Adjective phrase heads are words that function as the heads of adjective phrases. An adjective phrase consists of an adjective plus any modifiers and complements. Only one grammatical form can perform the function of adjective phrase head in the English language. The one grammatical form that can function as the adjective phrase head is:
Adjectives as Adjective Phrase Heads
The only grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of adjective phrase head is the adjective. Traditional grammars define adjectives as words that describe or modify nouns, noun phrases, and pronouns. For example, the following italicized adjectives function as adjective phrase heads:
- very angry
- more upset
- fearful of spiders and sinkholes
- obsessed with Elmo
- overjoyed to hear the happy news
- afraid to spread her wings
- anxious that she might catch pneumonia
- excited that he passed his exam with flying colors
- terrified of Santa Clause visiting the house
- thrilled for you to finally meet me in person
The only grammatical form that can function as the adjective phrase head in the English language is the adjective.
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Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.