The Structure of the Noun Phrase in English and French : Current School News

The Structure of the Noun Phrase in English and French



The Structure of the Noun Phrase in English and French.


This study examines the structure of noun phrase in English and French. The main purpose of the study is guided by describing the differences in the structure of a noun phrase in English and French, creating analyses that will facilitate or enhance the research of the independent structures of these languages, exposing researchers to different problems that may arise in the structures of these languages.

The study adopts a phrase structure/ structuralism framework. It finds out that the French Noun Phrase (Groupe de Nom) is head final. It was also discovered that certain part nominal constituent like the prepositional phrase and the subordinate clause can co-occur with the Noun phrase (Groupe de Nom) to the NP (GN. We discovered that the NP(GN)can occur as subject (subjet), object (objet) of the verb and complement of the preposition (complėment de prėposition).

All the several thousands of words in human language belong to a highly restricted finite set of word level categories, such as noun (noms), verbs (verbes), objectives (objectifs),adverbs (adverbes), pronouns (pronoms) etc. In practice, it is also possible for the major words level categories to expand onto their corresponding phrase-level categories by the addition of other words. The resultant construction due to the addition of other words to expand a major word-level category is known as a phrase. 


The origin of the study of grammar in Europe dates back to classical antiquity (Jespersen, 1950:20). The term grammar is used to mean the body of descriptive statements about the morphological and syntactic structures of a language. When one says, for instance, that someone is learning the grammar of French, one has at the back of one’s mind meaning of this grammar as a body of descriptive statements about the systemic interrelationships of structures within the language.

The term grammar can also be used for the quality of the knowledge of a language possessed by a speaker, as inferred from the nature of his utterances. It is this meaning of grammar that one has when one refers to the utterance of a particular speaker as an example of poor grammar. In this ease, one is inferring from the nature of the utterance that the quality of the knowledge of the language possessed by the speaker is a poor one.

The term grammar is also used to mean the prescriptive statements about usages that are considered unacceptable on a particular language. This meaning of the term borders on the study of stylistic. A classic example of a body established for express purpose of making prescriptive statements is the French Academy founded in 1637. Its main purpose is to see that the vocabulary and grammar of French do not xi deviate from agreed norms.


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