What is "à la mode" in French? I am thinking it must be an adjective but wondering how this might be represented in an arbre syntagmatique.
I am new to linguistics and just trying to get a solid grasp on this.
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It is very tempting to analyse it as a set phrase, and indeed it is leaning toward being one.
However, it is still possible to break it down, and, for instance, put an adjective before "mode" to qualify it : "à la nouvelle mode", meaning more or less "newly fashionable". Or after it : "à la mode française", meaning "in the french fashion".
Compare this to French set phrase "pour le moment". It is not possible to add an adjective qualifying "moment", either before or after it.
Therefore, I think it is still better to analyse "à la mode" as a full-fledged prepositional phrase.