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An attributive noun, also called a noun adjunct, refers to a noun placed before another noun to modify it, like "dog" in "dog catcher" and "dog food", "heart" in "heart surgery", "running" in "running shoes", "employee" in "employee compensation", and "Peter" in "Peter Principle". It is an alternative to a prepositional phrase, like "food for dogs" or "surgery of the heart". You can use a predicate test to distinguish a noun adjunct from an adjective.

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There are a number of compounds in English of the form "noun wars," e.g. "Star Wars," "mommy wars," "culture wars." Why do these show "wars" in the plural? It seems like normally "wars" would pertain …
asked Mar 29 '14 by echristopherson