Noun Phrase

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A noun phrase is a linguistic phrase that can serve as a Verb Subject or as a Verb Object.



  • WordNet
    • noun phrase: a phrase that can function as the subject or object of a verb
  • Wikipedia |
    • In grammar, a noun phrase (abbreviated NP) is a phrase whose head is a noun or a pronoun, optionally accompanied by a set of modifiers. Noun phrases are very common cross-linguistically, but some languages like Tuscarora and Cayuga have been argued[who?] to lack this category.
    • Noun phrases normally consist of a head noun, which is optionally modified ("premodified" If the modifier is placed before the noun; "postmodified" if the modifier is placed after the noun). Possible modifiers include: determiners, adjetives, complements, modifiers.
    • Noun phrases are prototypically used for acts of reference as in "[The blonde girl] shouts" or "[She] kissed [the man]”. Also possible, but found less often, is the use of noun phrases for predication, as in "[Suzy] is [a blonde girl]”. Note that in English the use of the copula is indicates the use of a noun phrase as predicate, but other languages may not require the use of the copula. Finally, noun phrases are used for identifications like "[The murderer] was [the butler]", where no ascription is taking place. The possibility for a noun phrase to play the role of subject and predicate leads to the constructions of syllogisms.
    • 1. (grammar) 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.
    • Examples
      • 1. “Fred” in “Fred fell asleep at the keyboard.”
      • 2. “The day Fred . . . keyboard” in “The day Fred fell asleep at the keyboard was very hot, and he had had too much to drink at lunchtime.”
      • 3. “Noun phrase” in “That was a noun phrase.”
      • 6. a very big banana which tastes great (an article, an adverb defining an adjective, and a singular noun; followed by a relative clause made up of a relative pronoun 'which', a verb 'tastes', and an adjective 'great')

  • (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒
    • In English, a nominal group typically comprises a noun surrounded by other items (words) that all in some way characterise that noun. Within a clause, a nominal group functions as though it is that noun, which is referred to as the head; the items preceding the head are called the premodifiers, and the items after it the postmodifiers. [1] In the following example of a nominal group, the head is bolded.
      • Those five beautiful shiny Jonathan apples sitting on the chair
    • English is a highly nominalised language, and thus lexical meaning is largely carried in nominal groups. This is partly because of the flexibility of these groups in encompassing pre- and postmodifiers, and partly because of the availability of a special resource called the thematic equative, which has evolved as a means of packaging the message of a clause in the desired thematic form[2] (for example, the clause [What attracts her to the course] is [the depth of understanding it provides] is structured as [nominal group Daniel S. Weld = [nominal group B]). Many things are most readily expressed in nominal constructions; this is particularly so in registers that have to do with the world of science and technology, where things, and the ideas behind them, are multiplying and proliferating all the time. [3]