The Adjective Phrase (AP)
The distribution of the adjective phrase
An AP can occur
- following a 'linking verb' (copula verb): Kim is/feels/sounds/smells __.
The pro-form so can be used to refer to an AP: Kim is [very interested in snooker] and is Pat.
The internal structure of the adjective phrase
- An AP must contain an adjective
- An AP may contain:
- a degree word (very, quite, extremely) at the left periphery of the AP
- a PP following the AP (proud [PP: of their children], fond [PP: of icecream])
- an infinitival VP introduced with to following the AP (eager [to leave early], easy [to read])
- a clause (certain [that Kim will arrive on time])
In English, an AP in prenominal (i.e. attributive) position may not contain elements following the adjective:
- Kim is [AP: very proud [PP: of the children]].
- the [AP: very proud] teacher
- *the [AP: very proud [PP: of the children]] teacher
__AP________ / | \ / | ____S_____ Adv A / \ | | /____________\ Kim is very happy that Pat called.