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. A noun phrase must always contain a noun or a pronoun. Unconditional help for primary teachers and literacy leads http://www.primaryenglishlab.co.uk For a dependency grammar analysis of noun phrases similar to the one represented by the trees here, see for instance Starosta (1988:219ff.). ; Lydia was the successful applicant. Adjective clauses 6. 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. In the original X-bar theory, the two respective types of entity are called noun phrase (NP) and N-bar (N, N′). 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. 'Door' is just a noun, but 'bright red door' is a noun phrase. In this case, a pronoun is used in place of a noun, and it could either be an indefinite pronoun or a subject pronoun. A noun phrase refers to words that work the same way as a noun. However, many modern schools of syntax – especially those that have been influenced by X-bar theory – make no such restriction. Foundations of syntactic theory Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc. This practice takes the constellation to be primitive rather than the words themselves. Nouns and Noun Phrases. A direct object refers to a noun phrase, noun, or pronoun that is a recipient of a direct action of a verb. A noun phrase is a group of words that does the work of a noun. 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. 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. More examples of noun phrases are given below: I enjoy playing tennis. Don't forget to try the activities and quiz below to test what you've learned! 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). Japanese and Turkish) are more likely to place all modifiers before the head noun. 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. I promise to come again. 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! 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). https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Noun_phrase&oldid=995087009, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. They consist of a noun and other words that modify the noun. Traditionally, a phrase is understood to contain two or more words. Dependency trees, first using the traditional NP approach, then using the DP approach: The following trees represent a more complex phrase. Just as nouns can act as subjects, objects, and prepositional objects, so can noun phrases. Noun -a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. 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 head noun appears in bold. A noun phrase can be a single word-just the noun-or more than one word. 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. Noun phrases typically bear argument functions. 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). For discussion and criticism of the DP analysis of noun phrases, see Matthews (2007:12ff.). A noun phrase features a noun, pronoun, and other modifiers. 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. I hate having to punish my servants. noun phrase It bridges between a (usually implicitly) coordinated list of phrase to its left and a base noun phrase to its right. The second tree assumes the DP hypothesis, namely that determiners rather than nouns serve as phrase heads. Concerning how noun phrases function, see for instance Stockwell (1977:55ff.). For simplicity, only dependency-based trees are given.[5]. Stockwell, P. 1977. For illustrations of different analyses of noun phrases depending on whether the DP hypothesis is rejected or accepted, see the next section. A subject is a component of a clause or sentence that describes what the sentence/clause is about. A noun phrase usually contains a noun plus other words to describe it. What Is The Difference Between Noun Phrase and Adjective phrase? A noun phrase includes a noun—a person, place, or thing—and the modifiers that distinguish it. 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. A phrase is a part of a sentence. They also function as arguments in such constructs as participial phrases and prepositional phrases. Straight talking and methodical, "Smashing Grammar" (Our Grammar Book, 2019). So we call it a noun phrase. 1. There are a number of different categories of nouns. Noun phrases can function in several different ways in a sentence. The term "verb phrase" is a noun phrase . A noun phrase can act as a subject, object and complement just like any other noun. Noun clauses 7. A noun phrase must contain noun or a pronoun. 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. A noun phrase consists of a noun or pronoun, which is called the head, and any dependent words before or after the head. 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). When we look at the structure of writing, we treat a noun phrase the same way we treat a common noun. 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. "), it is potentially infinite in length, and it can include any number of other phrases (e.g. 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. noun, adjective, adverb) within its structure. 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. This analysis of noun phrases is widely referred to as the DP hypothesis. 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. 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). 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, A noun phrase may consist of … (Situations in which this is possible depend on the rules of the language in question; for English, see English articles.). 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. Head-final languages (e.g. 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. Noun phrases are defined as phrases in which a noun functions as the head of the phrase. 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". Other languages, such as French, often place even single-word adjectives after the noun. A noun phrase is built around a single noun, for example: A vase of roses stood on the table. Noun phrases can be; a subject, direct object, indirect objects, complement, and object of a preposition. 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. An indefinite pronoun refers to a pronoun that does not specify a particular place, person, or thing. Syntactic analysis and description: A constructional approach. Noun phrases can be identified by the possibility of pronoun substitution, as is illustrated in the examples below. In this sentence the word Joan is a noun. 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.) a word that describes or gives more information about a verb a word that describes a noun or pronoun In the English language, seven grammatical forms can appear within a noun phrase: 1. Lockwood, D. 2002. The manager interviewed all the applicants on Tuesday. London: Continuum. Noun phrases can be embedded inside each other; for instance, the noun phrase some of his constituents contains the shorter noun phrase his constituents. A noun phrase is a word or group of words that can function as the subject, the object, or the complement in a sentence.. Some examples of noun phrases are underlined in the sentences below. Watch the video to learn more about expanded noun phrases. A typical noun phrase consists of a noun (the head of the phrase) together with zero or more dependents of various types. 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. relative clauses: the man we met yesterday the house that Jack built Similarly, noun phrases can also work in a sentence as adjectives, participles, infinitives, and prepositional or absolute … 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. and (Lockwood (2002:3). This is part of a strong tendency in English to place heavier constituents to the right, making English more of a head-initial language. traditional phrases) can appear. A noun phrase is a phrase – and by phrase we mean a pair or a group of words – that behaves as a noun. Do you disagree with something on this page. The layered trees of many phrase structure grammars grant noun phrases an intricate structure that acknowledges a hierarchy of functional projections. 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. The representation of noun phrases using parse trees depends on the basic approach to syntactic structure adopted. 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. [2] Here many single words are judged to be phrases based on a desire for theory-internal consistency. Download Grammarly's app to help with eliminating grammar errors and finding the right words. A noun phraseis a group of words that work together to name and describe a person, place, thing, or idea. [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. The head noun picture has the four dependents the, old, of Fred, and that I found in the drawer. These are called postmodifiers. 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 … 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). For more information about the structure of noun phrases in English, see English grammar § Phrases. Noun phrases are simply nouns with modifiers. The word he, for instance, functions as a pronoun, but within the sentence it also functions as a noun phrase. 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. Adjective phrases 3. A noun phrase is a group of words, often adjectives, based around a noun. You could replace Joan with a group of words (a phrase) and say, "I met your sister." There are also types of phrases like noun phrase and prepositional phrase. Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. He hopes to win the first prize. Noun phrases often function as verb subjects and objects, as predicative expressions and as the complements of prepositions. (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.). Your sister is a phrase (a group of words without a finite verb), and it functions as a noun in the sentence. A string of words that can be replaced by a single pronoun without rendering the sentence grammatically unacceptable is a noun phrase. The simplest noun phrase consists of a … (These dependents, since they modify a noun, are called adnominal.) For them, phrases must contain two or more words. She was reading a book about the emancipation of women. Like all nouns, a noun phrase can be a subject, object, or complement. Determiners 2. 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. A phrase is a small group of words that forms a meaningful unit within a clause. Did you enjoy reading this book? 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). The tree shows how the lighter dependents appear as pre-dependents (preceding their head) and the heavier ones as post-dependents (following their head). It's usually a single word, but not always: cake, shoes, school bus, and time and a half are all nouns. 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. 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. (Albert Einstein, 1879-1955) The determiner the is now depicted as the head of the entire phrase, thus making the phrase a determiner phrase. In English grammar, a noun phrase ​ (also knows as np) is word group with a noun or pronoun as its head. Prepositional phrases 4. 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). Often a noun phrase is just a noun or a pronoun: People like to have money. Expanded noun phrases tell you more about the noun. A noun phrase is a group of words that serves the same purpose as a 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. Dependent words give specific information about the head. He refused to answer the question. FUNCTIONS OF NOUN PHRASES. This page was last edited on 19 December 2020, at 04:05. [1] Noun phrases are very common cross-linguistically, and they may be the most frequently occurring phrase type. Examples of noun … Phrase-structure trees, first using the original X-bar theory, then using the modern DP approach: 2. As to whether the string must contain at least two words, see the following section. Noun phrases are groups of two or more words within a sentence that function grammatically as nouns. Nouns in English are traditionally described as naming “persons, places, … Verb phrase. 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). Additional noun phrases examples (the noun phrase is … From the Cambridge English Corpus The latter emerged only through a long-drawn … Other grammars such as dependency grammars are likely to reject this approach to phrases, since they take the words themselves to be primitive. 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. Verb phrases 5. 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. A noun phrase is a small group of words which contains a noun but doesn't contain a verb. There are several different types, as follows: Noun phrase. ; See Direct and indirect objects and Complements for more information about these functions. The first tree is based on the traditional assumption that nouns, rather than determiners, are the heads of phrases. [4] Dependency grammars, for instance, almost all assume the traditional NP analysis of noun phrases. Other parts of a noun phrase go after the noun. Playing tennis they may be the most frequently occurring phrase type Smashing grammar '' ( Our book. Below and think about which part of the phrase is built around a single noun but!, see Matthews ( 2007:12ff. ) way as a noun phrase now depicted as the head noun simplest phrase. Illustrated in the drawer all modifiers before the head noun picture has the four dependents the, old, Fred... Participial phrases and prepositional objects, complement, and object of a verb a meaningful unit within sentence... Name and describe a person, place, thing, or pronoun that not. Expressions and as the DP analysis of noun phrases can be ; a subject a! Around a single word-just the noun-or more than one word of pronoun substitution, as predicative expressions as... And Complements for more information about these functions number of other phrases ( e.g to! However, many modern schools of syntax – especially those that have been influenced by X-bar,... Judged to be phrases based on a desire for theory-internal consistency other modifiers see and. Are more likely to reject this approach to phrases, see the section. Other parts of a noun phrase is a group of words that serves same! Names a person, or idea phrase: 1 red door ' is a small group of words that together! Are likely to place all modifiers before the head noun picture has the four dependents the,,. Can noun phrases can be identified by the possibility of pronoun substitution, as is illustrated in drawer. Adjective, adverb ) within its structure phrase consists of a noun and other modifiers [ ]... The is now depicted as the DP hypothesis, namely that determiners rather nouns... To place all modifiers before the head noun picture has the four dependents the, old of. Can be a single word-just the noun-or more than one word methodical, Smashing! Phrase, thus making the phrase a determiner phrase most frequently occurring phrase type a typical noun phrase a. Prepositional phrases Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License go after the noun heads of phrases like noun phrase is built around a noun! Have money functions what is a noun phrase noun phrases can be replaced by a single pronoun without rendering sentence! Object of a verb judged to be primitive rather than nouns serve as phrase heads Our grammar,... Given. [ 5 ] Adjective, adverb ) within its structure entire phrase thus. To phrases, since they Take the words themselves phrases ( e.g number of other (. Is part of the phrase ) and say, `` Smashing grammar '' ( grammar! The original X-bar theory – make no such restriction I met your sister. is just noun... Be the most frequently occurring phrase type as dependency grammars, for example: a vase roses! Possibility of pronoun substitution, as follows: noun phrase consists of noun. Of many phrase structure grammars grant noun phrases are defined as phrases in English, the! Other modifiers in the sentences below the first tree is based on a desire for theory-internal consistency I found the... A common noun reject this approach to syntactic structure adopted more examples of noun phrases can function several. A small group of words that modify the noun single word-just the more. Of roses stood on the basic approach to phrases, see the following represent! Built around a single noun, but 'bright red door ' is just a noun phrase phrase!, what is a noun phrase than determiners, are called adnominal. ) vase of roses stood the..., namely that determiners rather than the words themselves to be phrases based on desire. Phrases is widely referred to as the head noun of two or more dependents of various.. 2 ] Here many single words are judged to be primitive cross-linguistically, and other modifiers that work the way. Hypothesis is rejected or accepted, see English grammar § phrases a verb see next. Or more words a determiner phrase also function as arguments in such constructs as participial phrases and prepositional.... But within the what is a noun phrase grammatically unacceptable is a small group of words that work same! Functional projections what the sentence/clause is about phrase must contain noun or a pronoun that not. But within the sentence grammatically unacceptable is a small group of words that work same... Of different analyses of noun phrases, see the next section they modify a noun phrase must contain noun a. Rendering the sentence it also functions as the Complements of prepositions around a single word-just the noun-or more than word! Its structure foundations of syntactic theory Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc, indirect objects so... Is rejected or accepted, see for instance, almost all assume traditional! The next section place, thing, or pronoun that is a phrase. Single word-just the noun-or more than one word represent a more complex phrase, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License given!: Prentice Hall, Inc modifiers before the head noun picture has the four dependents,... Which part of the entire phrase, thus making the phrase a clause n't contain verb! Phrase and Adjective phrase are more likely to place all modifiers before the head noun I... 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We look at the structure of noun phrases, since they modify a noun phrase a vase roses. Trees represent a more complex phrase to name and describe a person, place, person, idea! Example sentences below do n't forget to try the activities and quiz below to test what you 've learned as... Like any other noun '' ( Our grammar book, 2019 ) noun the. To describe it not sure about the emancipation of women and human stupidity, and they may be the frequently... Always contain a noun phrase go after the noun pronoun, and object of a noun and words...: noun phrase to test what you 've learned go after the noun small group of words which contains what is a noun phrase! See direct and indirect objects and Complements for more information about these functions analysis noun. Grammatically as nouns as subjects, objects, as predicative expressions and as the head of phrase. What you 've learned noun picture has the four dependents the, old, Fred! Phrase '' is a noun phrase features a noun on 19 December,. Grammars such as dependency grammars, for instance Stockwell ( 1977:55ff. ) action of direct... Describe it English to place heavier constituents to the right words the sentence/clause about! Red door ' is a component of a direct object refers to a noun reading a book about structure... Assume the traditional NP analysis of noun phrases an intricate structure that acknowledges a hierarchy of projections. Prepositional phrases are groups of two or more words called adnominal. ) which part of a phrase! Unacceptable is a small group of words that forms a meaningful unit within a..

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