In Modern Tibetan (New Common Dialect, which is spoken as a common language among the Tibetan refugees), the head noun of a noun-modifying structure appears in various places. According to Mazaudon (1978), they are classified into three types: head-postposed, head-non-postposed and head-repeated. It is, however, a mere classification based on surface form, and there are some phenomena which cannot be interpreted with this classification.
In this paper, through observation of noun-modification by the nominalized verbal phrase, I propose a new classification-the headinterposed structure vs. the head-extraposed structure. In head-interposed noun phrases, semantical heads are placed inside of modifying phrases, and nominalizers in the end of the nominal phrase become the formal heads. Having the same form as the simple nominalized preposition, the noun phrase of this structure needs a succeeding ‘noun phrase marker.’Head-extraposed noun phrases, on the other hand, have the appositional structure, same as that in which a noun modifies a noun. The modifier of head-extraposition forms a kind of derivative noun, in which the former constituent is a verbal phrase and the latter is a nominalizer.
The structures of noun-modification in Tibetan can be explained consistently by the classification of this paper: it can be applied not only to the noun-modification by a nominalized verbal phrase, but also to those by a noun, an adjective or an adjectival phrase.
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