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determiner (plural determiners)

(grammar) A member of a class of words functioning in a noun phrase to identify or distinguish a referent without describing or modifying it

predeterminer (plural predeterminers)

(grammar) The function of a phrase that precedes a determiner in a noun phrase and modifies the head noun.

Why don't determiners modify nouns but predeterminer modify nouns?

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  • A noun can have only one determiner. The predeterminers are inside the NP but outside (external to) the head nominal, where they function as modifiers. Cf. "Both [her sons] went to university", where "her" is the determiner in the bracketed nominal, and "both" is a predeterminer modifier. – BillJ Feb 18 at 8:57
  • @BillJ so Is a predeterminer an adjective? – alice Feb 18 at 9:00
  • Sometimes but not always: predeterminers may be determimatives like "both" or adjectives like "such" in "such a disaster", or adverbs like "even" in "even the children". Incidentally, determinative is the part of speech, while 'determiner"' and "predeterminer" are functions -- note the spelling difference. – BillJ Feb 18 at 9:07
  • There are three types of determiners predeterminer central determiners postdeterminers you mean predeterminer we talk about is not one of them? – alice Feb 18 at 9:09
  • No: the predeterminers and the so-called postdeterminers are modifiers, not determiners as such. – BillJ Feb 18 at 9:21

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