THE STRUCTURE OF THE NOUN PHRASE IN ENGLISH AND FRENCH

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ABSTRACT

This study examines the structure of noun phrase in English and French.

The main purpose of the study is guided by describing the differences in the structure of a noun phrase in English and French, creating analyses that will facilitate or enhance the research of the independent structures of these languages, exposing researchers to different problems that may arise in the structures of these languages. The study adopts a phrase structure/ structuralism framework.


It finds out that the French Noun Phrase (Groupe de Nom) is head final. It was also discovered that certain part nominal constituent like the prepositional phrase and the subordinate clause can co-occur with the Noun phrase (Groupe de Nom) to the NP (GN. We discovered that the NP(GN)can occur as subject (subjet), object (objet) of the verb and complement of the preposition (complÄ—ment de prÄ—position). All the several thousands of words in human language belong to a highly restricted finite set of word level categories, such as noun (noms), verbs (verbes), objectives (objectifs),adverbs (adverbes), pronouns (pronoms) etc. In practice, it is also possible for the major words level categories to expand onto their corresponding phrase-level categories by the addition of other words. The resultant construction due to the addition of other words to expand a major word-level category is knonw as a phrase.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Table of Contents
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background to the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Purpose of the Study
1.4       Research Questions
1.5       Significance of the Study
1.6       Scope and Delimitation of the Study
1.7       Research Methodology

CHAPTER TWO – LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0       Introduction
2.1       Theoretical Review
2.1.1 Concept of Noun Phrase
2.1.1.1 Modern Methods of NP
2.1.1.2 Noun Phrases with Without Determiners
2.1.1.3. Hypothesis of a Determiner Phrase
2.1.1.4 The Theory of X-Bar Phrase Structure
2.1.1.5 The Problem with Phrase Structure Categories
2.1.1.6 X-Bar Nodes (X-Bar Noyaux)
2.1.1.7 X-Bar Syntax (X-Bar Syntaxe)
2.1.1.8  Licensing Conditions for English and French
2.1.2 Specifiers, Complements and Adjuncts in French/ English
2.1.3    A Noun Phrase or Nominal Phrase (NP)
2.1.4    Status of Single Words as Phrase
2.1.5    Components of Noun Phrases
2.1.6    Empirical Studies
2.1.7    Summary of Literature Review

CHAPTER THREE: ANALYSIS OF STRUCTURE OF THE NOUN PHRASE IN ENGLISH AND FRENCH
3.0       Introduction
3.1       The Noun Phrase (Le Groupe De Nom)
3.2       Noun Phrase As  A Single Noun Groupe De  Nom Comme Un Nom Commun
3.3       Noun Pronoun as Pronoun -  (Nom Pronom comme Pronom)
3.4       Noun Phrase as Determiner + Noun
            Nom Phrase Comme Determinant + Nom
3.5       Noun Phrase as Determiner + Adjective + Noun
            Groupe De Nom Comme Determinant + Adjectif + Nom
3.6       Noun Pronoun as Determiner + Noun + Preposition
            Groupe de Pronom comme Determine + Nom + Preposition
3.7       Noun Phrase as Noun Phrase + S1
            Groupe de Nom comme Groupe de Nom + S1
3.8       Clause to Function as an NP –
            Clause Vers Fonction Comme un GN

CHAPTER FOUR: SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
4.0       Summary of the Findings
4.1       Conclusion
4.2       Recommendations

            REFERENCES


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION


1.1     Background to the Study
The origin of the study of grammar in Europe dates back to classical antiquity (Jespersen, 1950:20). The term grammar is used to mean the body of descriptive statements about the morphological and syntactic structures of a language. When one says, for instance, that someone is learning the grammar of French, one has at the back of one’s mind meaning of this grammar as a body of descriptive statements about the systemic interrelationships of structures within the language.

The term grammar can also be used for the quality of the knowledge of a language possessed by a speaker, as inferred from the nature of his utterances. It is this meaning of grammar that one has when one refers to the utterance of a particular speaker as an example of poor grammar. In this ease, one is inferring from the nature of the utterance that the quality of the knowledge of the language possessed by the speaker is a poor one.


The term grammar is also used to mean the prescriptive statements about usages that are considered unacceptable on a particular language. This meaning of the term borders on the study of stylistic. A classical example of a body established for express purpose of making prescriptive statements is the French Academy founded in 1637. Its main purpose is to see that the vocabulary and grammar of French do not deviate from agreed norms. Grammar is therefore defined as the art of speaking and writing correctly. If we take examples from English, any statement that says “I ain’t gone” is ungrammatical, while “I haven’t gone” is grammatical, is a prescriptive statement.

The term grammar is also used to mean a book embodying the morphological and syntactic rules of a particular language. The term is used in this sense when one refers to a book as the grammar of a particular language .For instance; this is a grammar of French.

Every language has a dynamic grammar which is a constantly changing set of habits that allows members of a speech community to communicate with one another. Even with this knowledge, many academics and language teachers still treat grammar as if it were an object outside of human beings in society, comprising a set of rules rather a key to the amazing world of human communication. Language, as observed by Nwala (2004), transverses time, space and culture.

Recently, there has come to be an understanding of the importance of language in relation to general human cognition, communication and culture.

Language is an integral part of human communication. It is species-specific and species-uniform, a special gift of God to mankind. Human civilization would have been impossible without language. Any human being participating in a speech community with other humans with common mental, emotional, and physical needs.....


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