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  • 1. Spanish 600/Lesson 1The Basics of Noun Phrases
  • 2. Before You Begin
  • 3. A Review of English• In English, a noun phrase consists of a noun and the words that modify it.• The basic structure is something like this: Optional Determiner + Optional Adjective Phrases + Noun. NOTE: An “optional adjective phrase” can consist of an adjective or an adjective with some adverbs attached.
  • 4. Examples of Noun Phrases• The slow dog (det/adj ph/n)• My rather dim dog (det/adj ph/ n)• Completely distracted dogs (adj ph/n)
  • 5. More on Noun Phrases• We can make a noun phrase bigger by adding optional prepositional phrases onto the end.• Optional Determiner + Optional Adjective Phrases + Noun + Optional Prepositional Phrases.• NOTE: The optional prepositional phrases contain other noun phrases!
  • 6. Examples• The slow dog with brown fur (det/adj ph/n/prep ph)• A rather dim dog from my childhood (det/adj ph/ n/ prep ph)• Completely distracted dogs in heat (adj ph/n/prep ph)
  • 7. Finally Spanish!• Please note the pattern of the typical Spanish noun phrase:• Optional Determiner + Optional Adjective Phrases + Noun + Optional Adjective Phrases + Optional Prepositional Phrases.
  • 8. Examples• El asombro y fascinación que nos causa frecuentemente la ciudad de México se extiende al resto del país cuando visitamos otros lugares que guardan riquezas únicas. Uno de ellos es la península de Baja California que, por su situación geográfica, la han calificado los expertos como isla biológica. El aislamiento evolutivo ha mantenido su flora y fauna separadas del territorio continental por periodos tan largos que el número de especies endémicas en ambos rubros es de los más altos del mundo.
  • 9. The Noun Phrases• El asombro (det/ n)• Fascinación (n)• la ciudad de México (det/n/prep phr)• (a)l resto del país (det/n/prep phr)• otros lugares (adj phr/n)• riquezas únicas. (n/adj phr)• Uno de ellos (PRO-n/prep ph)• la península de Baja California (det/n/prep ph)
  • 10. The Noun Phrases• su situación geográfica (det/n/adj phr)• los expertos (det/n)• Isla biológica (n/adj phr)• El aislamiento evolutivo (det/n/adj phr)• Su flora (det/n)• fauna (n)• El territorio continental (det/n/ adj phr)• Periodos tan largos (n/adj phr)• El número de especies endémicas (det/n/prep phr)• ambos rubros (adj phr/n)• Los más altos del mundo. (det/ n/ prep phr)
  • 11. Features of Spanish Noun Phrases• Agreement of determiners and adjectives with the noun.• Unlike in MOST cases in English, the determiners and adjectives agree in number and gender with the noun.
  • 12. Number• Like English, Spanish has two “numbers” to keep in mind: one (called singular) and more than one (called plural).• English: place/ places• Spanish: lugar/ lugares• Note that both languages tend to use the addition of an “s” or an “es” to create the plural.
  • 13. Gender• Gender is a very different concept in Spanish and in English.• In English, nouns that mark gender tend to refer to the actual chromosomal profile (biological sex) of the referent: actress, priestess etc. There are very few such nouns. Gender is relatively unimportant in English.
  • 14. Gender in Spanish• Gender is a very different concept in Spanish. It has relatively little to do with biological sex.• All nouns are marked with one of two genders: masculine and feminine.• Of course, biological sex is sometimes important (la mujer/ the woman).• But most of the time the distinction has NOTHING to do with biological sex at all.• Most singular masculine nouns end in “o” and most feminine in “a” --- but there are many other endings as well (ex: lugar > masculine). Read more about this on p. 1 of the grammar.
  • 15. Notes on Nouns• Although all Spanish nouns have gender and most are marked in the singular with an o/a ending to denote that, there are many nouns which have different endings.• Read through the information on noun endings on p. 3 in the grammar. It will help you to recognize nouns!
  • 16. Agreement• The determiners of Spanish agree in number (and sometimes in gender) with the noun.
  • 17. Gender/Number Analysis• El asombro (det/ n) > singular masculine• Fascinación (n) singular feminine• la ciudad (det/n/) singular feminine – Prep phr: de México (Proper noun )• (a)l resto (det/n/) singular masculine – Prep phr: del pais (det/noun) singular masculine• otros lugares (adj phr/n) plural masculine• riquezas únicas. (n/adj phr) plural feminine• Uno (Pro-n) singular masculine – Prep phr: de ellos (Pro-N) plural masculine• La península (det/n) singular feminine – Prep phr: de Baja California (Proper Noun)
  • 18. Gender/Number Analysis• Su situación geográfica (det/n/adj phr) singular feminine• los expertos (det/n) plural masculine• Isla biológica (n/adj phr) singular feminine• El aislamiento evolutivo (det/n/adj phr) singular masculine• Su flora (det/n) singular feminine• fauna (n) singular feminine• El territorio continental (det/n/ adj phr) singular masculine• Periodos tan largos (n/adj phr) plural masculine• el número (det/n) singular masculine – Prep phr: de especies endémicas (n/adj phr) plural feminine• ambos rubros (adj phr/n) plural masculine• Los más altos (det/adj phr/ DELETED NOUN) plural masculine – Prep phr: del mundo (det/n) singular masculine
  • 19. Notes on: Determiners• Spanish determiners, like English determiners, can be articles (a/the), possessives (my/your), demonstratives (this/that/these/those), and many other such words.• However, because they agree in number and gender, they have multiple forms.• To read them, you have to be able to identify them cold.
  • 20. Examples:• The definite article (the): el/los/la/las. All of these words mean “the” and should be translated as such.• The possessives (my/your/his/her/its/their/our): mi/mis/tu/tus/su/sus/nuestro/nuestros/nuestra/ nuestras). Read more about these on p. 30 of the grammar.• The demonstratives (this/that/these/ those): esta/estas/este/estos/esa/esas/ese/esos/aquel/a quellos/ aquella/ aquellas/ Read more about these on p. 32)
  • 21. Notes on Adjectives• Adjectives are real shape shifters in Spanish.• They can come before or after the noun (usually after --- BUT NOT ALWAYS).• SOME shape shift for gender.• La riqueza única/ El lugar único• Some do not.• La riqueza natural/ el lugar natural
  • 22. More notes on adjectives• All agree in number with the noun they modify.• La riqueza única/ las riquezas únicas/ las riquezas naturales/• El lugar único/ los lugares únicos/ los lugares naturales
  • 23. Using the Dictionary• Always look up the singular form of the noun.• Example: riquezas únicas (look up: riqueza).• Note: the dictionary shows gender of nouns with the abbreviations nf (feminine noun) and nm (masculine noun).• Always look up the masculine, singular form of the adjective (look up: único).
  • 24. Oddities from Our List• (a)l resto (det/n/) singular masculine –Prep phr: del pais (det/noun) singular masculine – NOTE: Spanish has two contractions of prepositions with the definite article “el” • – a (often meaning at/to) + el = al • -- de (often meaning from/of) + el = del• Baja California (Proper Noun) – NOTE: Proper nouns are names. Spanish capitalizes most (but not all) proper nouns in the same way we do in English.• •su flora (det/n) singular feminine• •fauna (n) singular feminine – NOTE: In the original these two nouns were joined with the conjunction “y” (meaning “and”). They are both singular and feminine. But together they are PLURAL and feminine, which explains the following adjective phrase: su flora y fauna separadas.• •los más altos (det/adj phr/ DELETED NOUN) plural masculine – NOTE: As in English, we can delete nouns in Spanish. In this case this translates as “the highest (. . .) in the world)