A noun phrase has a noun as the head and various optional constituents such as adjectives, demonstratives, quantifies, etc., as modifiers. The head noun is the one that is modified by all the other elements, e.g., the word ‘dogs’ in ‘those three big black dogs that are always barking at me’.
The order of how constituents occur in a NP is not haphazard. They are related in an orderly way.In the English NP, ‘those two big boys’ sounds natural, but *’big two those boys’ does not. Thus the order of occurrence in an English NP can be stated as follows: first the demonstrative (‘those’), then the numeral (‘two’), then adjectives (‘big’), and lastly the noun (boys’).It is important to follow the order of elements in the noun phrase. In the English NP, the noun is obligatory in that it must occur, with the modifiers being optional, i.
e., they may or may not occur. Because of this order, English is called a ‘head-final’ language.There are co-occurrence restrictions in that certain modifiers must not occur together in a phrase.
In an English NP, a possessive and a demonstrative may not co-occur in this order in the same unit. Instead of *my these two children’, we would have to change the structure to ‘these two children of mine’.