Unit 10.2

Noun Phrase

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Introduction

The syntagma [sintagma] is a word or set of words that perform a syntactic function in a sentence. According to their nucleus, there are five types of syntagms: nominal, verbal, adjectival, adverbial, and prepositional.

Noun phrase (NP) [sintagma nominal] is a group of words that performs a syntactic function in the sentence and whose nucleus can be a noun, a pronoun, or a substantive phrase.

Form

The noun phrase performs the function of a noun, such as subject, DC, IC, circumstantial complement, or attribute. It has this structure:
Determiner + nucleus + modifier (adjetive) + …

The noun phrase always agrees with the verb and is made up of three parts: the determiner, the nucleu and the modifier.

The determiner:

The determiner defines the nucleus or noun phrase; it is usually placed before them, but the determiner can also set it after them.

The determiner can be article, quantifier, number, interrogative, exclamative, possessive, demonstrative, relative or indefinite.

The nucleus

The nucleus forms the structure of a unit and provides its main properties.

The nucleus can be a noun, pronoun, or substantive word.

The modifier:

The modifier is used to modify another linguistic segment; it is usually placed before it, but the modifier can also set it after the linguistic segment.

The modifier can be an adjective or noun complement.

Example

The determiner:

  • Voy a una montaña solitaria;
  • Hay pocas autopistas baratas para ir a la playa;
  • Tengo dos mantas blancas en el hotel;
  • ¿Qué raza de perro aparece en el sello?
  • ¡Qué gato siamés tan peludo sale en la postal!
  • Mi patito de goma está en la habitación con baño;
  • Ese horario de mañana nos viene bien;
  • Las vacaciones que compramos nos salieron baratas.

The nucleus:

  • Voy a una montaña solitaria;
  • Hay pocas autopistas baratas para ir a la playa;
  • Tengo dos mantas blancas en el hotel.

The modifier:

  • Voy a una montaña solitaria;
  • Mi patito de goma está en la habitación con baño.

Use

Like nouns and pronouns, the noun phrase is used to name or replace persons, things, or abstract concepts.

Summary

In Spanish, the Noun Phrase (NP) is a group of words in which the nucleus can be a noun, a pronoun or a substantive word.

It has this structure:
Determiner + nucleus + modifier (adjective) + …

For example:

— «Vivo en una casa solitaria.» = determiner;

— «Vivo en una casa solitaria.» = nucleus;

— «Vivo en una casa solitaria.» = modifier.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

Related

A syntagma is a word or set of words that performs a syntactic function in a sentence. According to their nucleus, there are five types of syntagms: nominal, verbal, adjectival, adverbial and prepositional.

The Noun Phrase (NP) is characterised by having a noun, pronoun or substantive word as its nucleus.

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