chapter  Chapter 16
20 Pages

Nouns and noun phrases

ByNancy Stenson

The nouns in a sentence identify the participants in the event specified by the verb. At least one noun, the subject, is generally present in any sentence (possibly represented by a verbal suffix, as in tuig im ‘I understand’). Depending on the verb, other nouns may be present, identifying roles of direct object, indirect object, and occasionally other roles such as location. A simple noun (or pronoun, cf. next chapter) suffices to form a grammatical subject or object, but more complex noun phrases (NPs) are also found in these grammatical roles, in which the noun in question is accompanied by modifying elements such as adjectives, prepositional phrases, determiners, and other material. This chapter uses the simplest possible examples; formation of more complex NPs and the grammatical elements they may contain will be covered in the next section.