View table of contents for this book View table of contents for LinguaLinksLibrary Go to LinguaLinks home page

What is the head of a phrase?



The head of a phrase is the element that determines the syntactic function of the whole phrase.

Example (English)

In a noun phrase, the head is the noun that refers to the same entity that the whole phrase refers to, such as:


'hat' in 'the man in the brown suit’s hat'


The head of an English noun phrase usually comes after the dependents (the non-head elements in the phrase).

Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

Page content last modified: 24 March 1998

© 2004 SIL International