Student or Learner
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! :)
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.