If I were a linguist I would love to parse this adverbial phrase I found recently in Modern Drummer: “in a not quite full-on rock way.” (Of course if I were a linguist I would no doubt find this a banal and mechanical exercise!) It is adverbial, in that we could substitute an adverb for the entire phrase. It consists of a preposition (in) followed by a noun phrase “NP” (a not quite full-on rock way). This in turn consists of an indefinite article, a noun (way), and an adjectival phrase (a not quite full-on rock) modifying it. “Rock” is a noun (used as an adjective here), modified in its turn by an intensifying adjective (full-on), qualified in turn by the qualifier “not quite.” The semantic brunt of the phrase (and the entire sentence) is carried by this qualifier: the noun (way) seems to be there to indicate adverbialness (like the suffix –ly or –mente). The sense is one of pulling back a bit on a typical driving rock-and-roll beat. Who would have thought that the drummer from Weezer could use language is so precise and expressive a way! He has essentially invented a new adverb on the spot, one that expresses exactly what he means to say.