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When one orders an "almond milk latte," can "almond milk" be considered an adjective?

marked as duplicate by tchrist Oct 26 '17 at 18:10

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  • All three of those words are nouns. None is an adjective. These are compound nouns written without hyphens. Attributive nouns are not adjectives. – tchrist Oct 26 '17 at 18:08
  • No, it's a nominal here, functioning as a modifier. "Almond" is modifying "milk" to give the noun phrase "almond milk" which in turn is used as a nominal to modify "latte". It's a nominal, not a noun phrase, because it cannot contain its own determiner (we cannot say, e.g. *a the almond milk latte" was delicious). – BillJ Oct 26 '17 at 18:28
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    It seems that the literature differs on how to deal with attributive nouns, here and in the "duplicate", and what the criteria are for assigning terminology. And perhaps why it is important to make these distinctions and evolve the terminology to describe them. – Xanne Oct 26 '17 at 19:08