The term noun phrase that we are now going to analyze must be stated that it has a double aspect from the etymological point of view. Thus, we find, with the fact that the first part of it, phrase, comes from the Greek and specifically from the word syntagma which is the result of the union of three elements: the prefix syn- which is equivalent to “together”, the root taxis which means “order” and the suffix –ma which can be translated as “result of action”.
The second part of the concept that we are going to study, nominal, has its etymological origin in Latin. More exactly it comes from the word nominalis which is formed from the sum of nomen which is synonymous with “name” and the suffix –to the which is equivalent to “relative to”.
is defined as syntagma to syntactic structure composed of words and morphemes that are organized hierarchically around a syntactic core (based on word which gives the basic characteristics of the phrase).
When you talk about noun phrase, therefore, it points to that syntactic unit whose syntactic core is a noun or Name. There are those who consider that the noun phrase can also carry a pronoun as a nucleus, although others prefer to include this category within a set called determining phrase.
As we said, the core of any noun phrase is the name. However, we must not overlook the fact that its structure is determined by the fact that it can also be accompanied by articles (the, the, the …), determiners or determining adjectives (un, ese, mi …) or qualifying adjectives (red, wonderful, spectacular, ugly…), prepositional phrases (of this woman, of her house…).
In the same way, it is also possible that any noun phrase can be shown accompanied by an adjective subordinate clause or another noun phrase that will be presented in apposition. An example of the latter case can be the following: My friend’s parents, Eva and Manuel.
The noun phrase is considered as a syntactic structure of endocentric roots because its combination characteristics are the same as those of the nucleus, while the other syntactic properties are conditioned by the singularities of this nucleus.
In general, noun phrases designate some of the participants in the verbal predicates or are they arguments conditioned by some preposition. This type of phrase can fulfill six functions when it does not have a link: subject, direct object, circumstantial complement, vocative, attribute or nominal adjacent in apposition.
With links, the noun phrase incorporates eight other functions: noun, adjective, adverb, direct, indirect, circumstantial, prepositional or agent complement.
“My father has a very strong headache”, “Jorge is a wonderful tennis player”, “The stadium bar empties when there is a game”, “Did you offer juice to your guest?”, “This vacation I went to bed after midnight”, “Claudia lives near the beach” and “Wonderful events happen in this country” are some expressions that include a noun phrase.
And all this without forgetting that there are other types of phrases such as the adverbial, the prepositional, the verbal or the adjectival opposite the nominal.