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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What is Noun Phrase?

Concepts of phrases
1. Definition
Phrase is always found in any language either Indonesian or English. Phrase usually consists of the group of words, which has a function as similar to the part of speech. Rozakis (2003: 102) said that phrase is a part of speech that consists of group of words and it does not have subjects or verbs. Meanwhile, Rayevka (2004: 234) simply said that phrase is a combination of words. In addition, Phythian (2003: 9) definedthat phrase is a group of words, which has a function, just like Noun/pronoun, adjective and adverbial. Based on their definition, I conclude that the phrase is the language part which formulated by combining some words, but it does not have subject or verb to stand as a sentence. The phrase has a function just like the parts of speech but it is more complex because it consists of some parts of speech that are combined.

2. Types of Phrases
Phrases are divided in some groups. Greenbaum et al (2002: 46) mentioned that there are five main types of phrases. They are noun phrase, verb phrase, adjective phrase, adverb phrase, and prepositional phrase. These types of phrases are in line with Nelson (2001: 78-79) and Eastwood (1994: 3). Besides the types of phrase mentioned above, there are some types of phrases that have notmentioned yet, such as auxiliary phrases and compound phrase as Altenberg et al (2010: 138 & 193)mentioned in his book English grammar understanding the basic.

B. Concepts of Nouns

1.  Definition of Noun

Noun is one of the parts of speech in English language that is important to be learnt. Noun is generally defined as the word that namesa thing or objects. According to Huddleston et al (2005:83), “Noun is grammatically distinct category of word which includes those denoting all kinds of physical objects, such as persons, animals, and inanimate objects”. In addition, Boehme (2004: 22) gives the definition that nouns are words that names person, animals, place, or things. Rozakis (2003: 27) has the same idea with Boehme. Thus, noun is all the words that names or denoting the physical and inanimate objects.

2. Noun Varieties

Nouns are the largest category of part of speech, which fills the dictionary entries. We always find noun in every texts writing. Noun is the part of speech, which mainly has a function as a subject or object or even complement. That is why nouns dominate the dictionary or text writing. According to Rozakis (2003:8), the great numbers of Nouns comes from four varieties. They are common nouns, proper noun, compound noun, and collective noun.
1. Common Noun
Common Noun is a noun, which names any class of person, things, or place. Boehme (2004: 25) said that common noun refers to anything at all but it does not signify a particular person, animal, place or thing. Common nouns are not capitalized, for example: day, month, bridge, ocean, Lake and Etc.

2. Proper Noun
Proper Noun Names a specific Person, animal, things or place. It means proper noun unlike the common noun, this noun is only referred to a particular person, thing, place or animals. Proper Nouns are always capitalized (Boehme 2004: 24), for example October, Sunday, Hasir, Toba, Pacific, Texas, America and etc.

3. Compound Noun
Compound nouns are two or more nouns that function as a single unit (Rozakis 2003:28). A compound noun can be two individual words, words joined by a hyphen, or two words combined. For example:
• Individual words: time capsule, living room, Mr. Hasir
• Hyphenated words: great-uncle, Sister-in-law
• Combined words: basketball, policeman, boyfriend, bedroom

4. Collective Noun
Collective Noun is Noun that label group as a unit (Stobbe, 2008: 3). It means that collective noun is a noun that stands for groups or things. For example: audience, family, crowd, club, committee, furniture, congress, swarm and etc.
Besides the types of noun above, Stobbe (2008: 3) included the abstract and concrete noun as the types of noun. From the explanation above, we know that the large numbers of Nouns come from them. In addition, Noun also has some forms that can affect the other parts of speech. They are Count and Non-count Noun and singular and plural noun.

a) Count and Non-Count Nouns

Count noun usually has a singular and plural form. Count nouns are noun that we can change to plural form by only adding /s/ or /es/, but in some conditions, it does notlike that. Count noun that does not change just by adding /s/ or /es/ is called irregular plural noun. It usually changed on its vowel or undergo to another suffix, for example,foot becomes feet and leaf becomes leaves(DeCapua, 2008: 50).Besides that count noun has a plural form, it also can be used with a number, for example: one dog, two dog¬s, three tables, some books, many times and etc.
Non-count noun is a noun that cannot be counted for example, abstract concepts, general nouns or units (DeCapua (2008: 51).Non-count noun only has a singular form. It does nothave a plural form. For example, there are no plural forms of rice, water, furniture, salt, sugar, wind, fog, advice etc.Since non-count noun has no plural, so it also cannot be used with articles a or anor numbers, for example, a water, a salt, two sugar, three fog and etc.

b) Singular and plural
Singular noun is used when the thing that we represent only one, such as, a dog, one table, and a school. However, when we want to say something more than one, we will use the plural form of noun by adding suffix /s/ or /es/ to the noun, for example: three dogs, ten tables, and five schools. Thus, the singular and plural forms tell us about number. The singular and plural nouns have the effect to the verb that follows it when it stands as a subject of sentences. It will be describe in subject and verb agreement.

3. Noun inSubject and Verb Agreement
In sentences, we need a subject, and a subject is usually Noun or pronoun. Straus (2008:1) defined that Subject is a noun or pronoun that performs the verb. The verb always follows the subject. It means if the subject is noun in singular or plural or in non-count or count nouns, then the verb will follow it. It also happens in Noun Phrase. Keizer (2007: 12) said, “It is generally acknowledged that syntactic verb agreement is typically determined by the head of the subject NP”. It means that the verb that follows a noun phrase is determined by the head (Noun).So we have to know the head of noun phrase before we put a verb. That is how the agreement of subject and verbs.
Agreement of subject and Verbs are important in English Grammar. The basic rule of the agreement is, when the Subject (a noun) is in singular, the verb will be ending with suffix /s/ or /es/.But when the subject is in plural, the verb will not be changed. For examples:

The dog jumps up and down (singular)
The dogs jump up and down (plural)
The bird falls from the sky (singular)
The birds fall from the sky (plural)

Placing singular form with plural verb is simple and sometimes it becomes a mistake. Some nouns seem to be in plural form but actually, they are singular. For example:

Everyone is coming to my party tonight
Everybody works so hard
Somebody tells me about you.
The group is meeting in my home
The staff is on vacation

Besides the agreement above, there are also the other agreements of subject and verb that we should know. It is about the auxiliary that completely changed when plural form appears. For examples:

The dog has the sharp fang (singular)
The dogs have the sharp fang (plural)
My friend is from America (singular)
My friends are from America (plural)

By looking the example, I conclude that noun always affects the verb that follows it. So, this is necessary to be learnt because the subject and verb agreementwill lead us to construct sentences properly. Considering this is important for us, so, we have to be careful in constructing a sentence. We have to know if the subject is in singular or plural form. Therefore, it will help us in making a good a sentences based on its rule.
This subject and verb agreement is also occurred in noun phrase. The head of a noun phrase will be the word where the verb is concerned. The head of noun phrase affect the verb, which follow the noun phrase itself. By knowing its head, it will be easy for us to put a suitable verb after it. This rule is simple, but it will not be that simple if we do not even know how to identify the head of noun phrase.As a result, we have to be smart to identify the head of a noun phrase in a sentence, and then it will be easy for us to apply the subject and verb agreement rule.

C. Concepts of Noun Phrase

1. Definition

Huddleston (2005: 14) said that:” an NP is (setting aside a narrow range exception) simply a phrase with a noun as a head”. Thus, a Noun Phrase has a noun as its head and also it has a phrase that specifies the Noun. So, the subject with noun phrase has a narrow range meaning, or I can say that it is more specific. In addition, Leech (2003: 231) defined noun phrase as phrase that can act as the subjects, objects, and complements of a clause or even as a complement of preposition. Therefore, it means that the noun phrase is generally placed in those functions.

2. Function

The noun phrase has a wide range function in a sentence structure (Nelson, 2001: 86). Nelson mentioned that there are six main functions of noun phrase. They are, as a subject, as a subject complement, as a direct object, as an indirect object, as an object complement and as an adjunct.In contrast, according to Huddleston (2005: 82), there are only four main functions of noun phrase. They are, as a subject, as an object, as a predicative complement, and as a complement in prepositional phrase.
The different opinion between Nelson and Huddleston about the function of noun phrase is contained in Greenbaum’s book. Greenbaum(2002: 53) indicated that there are eight possible function of noun phrase. Below are the functions of noun phrase Greenbaum mentioned:

1. subject
The people in the bus escaped through the emergency exit.

2. direct object
They are testing some new equipment.

3. indirect object
The bank gave David a loan.

4. subject complement
The performance was a test of their physical endurance.

5. object complement
Many of us consider her the best candidate.

6. complement of a preposition
The box of chocolates is intended for your children.

7. pre-modifier of a noun or noun phrase
Milk production is down this year.
He suffers from back problems.
The matter has been referred to the Academic Council Executive Committee.

8. adverbial
The term finishes next week.
You will not succeed that way.
By looking on its function above, we know that the noun phrase dominates the structure of clause or sentence. That is why Nelson said that noun phrase has a wide range function. It truly has the wide function that occurs to English. Thus, students of English department have to learn noun phrase since it dominates the structure of clause or sentence.

3. The structure of noun phrase
According to Greenbaum (2002: 47-48) a noun phrase is composed of a determiner, noun (head), pre-modifier, and post modifier.Determiner identifies the noun phrase, and pre and post modifier are the unit that depends on the main word. Greenbaum mentioned the possible structures of noun phrase are follows:

1. Noun
Examples: Books, cars, pencil.

2. Determiner + Noun
Examples: those books, the cars, thatpencil
The underlined words are the determiners of the noun phrase,while the head is the noun that follows it.

3. Pre-modifier + Noun
Examples: new books,beautifulwoman, nicehat
New, beautiful and nice are the pre-modifiers, which are the adjectives.

4. Determiner + Pre-modifier + Noun
Examples:some new books, this delicious food, a good school
Some, this, anda are the determiners, and new, delicious, and good are pre-modifiers.

5. Noun + Post-modifier
Examples: book of American history, cars in the park, pencil on the table
Book, cars, and pencil are the noun (head), and the rest is the post modifier.

6. Determiner + Noun + Post-modifier
Examples: some books on the table, the student at school
Some and theare determiners, and after the noun of each noun phrase are the post modifier.

7. Pre-modifier + Noun + Post-modifier
Examples: good book from library, black book on the table
The word before noun is pre-modifier and after the noun is post modifier.

8. Determiner + Pre-modifier + Noun + Post-modifier
Examples: the nice woman I met, a red car over the tree
The anda are the determiners. Nice and red are the pre modifier. The words after the noun are the post modifier.

Noun is the head of all determiner and modifiers. Greenbaum (1996: 209) called it as noun head. The structure of noun phrase mentioned above is in line with Leech (2003: 231), Leech named noun as a head. Therefore, the complex form of noun phrase could bedeterminer, pre-modifier, head (noun) and post modifier. Thus, the possible structure of noun phrase according to Greenbaumand Leech is same. The head means the central noun where determiners and modifiers attached to it.

4. Composition
Based on its structure explained above, the composition of the noun phrase can be described as follows:

a. Head
The nucleus of noun phrase is the head. All the determiners and modifiers are attached to noun as their head. A noun phrase canconsist of pronoun and noun only (Altenberg, 2010: 113 & 117). Thus, the head of noun phrase could be:
a) Noun
Examples: the book on the table

b) Pronoun
Examples: he and them

c) Indefinite pronoun
Examples: Everyone in my house, Someonewho helped us

b. Determiners
Determiners are the part of noun phrase that introduce the noun phrase itself (Nelson, 2002: 80). When the determiners show up in a clause or sentence, it could be the sign that it is a noun phrase. The common determiners that always show up with the noun phrase are articles a/anandthe. However, articles are not the only one that is included in determiners. Below are the determiners that are used in noun phrase:

1. Articles a/an and the a book, the girl
2. possessive pronouns my book, your idea
3. Demonstrative pronouns that book, these buildings
4. Numerals (ordinal and cardinal) two dogs, second time
5. Quantifiers every student, most people, all man

c. Modifiers
Modifier is the words that specify the head (noun) in a noun phrase. Modifier can appear before the head or after the head of noun phrase. Thus, the modifier is divided into 2 types. They are pre-modifier and post-modifier.

a) Pre-modifier
The pre-modifier in English noun phrase are the words, which modify the head and come before the head. Pre-modifier could be more than one modifier in a noun phrase (Nelson, 2001: 82). The pre-modifier categorized as follows:

a. Adjectives
Examples: red shirt, Beautiful beach, beautiful red shirt
b. Noun
Examples: The village inn, Thenews agency

c. Genitive phrase
Examples: Firgin’swhisky, Students’ability

b) Post modifiers
The post modifiers are the word modifying a head in a noun phrase that come after the head. Post modifier is usually indicated by a prepositional or prepositional phrase (Nelson, 2001. 83). The post modifiers that follow the head of noun phrase are:

a. Prepositional phrase
Examples: The best day of my life,The two building from his home

b. Relative clause
Examples: The woman who smile at me, The man whom he loves

c. Adverb
Examples: A girl inside, The room above, The car outside

d. Adjective
Examples: Something beautiful, someone lazy,

e. Non-finite clause
1. Present participle clause
Examples: A man standing outside the hall,A man sitting in that bench

2. Past participle clause
Examples: The young lady lost last month,
An e-mail sent to JonnaMeidal

3. Infinitive clause
Examples: A movie to watch tonight, A horse to hunt
 

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