***** NOT A TEACHER / ONLY MY OPINION
(1) I have checked my books, and I believe that you are
100% correct in calling "what" in the first sentence an adjective.
One of my favorite books (Professor George O. Curme's A Grammar of
the English Language) says:
What is used also ... as an exclamatory adjective. His examples:
What weather! What a day! Oh, what trouble we have had!
(a) I read that perhaps a sentence like yours is short for
"What a woman she is!" (That is: She is what a woman!)
(b) In some of the newer grammar books, they call "what"
in that sentence a "predeterminer." That is, some recent
books call "a" a determiner. Since "what" is in front of
a determiner, then it is called a pre ("pre" = in front of/before) -
(2) Your second sentence is very interesting. According to two of my
favorite grammar books (that use traditional words such as adjective,
adverb, conjunction, etc.) the "what" in "What a woman says can
be important" is an indefinite relative pronoun.
(a) First, let's analyze your sentence:
Subject: What a woman says
Verb: can be
Complement (subjective): important
(b) My favorite book tells me that "what" in that kind of sentence
really = that which.
In other words, That (which a woman says) can be important.
That = subject
Which a woman says = adjective clause (modifies "that")
can be = verb
important = subjective complement
Thank you for your questions. They really helped me
to review my grammar.
P.S. Remember: If a teacher disagrees with my answers, you
should believe the teacher's answers, not mine. This website
wants learners to receive the most accurate answers possible.
Interested in Language