Noun  phrase structure in English
v  In this  chapter, we turn clause structure to noun phrase structure. we especially want  to explore EMBEDDING, a principle  underlying phrase structure in all languages. We start by looking at noun  phrase structure in English, which illustrates embedding well.
NP   —-   (D)
(A)   N
ü  This  rule will generate noun phrases like the following:
(2)   artichokes

the artichoke

the big artichoke

big artichokes
ü  A numeral  can occur between the determiner and the adjective.
(3)  two  artichokes

two big artichokes

the two artichokes

the two big artichokes
ü  Traditionally,  numeral are classified as a type of adjective. however, they are not mutually  substitutable for adjectives; for example, their ordering cannot be reversed.
(4)  *big  two artichokes
ü  Therefore,  we must recognize a separate category in the lexicon, called QUANTIFIER (Q), which includes numerals  and other words which are mutually substitutable for them.
(5)  Q  (many, few, one, two, three …)
ü  we must  also add Q to the NP rule.
(6)  NP  —-  (D)        (Q)   (A)  N
ü  Also,  words like very, rather, and extremely, which are called DEGREE WORDS (Deg), can occur just before an adjective.
(7)  many extremely ripe artichokes
ü  What is  the constituent structure of this example? There are two possibilities:
ü  That  is, do Deg and A together form an ADJECTIVE  PHRASE (AP), as in (8b)? Or are they individually constituents of the NP,  as in (8a)?
ü  Extremely  modifies ripe, rather than many or artichokes. That is, it is closer  semantically to ripe than to other words. This suggests that(8b) is the correct  structure. But, is there any syntactic evidence supporting this conclusion?
ü  For  starter, ripe can occur without extremely, but extremely cannot occur without  ripe.
(9)  many  ripe artichokes
      *many  extremely artichokes.
ü  This  can be explained easily if we assume (8b) is correct and that it is generated  by the following set of rules:
(10)  Phrase structure rules for hypothesis in (8b)
      NP  —   (D)  (Q)  (AP)  N
      AP —  (Deg)  A
ü  These  rules explicitly allow an A without a Deg, but not vice versa; the only way to  get a Deg is to have an AP, and if you have an AP you also need an A. On the
other hand, if we assume Deg is a daughter of NP, as in (8b), we would adopt an  NP rule more like the following:
(11)  Phrase structure rule for hypothesis in (8a)
      NP —  (D)  (Q)  (Deg)  (A)  N
ü  This  incorrectly allows a Deg to occur without an A, so, (10) and (8b) provide the  better analysis. Another fact: more than one adjective can occur in a noun
phrase and each can have its own degree word. 
(12)  many  ripe, juice artichokes

many very ripe, very juicy artichokes

many very ripe, very large, very juicy artichokes
ü  We can  account for this easily if we assume that there is an AP. All we need is add an  asterisk to the AP in (10), which indicates that there can be any number of APs  in the NP.
(13)  Desirable phrase structure rules for (12):
      NP  — =  (D)  (Q)  (AP)*  N      
      AP —  (Deg)  A
ü  But if  assume that Deg is a daughter of NP, as in (8a), we end up having to modify (11) into a horridly cumbersome rule.
(14)  Undesirable phrase structure rule for (12):
      NP —  (D)  (Q)  (Deg)  (A)  (Deg)  (A)  (Deg)  (A)  N
ü  And  worse, this makes wrong prediction about further data; it allows a Deg word to follow an adjective.
(15)  *the  moldy very artichoke.
ü  As if all this isn’t enough, adjectives can be modified by degree words in other contexts.
(16)  a.  The artichoke is very mushy.
        b.  Very mushy is a terrible  condition for an artichoke to be in.
        c.  He made it very mushy.
ü  Let’s  look further. Quantifiers can be modified by degree word too.
(17)  too many artichokes         approximately 300 artichokes
ü  So we  also need to allow for the possibility of a QUANTIFIER PHRASE (QP) inside the NP, for the same reason that we recognized an AP.
(18)  NP —  (D)  (QP)  (AP)*  N        
         QP —  (Deg)  Q
        AP —  (Deg)  A
ü  What  picture is beginning to emerge? All the major modifiers in an NP can be  phrases; they are not limited to single words. And, if we push a little further, we find this true elsewhere. For example, the degree word (inside a QP  or AP) can be replaced by a DEGREE PHRASE (DegP):
(19)  [QP  [DegP almost too] many] artichokes    many [AP [DegP very very ] green] artichokes
ü  So we  need to change our rules again.
(20)  NP     —  (D)  (QP)  (AP)*  N         
         QP    —  (DegP)  Q
        AP     —  (DegP)  A
        DegP —  … Deg
ü  This  phrase-within-phrase structure is more visible if we draw a tree generated by these rules.
ü  Are  there any other phrases that can occur inside a noun phrases? Yes, PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES (PPs) can.
(22)  the  artichoke [pp in the moon] 

any artichoke
[pp under the table]

the man [
pp with the artichoke]
ü  A  prepositional phrase consists of a PREPOSITION,  like in, under, or with, together with a noun phrase. We  need to do two things in our grammar: (a) add a rule defining what a PP is and  (b) include an optional PP at the end of the NP rule.
(23)  PP    —  P  NP 
        NP    —  (D)  (QP)  (AP)* N  (PP) 
        QP    —  (DegP)  Q
        AP    —  (DegP)  A
        DegP —  … Deg

Since an NP can contain a PP, and a PP in turn  contains another NP, this results in a tree structure with one NP node dominating another (with a PP node in between).      

ü  And  since a PP can be added to the inner (lower) NP, you can see that English has  potential for producing some very large noun phrases.
10.2.   Constraints on phrase  structure rule
HEAD refers to the centrals and most  important daughter of a Phrase. The head on NP is N, the head of VP is V, the head of AP is A, the head of PP is P, etc.
All phrasal categories have heads , but not all word-level can be the  heads of phrases; this is another way of saying that not all word types can have modifiers. D is such a category in English; there are no modifiers and  thus there are no determiners and thus there are no determiner phrases for D to be the head of.
10.3.   Possession
In English there are two ways to express  possession. One uses a PP (headed by the preposition  of ) embedded in an NP. An artichoke [of mine]  The book [of yours]
 This  type is already accounted for in our rules, which allows a PP to be embedded  inside an NP.
The other way of expressing possession  involves an NP embedded at the beginning of a larger NP. 
[NP[NP the artichoke’s] three shriveled  leaves]
[NP[NP this book’s ] numerous artichoke examples]
This rule produces threes like the following.
[NP[NP[NP the butcher’s] wife’s] family]