2. • Central element or word within a phrase that holds
significant importance in determining the phrase's
syntactic category and semantic meaning.
• Carries crucial information that establishes the
overall meaning of the phrase and governs the
grammatical behaviour of the entire phrase.
3. Heads in Phrases
• Semantic Information
• Word Class Determination
• Distributional Properties
• Obligatory Element
• Dependents as Complements
4. The head word plays a key role in
determining the meaning of the
Example: In the phrase "brass
statue," the head word is "statue,"
indicating the type of object being
The word class of the head word
determines the word class of the
Example: If the head word is a
noun, the phrase becomes a
noun phrase (NP).
5. The head is the only word in the
phrase that has the same
distribution as the entire phrase.
Example: In the phrase "Kim liked
very bright sunflowers," the head
"sunflowers" can be substituted as
"Kim liked sunflowers."
The head word is an obligatory
element within the phrase, which
means it cannot be omitted. While
other words or phrases within the
phrase, known as dependents, can
sometimes be omitted, the head
word must always be present.
6. The head word often selects and requires specific dependents, known as
complements, to complete the meaning of the phrase. These complements
are obligatory and have specific syntactic and semantic properties.
Example: A transitive verb like "release" necessitates an object noun phrase
(NP) as its complement, as seen in the phrase "released the hostages."
7. Most important
element that conveys
the central meaning or
within that phrase.
Word class of the head
determines the word
class or grammatical
category of the entire
8. Necessary or required
components of a
phrase. Essential for
the phrase to convey its
They have the ability to
select or govern
dependent phrases that
belong to a specific