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The Postpositional Phrase Head in English Grammar

The Postpositional Phrase Head in English Grammar

Similar to prepositional phrase heads, postpositional phrase heads are words that function as the heads of postpositional phrases. A postpositional phrase consists of a postposition plus another word, phrase, or clause functioning as a postpositional complement. Only one grammatical form can perform the function of postpositional phrase head in the English language. The one grammatical form that can function as the postpositional phrase head is:

  • Postpositions

The following section defines and exemplifies the only grammatical form that can function as the postpositional phrase head in English grammar.

Postpositions as Postpositional Phrase Heads

The only grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of postpositional phrase head is the postposition. Traditional grammars notionally define postpositions as words that “link to other words, phrases, and clauses” and that “express spatial or temporal relations.” For example, the following italicized postpositions function as postpositional phrase heads:

  • six years ago
  • two blocks apart
  • the whole night through
  • limitations notwithstanding

The only grammatical form that can function as the postpositional phrase head in the English language is the preposition.

Summary

Postpositional phrase heads are words that function as the heads of postpositional phrases. A postpositional phrase consists of a postposition plus another word, phrase, or clause functioning as a postpositional complement.

Postpositional phrase head is a grammatical function.

The grammatical form that can function as the postpositional phrase head in English grammar is the postposition.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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