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From my textbook, A noun phrase is headed by a noun. Modifiers include articles, adjectives and demonstratives. Qualifiers include prepositional phrases and relative/adjectival clauses.

Given the following:

Your bag is in your locker

What is the grammatical name? I know that its grammatical/syntactic function is the complement of the preposition .

The problem is that I suspect it is a noun clause because "your" is neither an article, adjective nor a demonstrative. It is a determiner. Also, a noun clause can be perform every function that a noun phrase can, or so I think.

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    I don't follow you. "Your locker" is simply a noun phrase with the noun "locker" as head and the genitive pronoun "your" as determiner. The noun phrase is object of the preposition "in".
    – BillJ
    May 5, 2023 at 7:34
  • @BillJ thank you, I guess that definition of a noun phrase is still incomplete. The writer probably assumed some knowledge from the reader which I do not have. Can you help with the difference between a noun phrase and noun clause, one that helps me understand your answer rather than taking it as it is
    – Alphonsus
    May 5, 2023 at 7:55
  • A noun phrase is a type of phrase (one or more words) whose head word is a noun. By contrast, a clause has a subject and predicate, the latter consisting of a verb phrase whose head word is a verb.
    – BillJ
    May 5, 2023 at 11:48
  • It's simpler to look at your as a type of adjective. May 5, 2023 at 12:22
  • @Alphonsus Incidentally, there is no such thing as a noun clause. The classification of finite subordinate clauses is based on their internal form rather than spurious analogies with the parts of speech. .
    – BillJ
    May 5, 2023 at 12:33

1 Answer 1

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Your bag is in [your locker].

"Your locker" is not a clause but a noun phrase with the noun "locker" as head and the genitive pronoun "your" as determiner. Its function is that of object of the preposition "in".

A noun phrase is a type of phrase consisting of one or more words whose head word is a noun.

By contrast, a clause has a subject-predicate structure; the latter component consisting of a verb phrase whose head word is a verb.

Incidentally, there is no such thing as a noun clause. The classification of finite subordinate clauses is based on their internal form rather than spurious analogies with the parts of speech.

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    It’s not my terminology, but in old-fashioned non-professional materials purporting to teach basic English grammar, the term noun clause is used to mean any clause (be it finite or nonfinite) serving as another clause’s subject, object, or complement, or as an appositive to another NP, or as the object of a preposition, etc. Often as not these texts also contain strange terms like noun adjectives to go with their noun clauses, adjective nouns for something else again, and a complete confusion over “gerunds”. I would never recommend such texts, but often these are all a student knows.
    – tchrist
    May 5, 2023 at 13:35
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    Many traditions of grammar terminology exist besides the one in CGEL. One quite reasonable one if noting the use of a clause. Adjective clauses modify nouns; they include relative clauses and NP complements. Adverb clauses, often headed by subordinators, mostly modify clauses or phrases. And noun clauses like that complements, embedded questions, infinitives, or gerunds, serve as nouns (typically subject or object) in some higher clause. To refuse to use any such terms is reasonable; to correct other's use is not May 5, 2023 at 16:14
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    The term 'noun clause' is a misnomer. Such clauses function primarily as complement, not noun, which is not a function but a word category (POS). Consider "The suggestion that they cheated was quite outrageous", where the subordinate clause is traditionally classified as a noun clause and yet it is not replaceable by a noun. Similarly, the subordinate clause in "They appointed Ed, which turned out to be a bad mistake" is traditionally called an adjective clause, but it could not be replaced by an adjective. They are, respectively, a declarative content clause and a relative clause.
    – BillJ
    May 5, 2023 at 17:51

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