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Title: Nominal Modifiers in Noun Phrase Structure: Evidence from Contemporary English
Authors: Pastor Gómez, Iria
Keywords: Indo-European Languages
Germanic Languages
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Abstract: This dissertation aims to study those nouns which function as premodifiers in noun phrase structure and which, in combination with the head noun they modify, are referred from hereafter as N+N structures or N+N sequences (e.g. university library). Their function as premodifiers is far from being prototypical, since nouns usually function as heads of noun phrases, whereas premodifying position is prototypically filled with adjectives. However, the present research will show that their frequency of use in contemporary English is high. In order to do so, N+N sequences are studied from three different perspectives: their status, their evolution, and their use. In terms of their status, the structures are considered here as syntactic constructs (cf. Huddleston & Pullum 2002), in contrast to others, who have considered them to be morphological compounds (cf. Levi 1978; Warren 1978; Benczes 2006). As for their evolution, some may become part of the lexicon through a gradual process of lexicalisation, acquiring properties of a morphological, semantic or orthographic nature. Finally, from the point of view of their use, it will be shown that several different variables are in operation.
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