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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a brief overview of some widely debated issues in discussions of the English noun phrase, and illustrates how these issues have been dealt with in different theoretical approaches. After a general characterization of the noun phrase from a pre-theoretical point of view, the chapter proceeds to discuss the internal structure of the noun phrase from a generative, functional, and cognitive perspective. Subsequently, the differences between these approaches are illustrated by addressing two basic notions in the analysis of English noun phrases: headedness (in regular noun phrases, as well as in headless and pseudo-partitive noun phrases) and the distinction between relational and non-relational nouns (and, consequently, between complements and modifiers). In both cases the various types of criteria for analysis are discussed, as well as some problems in applying these criteria.

Keywords: noun phrase, generative, functional, cognitive, headedness, pseudo-partitives, relational nouns, complements, modifiers

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