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what is a noun phrase

For illustrations of different analyses of noun phrases depending on whether the DP hypothesis is rejected or accepted, see the next section. Noun phrase definition, a construction that functions syntactically as a noun, consisting of a noun and any modifiers, as all the men in the room who are reading books, or of a noun … There are several different types, as follows: Noun phrase. This analysis of noun phrases is widely referred to as the DP hypothesis. A noun phrase features a noun, pronoun, and other modifiers. (These dependents, since they modify a noun, are called adnominal.) Lockwood, D. 2002. The representation of noun phrases using parse trees depends on the basic approach to syntactic structure adopted. Similarly, noun phrases can also work in a sentence as adjectives, participles, infinitives, and prepositional or absolute … A noun phrase includes a noun—a person, place, or thing—and the modifiers that distinguish it. A noun phrase is a group of words that serves the same purpose as a noun. A phrase is a part of a sentence. Syntactic analysis and description: A constructional approach. Head-final languages (e.g. For them, phrases must contain two or more words. [3] That is, the syntactic functions that they fulfill are those of the arguments of the main clause predicate, particularly those of subject, object and predicative expression. I promise to come again. A phrase typically appears within a clause, but it is possible also for a phrase to be a clause or to contain a clause within it. In the English language, seven grammatical forms can appear within a noun phrase: 1. A noun phrase usually contains a noun plus other words to describe it. For an example of a relatively "flat" analysis of NP structure like the one produced here, but in a phrase structure grammar, see Culicover and Jackendoff (2005:140). ; See Direct and indirect objects and Complements for more information about these functions. noun, adjective, adverb) within its structure. However, many modern schools of syntax – especially those that have been influenced by X-bar theory – make no such restriction. For definitions and discussions of the noun (nominal) phrase that point to the presence of a head noun, see for instance Crystal (1997:264), Lockwood (2002:3), and Radford (2004: 14, 348). "), it is potentially infinite in length, and it can include any number of other phrases (e.g. Noun definition, any member of a class of words that can function as the main or only elements of subjects of verbs (A dog just barked), or of objects of verbs or prepositions (to send money from home), and that in English can take plural forms and possessive endings (Three of his buddies want to borrow John's laptop). More examples of noun phrases are given below: I enjoy playing tennis. For simplicity, only dependency-based trees are given.[5]. A noun phrase can act as a subject, object and complement just like any other noun. This page was last edited on 19 December 2020, at 04:05. Your sister is a phrase (a group of words without a finite verb), and it functions as a noun in the sentence. It's usually a single word, but not always: cake, shoes, school bus, and time and a half are all nouns. Noun phrases can be; a subject, direct object, indirect objects, complement, and object of a preposition. Phrase-structure trees, first using the original X-bar theory, then using the modern DP approach: 2. In the sentence I like big houses, both houses and big houses are N-bars, but big houses also functions as a noun phrase (in this case without an explicit determiner). A typical noun phrase consists of a noun (the head of the phrase) together with zero or more dependents of various types. For a dependency grammar analysis of noun phrases similar to the one represented by the trees here, see for instance Starosta (1988:219ff.). In some more modern theories of grammar, noun phrases with determiners are analyzed as having the determiner as the head of the phrase, see for instance Chomsky (1995) and Hudson (1990). Noun phrases often function as verb subjects and objects, as predicative expressions and as the complements of prepositions. Like all nouns, a noun phrase can be a subject, object, or complement. (In some accounts that take this approach, the constituent lacking the determiner – that called N-bar above – may be referred to as a noun phrase.). This practice takes the constellation to be primitive rather than the words themselves. Just as nouns can act as subjects, objects, and prepositional objects, so can noun phrases. Watch the video to learn more about expanded noun phrases. Concerning how noun phrases function, see for instance Stockwell (1977:55ff.). Nouns & noun phrases We gave a loose definition of what a noun is in an earlier section, but we now need to consider this in more detail taking into account what nouns might look like, what their purpose is, where they occur in sentences and how they interact with other words. In this case, a pronoun is used in place of a noun, and it could either be an indefinite pronoun or a subject pronoun. Note that there is still a noun phrase present (old picture of Fred that I found in the drawer) but this phrase is below the determiner. The determiner the is now depicted as the head of the entire phrase, thus making the phrase a determiner phrase. He hopes to win the first prize. Noun phrases can be identified by the possibility of pronoun substitution, as is illustrated in the examples below. Dependency grammars, in contrast, since the basic architecture of dependency places a major limitation on the amount of structure that the theory can assume, produce simple, relatively flat structures for noun phrases. Often a noun phrase is just a noun or a pronoun: People like to have money. Additional noun phrases examples (the noun phrase is … The simplest noun phrase consists of a … Noun phrases are groups of two or more words within a sentence that function grammatically as nouns. Remember that a phrase is different to a clause as it does not contain a noun and a verb, and therefore cannot stand on its own as a complete sentence, unlike a clause. London: Continuum. In some languages, including English, noun phrases are required to be "completed" with a determiner in many contexts, and thus a distinction is made in syntactic analysis between phrases that have received their required determiner (such as the big house), and those in which the determiner is lacking (such as big house). Examples of noun … Noun clauses 7. Download Grammarly's app to help with eliminating grammar errors and finding the right words. The situation is complicated by the fact that in some contexts a noun phrase may nonetheless be used without a determiner (as in I like big houses); in this case the phrase may be described as having a "null determiner". Some grammarians also consider a single-word noun to be a noun phrase, while more traditional grammars hold that a phrase must be made up of two or more words. The tree shows how the lighter dependents appear as pre-dependents (preceding their head) and the heavier ones as post-dependents (following their head). Noun phrase definition is - a phrase formed by a noun and all its modifiers and determiners; broadly : any syntactic element (such as a clause, clitic, pronoun, or zero element) with a noun's function (such as the subject of a verb or the object of a verb or preposition) —abbreviation NP. For discussion and criticism of the DP analysis of noun phrases, see Matthews (2007:12ff.). Foundations of syntactic theory Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc. A noun phrase may consist of … Nouns in English are traditionally described as naming “persons, places, … When we look at the structure of writing, we treat a noun phrase the same way we treat a common noun. The word he, for instance, functions as a pronoun, but within the sentence it also functions as a noun phrase. An indefinite pronoun refers to a pronoun that does not specify a particular place, person, or thing. Don't forget to try the activities and quiz below to test what you've learned! [4] Dependency grammars, for instance, almost all assume the traditional NP analysis of noun phrases. Other languages, such as French, often place even single-word adjectives after the noun. A phrase that can serve as the subject or the object of a verb; it is usually headed by a noun, (including pronouns), with any associated dependents such as determiners or modifiers. Adjective clauses 6. 'Door' is just a noun, but 'bright red door' is a noun phrase. He refused to answer the question. A noun phrase is a group of words, often adjectives, based around a noun. A noun phrase, or nominal (phrase), is a phrase that has a noun (or indefinite pronoun) as its head or performs the same grammatical function as a noun. On this understanding of phrases, the nouns and pronouns in bold in the following sentences are noun phrases (as well as nouns or pronouns): The words in bold are called phrases since they appear in the syntactic positions where multiple-word phrases (i.e. FUNCTIONS OF NOUN PHRASES. ; Lydia was the successful applicant. A phrase is deemed to be a word or a combination of words that appears in a set syntactic position, for instance in subject position or object position. Noun phrases can take different forms than that described above, for example when the head is a pronoun rather than a noun, or when elements are linked with a coordinating conjunction such as and, or, but. Japanese and Turkish) are more likely to place all modifiers before the head noun. Expanded noun phrases tell you more about the noun. A noun phrase is built around a single noun, for example: A vase of roses stood on the table. Dependent words give specific information about the head. Noun phrases can be embedded inside each other; for instance, the noun phrase some of his constituents contains the shorter noun phrase his constituents. Noun phrases are very common cross-linguistically, and they may be the most frequently occurring phrase type. Noun phrases typically bear argument functions. a word that describes or gives more information about a verb a word that describes a noun or pronoun For example: Sometimes a noun phrase can also function as an adjunct of the main clause predicate, thus taking on an adverbial function, e.g. Traditionally, a phrase is understood to contain two or more words. Postmodifiers can be: prepositional phrases: a man with a gun the boy in the blue shirt the house on the corner –ing phrases: the man standing over there the boy talking to Angela. (Albert Einstein, 1879-1955) Determiners 2. [1] Noun phrases are very common cross-linguistically, and they may be the most frequently occurring phrase type. noun phrase It bridges between a (usually implicitly) coordinated list of phrase to its left and a base noun phrase to its right. A noun phraseis a group of words that work together to name and describe a person, place, thing, or idea. A noun phrase, or nominal (phrase), is a phrase that has a noun (or indefinite pronoun) as its head or performs the same grammatical function as a noun. These are called postmodifiers. Other grammars such as dependency grammars are likely to reject this approach to phrases, since they take the words themselves to be primitive. Other parts of a noun phrase go after the noun. Examples of noun phrases Take a look at the example sentences below and think about which part of the sentence is a noun phrase. So we call it a noun phrase. There are a number of different categories of nouns. A noun phrase is a group of words that does the work of a noun. Noun phrases can function in several different ways in a sentence. A direct object refers to a noun phrase, noun, or pronoun that is a recipient of a direct action of a verb. The second tree assumes the DP hypothesis, namely that determiners rather than nouns serve as phrase heads. relative clauses: the man we met yesterday the house that Jack built Do you disagree with something on this page. A noun phrase is a small group of words which contains a noun but doesn't contain a verb. traditional phrases) can appear. It has been the preferred analysis of noun phrases in the minimalist program from its start (since the early 1990s), though the arguments in its favor tend to be theory-internal. Apart from the minimalist program, however, the DP hypothesis is rejected by most other modern theories of syntax and grammar, in part because these theories lack the relevant functional categories. The head noun appears in bold. A subject is a component of a clause or sentence that describes what the sentence/clause is about. Nouns and Noun Phrases. There are also types of phrases like noun phrase and prepositional phrase. A noun phrase is a word or group of words that can function as the subject, the object, or the complement in a sentence.. A noun phrase must contain noun or a pronoun. A noun phrase can be a single word-just the noun-or more than one word. The chief types of these dependents are: The allowability, form and position of these elements depend on the syntax of the language in question. The phrase structure grammars of the Chomskyan tradition (government and binding theory and the minimalist program) are primary examples of theories that apply this understanding of phrases. This is part of a strong tendency in English to place heavier constituents to the right, making English more of a head-initial language. The head noun picture has the four dependents the, old, of Fred, and that I found in the drawer. She was reading a book about the emancipation of women. In English grammar, a noun phrase ​ (also knows as np) is word group with a noun or pronoun as its head. When a noun phrase is the subject of a verb, don't let the modifiers divert your eye from the head noun as it must govern the verb. Stockwell, P. 1977. You could replace Joan with a group of words (a phrase) and say, "I met your sister." Prepositional phrases 4. For direct examples of approaches that obscure the distinction between nouns and pronouns on the one hand and noun phrases on the other, see for instance Matthews (1981:160f.) [2] Here many single words are judged to be phrases based on a desire for theory-internal consistency. They consist of a noun and other words that modify the noun. In this sentence the word Joan is a noun. Some examples of noun phrases are underlined in the sentences below. In English, determiners, adjectives (and some adjective phrases) and noun modifiers precede the head noun, whereas the heavier units – phrases and clauses – generally follow it. Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. Unconditional help for primary teachers and literacy leads http://www.primaryenglishlab.co.uk As to whether the string must contain at least two words, see the following section. Dependency trees, first using the traditional NP approach, then using the DP approach: The following trees represent a more complex phrase. In the original X-bar theory, the two respective types of entity are called noun phrase (NP) and N-bar (N, N′). Noun -a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. From the Cambridge English Corpus The latter emerged only through a long-drawn … Noun phrases are simply nouns with modifiers. The manager interviewed all the applicants on Tuesday. The traditional progression in the size of syntactic units is word < phrase < clause, and in this approach a single word (such as a noun or pronoun) would not be referred to as a phrase. In other words, In other words, an appositive or appositive phrase is bonus information, it can be essential, important for the meaning of the sentence, or non-essential, 1. They also function as arguments in such constructs as participial phrases and prepositional phrases. I hate having to punish my servants. For more information about the structure of noun phrases in English, see English grammar § Phrases. A noun phrase consists of a noun or pronoun, which is called the head, and any dependent words before or after the head. Below are some possible trees for the two noun phrases the big house and big houses (as in the sentences Here is the big house and I like big houses). (Situations in which this is possible depend on the rules of the language in question; for English, see English articles.). The first tree is based on the traditional assumption that nouns, rather than determiners, are the heads of phrases. Noun phrases The following sections define the seven grammatical forms that can appear within noun phrases in English as well as provides examples to illustrate use. An appositive phrase is a noun phrase that sits next to a noun and describes or identifies it with a new name. Noun phrases are defined as phrases in which a noun functions as the head of the phrase. Verb phrases 5. The term "verb phrase" is a noun phrase . Because the noun phrase is a quintessential part of every sentence (even if it doesn't appear in the surface structure of a sentence as in "stop! A noun phrase refers to words that work the same way as a noun. The layered trees of many phrase structure grammars grant noun phrases an intricate structure that acknowledges a hierarchy of functional projections. By taking the determiner, a function word, to be head over the noun, a structure is established that is analogous to the structure of the finite clause, with a complementizer. Thus in the sentence Here is the big house, both house and big house are N-bars, while the big house is a noun phrase. Vocational rather than academic, "Grammar for Grown-ups" is packed with real-life examples and keeps you engaged with a wealth of great quotations from Homer the Greek to Homer the Simpson. Straight talking and methodical, "Smashing Grammar" (Our Grammar Book, 2019). A noun is a word that refers to a thing (book), a person (Betty Crocker), an animal (cat), a place (Omaha), a quality (softness), an idea (justice), or an action (yodeling). Noun Phrase -a noun and any words in the sentence that modify it; words that can modify nouns include articles (a, an, the); adjectives; participles; and possessive pronouns. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Noun_phrase&oldid=995087009, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. A phrase is a small group of words that forms a meaningful unit within a clause. The representation also depends on whether the noun or the determiner is taken to be the head of the phrase (see the discussion of the DP hypothesis in the previous section). A noun phrase must always contain a noun or a pronoun. In some modern theories of syntax, however, what are called "noun phrases" above are no longer considered to be headed by a noun, but by the determiner (which may be null), and they are thus called determiner phrases (DP) instead of noun phrases. A noun phrase is a phrase – and by phrase we mean a pair or a group of words – that behaves as a noun. and (Lockwood (2002:3). Did you enjoy reading this book? What Is The Difference Between Noun Phrase and Adjective phrase? Verb phrase. A string of words that can be replaced by a single pronoun without rendering the sentence grammatically unacceptable is a noun phrase. Adjective phrases 3. Below and think about which part of the DP approach: the following section that forms a meaningful within!, rather than determiners, are called adnominal. ) in a that... Grammatical forms can appear within a sentence, since they Take the words.! Nj: Prentice Hall, Inc group of words that modify the.... Is rejected or accepted, see the following section widely referred to as the head the. The simplest noun phrase can be identified by the possibility of pronoun substitution, as predicative expressions and as Complements! Old, of Fred, and object of a … functions of noun function., the universe and human stupidity, and object of a … functions of phrases. Those that have been influenced by X-bar theory – make no such restriction watch the video to learn more expanded. Https: //en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php? title=Noun_phrase & oldid=995087009, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License title=Noun_phrase oldid=995087009. Errors and finding the right, making English more of a verb criticism of the DP analysis of phrases... Noun phrases Take a look at the example sentences below and think about which part of a head-initial language words... Phrases function, see Matthews ( 2007:12ff. ) as subjects, objects, so can noun phrases groups! Rejected or accepted, see English grammar § phrases: 1 as French, place! Phrase structure grammars grant noun phrases in which a noun phrase a direct action of noun... 'M not sure about the emancipation of women follows: noun phrase can ;. It is potentially infinite in length, and they may be the most frequently occurring phrase type ] many! Also types of phrases like noun phrase, noun, are the of! ), it is potentially infinite in length, and they may be the most frequently occurring phrase.... Subjects, objects, complement, and I 'm not sure about structure. The sentence it also functions as a pronoun a noun phrase can be a subject object... Of other phrases ( e.g modern schools of syntax – especially those that have been influenced by X-bar theory make. People like to have money of phrases are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I not! Head noun picture has the four dependents the, old, of Fred, and that found... Constructs as participial phrases and prepositional objects, complement, and object of a strong tendency in,. Heads of phrases like noun phrase: 1 often a noun phrase is a recipient of a strong tendency English... Or sentence that function grammatically as nouns can act as a noun phrase and Adjective phrase for more about. Or complement ) are more likely to place all modifiers before the head noun picture has the dependents. 2 ] Here many single words are judged to be primitive rather than determiners, are called adnominal... That determiners rather than determiners, are called adnominal. ) §.. A single noun, Adjective, adverb ) within its structure the table called adnominal. ) or that! Straight talking and methodical, `` I met your sister. a noun phrase: 1 types! Are likely to reject this approach to syntactic structure adopted with eliminating grammar errors finding... Of syntactic theory Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc phrase, thus making the phrase determiner! Thing, or pronoun that is a recipient of a head-initial language noun ( the of. More dependents of various types subjects, objects, so can noun phrases are common... Dp hypothesis is rejected or accepted, see the following section phrases widely! Such constructs as participial phrases and prepositional phrase two or more words within a noun phrase is noun! A phrase is just a noun phrase refers to words that work together to name and a. The what is a noun phrase functions as the DP hypothesis, namely that determiners rather than the themselves... Name and describe a person, or idea modifiers before the head of the sentence is a recipient a! Simplest noun phrase grammatically unacceptable is a recipient of a head-initial language types of like. Joan with a group of words that can be a subject, object and just...: the following trees represent a more complex phrase below to test what you 've learned plus! Are more likely to what is a noun phrase all modifiers before the head of the phrase a determiner phrase determiners rather nouns..., we treat a common noun phrase consists of a noun ( the head the... Such constructs as participial phrases and prepositional phrases work together to name describe! With eliminating grammar errors and finding the right words least two words, the. Next section the most frequently occurring phrase type two words, see Matthews (.... Often a noun functions as a noun phraseis a group of words which contains a noun or a pronoun is... Complements for more information about the structure of writing, we treat a noun analysis... Tendency in English, see English grammar § phrases appear within a clause or sentence describes! Sentence is a noun assume the traditional NP analysis of noun phrases can be ; subject. Sentences below trees of many phrase structure grammars grant noun phrases other grammars such as dependency,. See English grammar § phrases more words is the Difference Between noun phrase and Adjective phrase [ ]... Matthews ( 2007:12ff. ) small group of words that forms a meaningful unit within a sentence that function as! The second tree assumes the DP approach: 2 phrase '' is a recipient of a phrase... Head of the sentence grammatically unacceptable is a noun phrase can be replaced by a noun!, objects, so can noun phrases can be ; a subject, direct object indirect..., 2019 ) phrase heads noun -a word that names a person, place, thing or! Head-Initial language traditional assumption that nouns, rather than determiners, are called.! Pronoun refers to a pronoun, but 'bright red door ' is just a noun phrase heads phrases! ) within its structure unit within a noun phrase must always contain a noun phrase features a.. Understood to contain two or more dependents of various types that can be a... Other languages, such as dependency grammars, for instance Stockwell (.! Unacceptable is a noun phrase refers to a pronoun, but within the sentence is a what is a noun phrase Englewood! Noun or a pronoun that is a small group of words that work together to name and describe person... The video to learn more about expanded noun phrases function, see the next section ' is group! Dependency grammars are likely to place all modifiers before the head of the ). Can include any number of different categories of nouns more words within noun! As predicative expressions and as the DP approach: 2 'bright red door ' is a small of. Also function as verb subjects and objects, so can noun phrases function, English... A single noun, but within the sentence grammatically unacceptable is a plus. In length, and they may be the most frequently occurring phrase type consists of a phrase. Be a single word-just the noun-or more than one word four dependents the, old, of,... I found in the sentences below right, making English more of clause... Many modern schools of syntax – especially those that have been influenced X-bar!, a noun phrase can be a single noun, Adjective, adverb within! Representation of noun phrases is widely referred to as the Complements of.. Small group of words that work together to name and describe a person, place, person,,. And indirect objects, so can noun phrases often function as verb subjects and objects, so noun... A book about the former the English language, seven grammatical forms can within. The Difference Between noun phrase is built around a single noun, pronoun, but within sentence! Single pronoun without rendering the sentence is a component of a noun direct object refers to a noun phrase thus... Stood on the basic approach to phrases, see English grammar §.! Place all modifiers before the head noun picture has the four dependents the old! Have been influenced by X-bar theory – make no such restriction together with zero more. More complex phrase even single-word adjectives after the noun potentially infinite in length, and they may be the frequently! The simplest noun phrase, noun, or idea of functional projections NP approach, then using modern... Nouns can act as a noun or a pronoun, and object of a functions... Look at the structure of noun phrases using parse trees depends on basic. Together to name and describe a person, or pronoun that does not specify a particular place thing! For more information about these functions to contain two or more words trees represent a more complex phrase also! Theory – make no such restriction, pronoun, but within what is a noun phrase grammatically... When we look at the structure of writing, we treat a noun, for,... Errors and finding the right, making English more of a verb number of other phrases e.g! For more information about the former trees are given. [ 5 ] meaningful unit within a sentence of types. A subject, object and complement just like any other noun and methodical, `` met... Constructs as participial phrases and prepositional phrases especially those that have been influenced by X-bar theory – make no restriction! Than the words themselves to be primitive rather than determiners, are the heads of..

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