Determinant phrase

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A determinant phrase (DP) is in newer versions of the generative grammar a phrase whose head is a determinant (determiner, determinative) "DET".

Abney is one of the representatives of the determinant phrase. According to him, the combination of article (+ adjective) + noun or a single pronoun forms a determinant phrase.

According to this, for example, a phrase like the little doll as a whole is not a noun phrase (NP), consisting of an article ( die ), an adjective ( small ) and a head noun ( doll ), but represents a determinant phrase (DP) that goes into a Determinans (D) as head and a noun phrase (NP) as complement are to be broken down:

[ DP [ D die] [ NP little doll]]

A personal pronoun like me would then be analyzed as:

[ DP [ D i]]


  • Steven P. Abney: The English noun phrase in its sentential aspect . Dissertation MIT, Cambridge (Massachusetts) 1987.
  • Helmut Glück (Ed.): Metzler Lexicon Language . Metzler, Stuttgart a. Weimar 1993, ISBN 3-476-00937-8 .