm a big fan of Star Trek's.
  5. I'm a big fan of it.
  6. *I'm a big fan of its.
I don't think the acceptability of (1) is related to a sort of corporate entity reading of "Rhianna." Both of the following seem fine to me:
  1. I'm a friend of Joel.
  2. I'm a friend of Joel's.


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  2. My intuition is that "a fan of Rihanna" is taken to mean 'a fan of Rihanna's music'. What do you think of the following?

    (15) Rihanna is my friend, and a wonderful and caring person. I guess you could say I'm a fan of Rihanna's

    Does it get better when it's clear you aren't only talking about her output, but rather her as a person? If the music is what's intended, then maybe #fan of Rihanna's in (2) is due to it being more like the coffee example.

    1. This is in reference to your preference for (1) over (2), which I have pretty strongly. "Fan of Rihanna's" seems pretty odd to me.


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