A somewhat more useful way is to do what snailboat suggests above,
namely ignore the
DP Hypothesis, which is after all just a hypothesis that can't be disproved,
and go for something that represents the data rather than the theory.
For instance, McCawley 1998 distinguishes between two types of nouny constituent in English:
Nʹ (pronounced "N-Bar" -- don't ask), which is a phrasal unit headed by an
NP (pronounced "N-P"), which is the syntactic constituent type
corresponding to the logical type Argument of Predicate
(and thus is outside the X-Bar nodal system).
For instance, it's not clear that the subject of
- That he arrived late is very unfortunate.
(i.e, the complement clause that he arrived late,
which must be a noun phrase since it's the subject),
can be said even to have a head, and if so, it's clearly not headed by a noun.
It's simply an NP, since it corresponds to an argument of the predicate adjective unfortunate.
The constituent containing determiners that precedes prenominal adjectives
is then simply, in X-Bar terminology, a
Dʹ. In general, an
NP will contain a
For instance, the subject of the following sentence
- Quite a few of the more than ten thousand people took his advice.
would be parsable as [
Dʹ Quite ... thousand
Dʹ] [N people N] NP].
Dʹ is actually the same constituent type as
depends entirely on one's preferred nomenclatural presuppositions.
It doesn't bear on descriptions of phenomena, except to counsel one
to avoid confusing modes of expression; after all, the idea is to be clear.