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  1. #1
    questforgrammar is offline Newbie
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    Default Noun Phrase Analysis

    Hello! I would like to ask if I have analyzed this sentence correctly.

    She had
    a thorn in her hand.

    If I were to analyze the underlined portion as a Noun Phrase,
    premodifier = a (determiner)
    head noun = thorn
    postmodifier = in her hand (prepositional phrase)

    Is the analysis of the post modifier correct?

    Thanks in advance! :)

  2. #2
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Noun Phrase Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by questforgrammar View Post
    Hello! I would like to ask if I have analyzed this sentence correctly.

    She had
    a thorn in her hand.

    If I were to analyze the underlined portion as a Noun Phrase,
    premodifier = a (determiner)
    head noun = thorn
    postmodifier = in her hand (prepositional phrase)

    Is the analysis of the post modifier correct?

    Thanks in advance! :)
    Two points:
    1. By the lights of general usage, a modifier cannot be a determiner: they are mutually exclusive categories (the one being, by definition, optional, and the other, typically, obligatory). Articles (a/an/the) are normally classed as determiners.

    2. Regarding your analysis of the postmodifer: yes and no. Of course, in her hand is a prepositional phrase, but the way you have underlined things here seems to indicate that you consider it to be a part of the noun phrase, whereas it is clearly functioning as a modifier to the main verb phrase, specifying WHERE she had the thorn.

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