Synchronic and diachronic evidence for parallels between noun phrases and sentences

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It has been shown that, up to a point, noun phrases and clauses have the same underlying structure: they share the same kind of ‘layered’ organization and accommodate the same kind of semantic modifier categories (Rijkhoff 2008a). This article presents synchronic and diachronic evidence to substantiate the claim that there are parallels between the layered analysis of the noun phrase and the clause. It will be argued that the layered NP/clause model is supported by two largely unidirectional historical developments in language, one metaphorical in nature (‘<i>from space to time</i>’) the other metonymic (‘<i>from inner to outer layer</i>’).


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