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  1. #1
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Trying to understand a sentence...

    "An adjective used attributively with a noun headword
    produces an extended nominal expression."

    attributive:
    "(of the position or use of an adjective, noun or phrase) before a noun"

    nominal:
    "Grammar Of or relating to a noun or word group that functions as a noun."

    Here's my vulgarization:

    "An adjective put before the noun produces an extended nominal phrase."


    Am I right?

    I've asked this before, but what is an headword? I still don't understand this. According to this dictionary:

    headword:

    "Grammar A word that may be modified by an adjunct."

    Which leads me to my next question, what is an adjunct?

    adjunct:

    "In grammar, an adjunct is a word or group of words which indicates the circumstances of an action, event, or situation. An adjunct is usually a prepositional phrase or an adverb group."

    The following sentence is given as an example:

    "a pretty skirt."

    I'm guessing here skirt is a noun headword because it can be modified by an adjunct. Is pretty an adjunct?

    Does adjunct means words that modify other words, like adverbs and adjectives?

    Is there a difference between a noun and a noun headword? If so, what is it?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Trying to understand a sentence...

    Here's our definition of adjunct: http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/adjunct.html
    The first part seems fine, but the adjunct bit makes less sense to me.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Trying to understand a sentence...

    It's confusing, I know. In grammar, an adjunct is defined as a clause or phrase that's
    added to a sentence that, while not essential to the sentence's structure, amplifies its meaning, such as for several hours in We waited for several hours. adjunct - Definitions from Dictionary.com
    Broadly defined, thought, even in linguistics, an adjunct is something added to another thing but not essential to it. Think of it as, added junk , an optional constituent of a construction:


    Ex: A pretty dress <adjunct + headword>


    All the best.

  4. #4
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Trying to understand a sentence...

    Ok. I think I understand what an adjunct is.

    It still pretty hard to determine what is essential from what isn't when you are modifying a noun or a verb however.

    Does that mean that adjectives and adverbs are both adjuncts as they are not necessary in a sentence?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Trying to understand a sentence...

    Quote Originally Posted by Noego View Post
    Does that mean that adjectives and adverbs are both adjuncts as they are not necessary in a sentence?
    Broadly defined, yes, that's correct, and if I were you, I'd stick to the term modification.

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