A phrase is most commonly associated with syntactic rules. Phrases may be divided according to what parts of speech they are centered on, including and not limited to nouns, verbs, and prepositions, and what structural rules they require. There may be many different kinds of phrases in a single sentence.

Further research has differentiated phrases according to their predicative factors. For instance, a predicative phrase consists of a center and its modifiers, which are optional. In contrast, a non-predicative phrase consists of a head with its modifiers. (Gibson, 1973, p. 66, 71)

Interestingly, a phrase’s meaning is not predictable from the individual word meanings. Instead the meaning of the entire phrase must be learned as one unit/entity. (Kroeger, 2018, p. 7)


Example in the Skwxwu7mesh Context of Demonstrative kwetsi Proceeding a Verb Phrase (VP) (Jacobs, 2013, p. 9)
Example in the Secwepemctsín Context of a Complex Predicative Phrase (Gibson, 1973, p. 67)
Example in the Secwepemctsín Context of a Non-Predicative Phrase where its Head is Underlined (Gibson, 1973, p. 71)


Gibson, J. A. (1973). Shuswap grammatical structure. [Doctoral dissertation, The University of Hawaii].

Jacobs, P. W. (2013). Subordinate clauses in Skwxwu7mesh: Their form and function. Northwest Journal of Linguistics, 7(2), 1-54.

Kroeger, P. R. (2018). Analyzing meaning: An introduction to semantics and pragmatics. Language Science Press.