Noun Phrases

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 6 October 2016

Noun Phrases

Making a comparison of Noun Phrases between the Chapter 6.2 from ” English Sentence Analysis: An Introductory Course” by M. & K. Sauter and Chapter 7 from ” Analysing Sentences: An Introduction to English Syntax” by Noel Burton – Roberts, I can highlight several similarities and differences of the Noun Phrases.

In both chapters the authors look into more detail at the internal structure of the Noun Phrase and the elements that can be found within the Noun Phrase. In Chapter 7 is made a detailed analysis of the determination of the Noun Phrase structure. It is divided into two immediate constituents such as determiner and nominal, where it is said that the determiner always has nominal as its sister. Nominal is the intermediate head of Noun Phrase and Noun is head of Nominal. Hence Noun is a head of Noun Phrase. The Nominal can be simple and complex, so that all modifiers of the head noun will fall under the NOM node.

In contrast with this, in the introduction of Noun Phrases in Chapter 6.2 by Sauter, there are represented all possible constituents of Noun Phrases (determiners, pre-modifiers, head and post-modifiers) in a simpler way.

A definition of head and also a detailed explanation of what words the head can take before or after can be found in this chapter. Determiners and pre-modifiers are words that come before the head, but on the other hand there are words that come after the head and they are called post-modifiers.

At the same beginning of this chapter it was stated that pre-modifiers of Nouns are always realized as Adjectival Phrases and the post-modifires are either phrases or clauses. In both chapters, determiners are similarly explained. They are words somewhat like adjectives which come before a noun. Articles or any of the dependent pronouns and numerals may be determiners.

Like in Chapter 7, as well in Chapter 6.2 the emphasis is put on the genetives, but with some little difference. In Chapter 7, it is mentioned that a possessive determiner can consist either of possessive pronoun or full Noun Phrase with a genitive -s.

Apart from Chapter 7, in Chapter 6.2 is made a contrast between specifying and classifying genitive. Specifying genitive expresses where a thing or person can be found or to whom something or someone belongs. In this case genitive can be substituted with a possessive pronoun and therefore can function as a determiner. The another type of genitive, the so called classifying genitive, expresses ‘ what kind’ of thing something is and it functions like a pre-modifier and it should be regarded an Adjective Phrase.

In Chapter 7 more emphasis is given on quantifying adjectives, such as many, much, few and little. It goes into much detail in explaining their occurance. They can co-occur with and follow determiners including an unfilled determiner, they like adjectives can occur in the Verb Phrase functionating as subject – predicatives and they can also be gradable. Quantifying adjectives are also head of Adjective Phrases.

On the point of post-modifiers there are some differences between the two chapters. In Chapter 7 the author just look into the two categories that follow the head noun within nominal. These are Prepositonal Phrases and certain type of Adjective Phrases, but in chapter by Sauter post- modifiers may be realized as phrases, finite clauses or non-finite clauses.

There is also made a difference between restrictive and non-restrictive post-modifiers. It was said that they may be added to NP to help identify the head noun or they may be given as extra information. Restrictive or specifying modifier specifies or restricts the reference of the NP, whereas non-restrictive modifier only gives extra information, which can be relevant from the context. Another important thing is that if the head noun is a proper name or a general thing, the clause is usually non-restrictive. They can be also distinguished because they are pronounced differently, for instance restrictive ones have rising intonation and in writing they can be marked with commas, but non-ristrictive modifiers have falling intonation and there are no commas inserted in writing.

Relative pronouns are also part of this chapter, they are better described in this chapter than in Chapter 7. They are subordinators including a dependent clause and at the same time can function as a clause constituent, but also as subject, object or an adverbial. Another thing which is not mentioned in Chapter 7 is the ellipsis in relative clauses. It is said that one way to save time is to ellipt parts that are clearly understood in the context, especially if the part already occurs in a preceding part of the sentence.

Stating some of the differences and similarities of Noun Phrases between the two chapters, I think the Chapter 6 by M. & K. Sauter gives better information and explanation of the Noun Phrase and their possible constituents than Chapter 7 by Noel Burton – Roberts. Through simple schematic representations and explanations of the examples this chapter seems more understandable than Chapter by Noel Burton- Roberts.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 6 October 2016

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