Can we use an indefinite article referring it to the head-noun modified by a plural noun in the genitive case considering the latter as a descriptive attribute?e.g.
a soldiers' canteen, a girls' school, a three miles' walk, a fifteen minutes' break, etc. ?
Could you recommend me a trustworthy grammar reference where I would find some information about the use of articles with countable nouns modified by nouns in the genetive case?
a two miles’ distance
a three miles' walk
a fifteen minutes' break
Is there anything wrong in the following explanation of the constructions above?
1. The -'s genitive is possible with certain nouns denoting time, distance and measure.
2. It is possible to use plural nouns with the -'s genitive.
3. The noun in the genitive case may be used as a classifying (descriptive) attribute before a noun.
4. A noun modified with a classifying (descriptive) attribute should be used with an indefinite article
Thank you indeed for your advising me the Grammar references. They are really useful. Having readQuirk et al (1985),A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, London: UOP, pages 321-331I found out a mistake in my explanation of indefinite articles in the phrasesa three days’ absence, a two miles’ distance, a three miles' walk,a fifteen minutes' break etc., for I claimed the genitive of those phrases to be a descriptive one, but it turned out to be a genitive of measure, thus not giving us a good reason forreferringan indefinite articleto the head-noun modified by a plural noun in the genitive case. But if it were a descriptive genitive, I believe things would be different.