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As we've seen, a noun phrase has a noun as its Head. Determiners and adjective phrases usually constitute the pre-Head strin !
"NP the children# "NP happy children# "NP the happy children#
$n theory at least, the post-Head strin in an NP can %e inde&initely lon !
"NP the dog that chased the cat that killed the mouse that ate the cheese that was made from the milk that came from the cow that...#
'ortunately, they are rarely as lon as this in real use. (he Head o& an NP does not have to %e a common or a proper noun. )ecall that pronouns are a su%class o& nouns. (his means that pronouns, too, can &unction as the Head o& an NP!
"NP I# li*e co&&ee (he waitress ave "NP me# the wron dessert "NP This# is my car
$& the Head is a pronoun, the NP will enerally consist o& the Head only. (his is %ecause pronouns do not ta*e determiners or adjectives, so there will %e no preHead strin . However, with some pronouns, there may %e a post-Head strin !
"NP Those who arrive late# cannot %e admitted until the interval
+imilarly, numerals, as a su%class o& nouns, can %e the Head o& an NP!
"NP Two o& my uests# have arrived "NP (he first to arrive# was ,ohn