Qualifying Modifiers in the Noun Phrase

J. Rijkhoff

in The Noun Phrase

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780198237822
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706776 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory

Qualifying Modifiers in the Noun Phrase

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This chapter discusses elements that relate to the notion quality in that they specify inherent features of the referent. Cross-linguistically, there are two categories that pertain to such features in the noun phrase (aside from the head noun). One concerns certain dimensional (spatial) features of the property that is designated by the noun: this is the new grammatical category of nominal aspect markers (quality operators). The other category involves lexical elements that typically specify more or less inherent properties of the referent (quality satellites): adjectives. If a language does not have a distinct category of adjectives, it will usually employ qualifying noun phrases (headed by an abstract noun) or relative clauses (headed by a stative or descriptive verb) for this purpose. The chapter shows that the existence of a distinct class of adjectives in a language is closely connected to the kind of noun type that the language employs.

Keywords: noun phrase; quality; referent; adjectives; head noun; qualifying modifiers; quality satellites; nominal aspect markers; quality operators

Chapter.  18317 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Semantics

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