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Teaching The Noun Saying In English English Language Essay

English syntax presents the nominal group or noun phrase (NP) as a basic constituent of the clause (S). Saying Structure guidelines normally symbolize S as comprising a Noun Term and a Verb Term (VP).

(1) S ƒ NP VP

The constituents of the clause or phrase are then further broken down into their constituents. Yet the proposal of other theories to capture the constituents of S has led to more technical but more exact ways of explaining the way the constituents of any sentence relate to one another. An expansion on X-bar theory by Santorini and Kroch in their online textbook "The syntax of natural vocabulary: An online launch using the Trees and shrubs program" actually identifies NPs as Determiner Phrases or DPs. Although this paper will not delve into the layers of difficulty advocated by such theorists, it does move away from the original strategies of instructing nouns and NPs and seeks to ratify techniques for producing the coaching of NPs in the ESL/EFL framework. We shall, therefore, describe the composition of the NP, mentioning the categories of matter and non-count (or mass) nouns; and lastly prescribe a practical teaching option with respect to the noun term.

Nouns and the framework of NPs

Traditional grammar identifies the noun as "the name of an person, place, pet animal or thing". This vague definition succumbs quite quickly to criticism as soon as we move from holding it high in the cannon of English sentence structure to 1 of closer exam. Huddleston (84) lists a few properties that help classify this word class:

It contains between its most central members those words that denote folks or concrete objects

Its members mind phrases - noun phrases - which characteristically work as subject or subject in clause framework and make reference to participants in the situation described in the clause, to the actor, patient, recipient, and so forth.

It is the category to which the categories of amount, gender and case have their major application

It becomes significantly easier for all of us to explain the noun and subsequently the NP by looking at its function and syndication in the clause.

Brinton and Brinton (193) broaden the NP in a desk that has been reproduced below:

Table 1. Expansions of NP

NP ƒ



Det N

the dogs

Det A N

the large dogs

Det AP N

the loudly barking dogs

Det N PP

the dog in the yard

Det A N PP

the ferocious dog behind the fence


the wildly yapping dog on the sofa





In every one of the expansions except the ultimate two the top of the NP - the noun (N) - is obligatory. In the ultimate two expansions the top has been substituted by way of a pronoun and a Proper noun respectively. Both of these remain subsumed under the category of noun so we can still say that the top subsists to some extent.

The broadest expansion degree of the NP, Det AP N PP presents categories which may be grouped with regards to the noun head of the word. Therefore, we may speak about pre-head dependents and post-head dependents. Huddleston asserts that "an NP will contain a noun as brain, alone or combined with a number of dependentsâpre-head and post-head dependents" (85). He mentions that the pre-head dependents may be determiners and/or modifiers and that the post-head dependents consist of complements, modifiers and peripheral dependents. Where Huddleston phone calls these elements dependents (either pre-head or post-head), Downing and Locke, in order to simplify concerns, label them modifiers (403). They discover the head of the term as the central factor around which are located the pre-modifiers and post-modifiers.

Figure 1 shows a diagrammatic representation of the general constituents of the NP.

Figure 1. Diagrammatic Representation associated with an NP

Noun (Head)




Although the amount of determiners is quite limited (Huddleston (86) states that there are around three determiner slot machine games), there appears to be less limitation on what can load the modifier position.

Determiners have the proper execution of: (α) determinatives - the, some, which, etc (recall that 'determiner' can be used as the name of an function, 'determinative' of an school); (β) Poss Ps - the dog's, your father'sâ(γ) cardinal numerals: one, twoâ(δ) inlayed NPs expressing quantification: a dozenâa fewâAn NP may contain up to three determinersâ (Huddleston 86).

Downing and Locke (404) also suggest that the relatively restricted set of determiners (articles, demonstratives, possessives, Wh-words, distributives and quantifiers) can be put into three broad categories:

Central determinatives: the articles, the demonstratives, the possessives, the quantifiers

Pre-determinatives: all, both, twice, double, such

Post-determinatives: the ordinal numerals and the semi-determinatives (same, other, ex -, latter, own)

As stated before, Santorini and Kroch in Section 5 of these online book dispute a case for DPs. They believe that "nounsâcannot on the whole function as quarrels on their own, but must be accompanied by a determiner". This is practical even when there is a zero marker for the determiner. Each goes on to say to caution the reader:

âthe traditional term 'noun key phrase' is a misnomer since noun phrases are maximal projections of D rather than of N. As the term 'noun key phrase' is solidly established in usage, we continue steadily to make use of it as a casual synonym for 'DP'. However, in order to avoid confusion, we will use the word 'NP' only to refer to the subconstituent of a noun phrase this is the complement of any determiner. We won't use it to make reference to an entire noun key phrase (that is, a DP)

The NP can also be called "the go with of the determiner" as suggested by Santorini and Kroch, but in order to keep concepts simple we ought to stick to the distinction as prescribed by the diagram above where in fact the determiner position is synonymous with specifier.

The pre-modifier position (labelled AP in Brinton and Brinton's largest growth above) can be filled up with lots of classes: adjectives (and adverbs), nouns, participial types of verbs and possessives. Because of the recursive property of the position, there is a complex ordering series of the classes. This can be seen quite clearly if we only go through the purchasing of adjectives (Parrot 54):

Table 2. Order of adjectives in the NP

1 Size

2 Shape

3 Colour

4 Origin

5 Material

6 Use















The order also places the opinion of the loudspeaker (subjective aspect) before a description (objective aspect) of the thing.

The post-modifiers, on the other palm, can are present as complements, modifiers and peripheral dependents (Huddleston 93). X-bar theory makes up about these elements by the use of the terms adjunct and match. Inside the diagram below, these post-head elements are shown to the right of the X' circles.









Head Shape 2. Template for an XP in X-bar theory

Whereas adjuncts have emerged as optional modifiers, suits are been shown to be obligatory. The diagram shows their differing positions within the hierarchy of the key phrase (XP), where in fact the complement appears closer to the top. Although these details may be ideal for the teacher, it would be better to stay away from X-bar theory when wanting to explain phrase formation to the student unless the university student has already experienced conversation with it.

One cannot mention the noun, and even the noun expression, without mentioning an aspect of nouns that is relatively unique to them - their countability. Allan mentions that the notion of countability varies and is due to the notion of the speaker and listener:

âthat which is countable is denumerable. Although countability is a linguistic category, it typically has perceptual correlations: the reference of what's linguistically countable is normally perceived in terms of one or even more discrete entities. What's uncountable is typicallyârecognized as an undifferentiated unity. (565)

The countability of the noun is linked to its ability to be inflected for plurality which is also linked to the use of certain determiners. Uncountable or mass nouns in English are not normally pluralised unless the speaker is using some form of jargon peculiar to a field. However, the notion of countability also holds across in to the NP. If the noun, as brain of the phrase, is countable, it also means that the NP would be countable as well.

Teaching the NP to ESL/EFL students

The NP shouldn't be unveiled explicitly to low-level effectiveness ESL/EFL students. Although students may have some unconscious understanding of the NP in their own languages, it is a more appropriate method of train Upper-Intermediate and Advanced students about the workings of the NP to boost their stylistic capacities and also to improve their communicative options. The teaching of the NP, like everything else, must be contextualised and not necessarily bogged down by entirely teaching the students sentence structure.

It is quite important to web page link the coaching of the NP to earlier knowledge gained by the students so that its syntactic structure can be used as a refresher for students regarding things like count and non-count nouns, adverbials and determiners.

Students can be educated inductively by teachers where sentences are put on the panel and students can also be asked to identify the syntactic categories that define the phrase and also the apparent rules for the buying of categories. Nevertheless, an indispensible teaching tool in this area is always to let the students be these categories. What do After all by be? Well, if we look singly at the AP constituent of the NP and desire to help students to understand the order of the adjectives (as posted in the stand above), the educator can put an AP on the plank containing quite a number of these adjectives. Then arbitrary students can be asked to come quickly to the front of the course and the instructor can assign the students a term. The students can write this phrase on a full page and place it with their chests or keep them up. Subsequently, the tutor can ask the students to go around in a brand to symbolize the term, swapping positions with each other and motivating the class to read the phrase in line with the new orders. The teacher will have to have some understanding of APs and also explain why random purchasing of lexical items is undesirable in APs.

This exercise can be finished with NPs to some extent. The tutor can utilize it showing the recursivity of the modifier positions especially (vis-à-vis embedded clauses and other modifiers) and solidify the purchasing of the constituents. This kinaesthetic methodology can also be complemented with a musical one in which a song can be used to show this is as well as the functional use of NPs. Gardner's Multiple Intelligences is an excellent tool to take benefit of when teaching these generally grammar-oriented issues, but calls on the great deal from the tutor in the realm of creative imagination and prep.

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