The English Noun Phrase: The Nature of Linguistic Categorization

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 9, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 394 pages
English has an interesting variety of noun phrases, which differ greatly in structure. Examples are 'binominal' (two-noun) phrases ('a beast of a party'); possessive constructions ('the author's opinion'); and discontinuous noun phrases ('the review [came out yesterday] of his book'). How are these different noun phrases structured? How do we produce and understand them? These questions are central to this study, which explores the interaction between the form of noun phrases, their meaning, and their use. It shows how, despite the need in linguistic analysis for strict categories, many linguistic constructions in fact defy straightforward classification - and concludes that in order to fully explain the internal structure of utterances, we must first consider the communicative, pragmatic and cognitive factors that come into play. Drawing on a range of authentic examples, this book sheds light not only on the noun phrase itself but also the nature of linguistic classification.

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About the author (2007)

Evelien Keizer is Senior Researcher at the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication at the University of Amsterdam. She is co-editor of Fuzzy Grammar: A Reader (2004).

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