What is the relationship between a noun phrase and a prepositional phrase?

I have found out that both work as complements to each other, and that prepositional phrases work as noun phrases.

  • A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition and a noun phrase, so it can be considered an enhanced noun phrase. The preposition may add a meaning in context, like a case ending, or it may simply be required by a verb or noun to link with the object of the preposition, like transitive look at and listen to. – John Lawler Nov 19 '16 at 19:54
  • A noun phrase does not always start with a preposition; a prepositional phrase always starts with one. – Lambie Nov 19 '16 at 21:11
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    Yes, a preposition phrase can have an NP complement, as in "I'm looking for my glasses". And an NP can have a PP as complement, as in "Where's the key to the safe"? But PP's do not work as NP's; they are a separate and distinct phrasal category with their own functions. – BillJ Nov 19 '16 at 21:27

According to Head Driven Syntax, prepositional phrases are "headed" or begin with, a preposition and within the PP, there is at least a noun phrase. Noun phrase can be a made up of a noun or two nouns or three, etc. You may think that there could be a determiner in there, but the moment you add a determiner, it becomes a determined phrase.

Prepositions in my opinion are the most difficult to use and explain.

  • The determiner-phrase hypothesis is a minority one that has not proven to be useful outside of generative grammars. See here. – tchrist Nov 19 '16 at 20:33
  • I dunno. In prepositional phrases such as /up the tree/ I have a very hard time imagining /the tree/ as a noun phrase. – Lambie Nov 19 '16 at 21:10
  • Well, that's why I said that when a determiner is added, it immediately becomes a determiner phrase. So / the tree/ is a determiner phrase that branches off to a noun phrase. And you're right tchrist, head driven syntax is in a minority, but, as in the website, it is far more useful in analysis of phrases themselves. I prefer head driven syntax because he solves the discrepancy concerning verb phrases and noun phrase, specifically, why a verb heads a verb phrase and why a determiner, in older grammar books, head a noun phrase. – Danny Rodriguez Nov 19 '16 at 21:19

Assalaamoalikum if the it doesent matter that the prepositional starts with proposition.if any type of pronoun or adjective come with a noun that phrase would be noun phrase.example:the shoe is pinching on my toe. On my toe is noun phrase because of possessive adjective "my". If the phrase is without pronouns or adjective with noun that would be prepositional phrase.the shoe pinches on toe."on toe" is prepositional phrase

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