What is the status of adjective modifiers (tant, tout juste, un rien, un tantinet, très, extrêmement, … = so much, just a little, a little, a little, very, extremely, …) in the present grammatical typology? Adjectives are defined as noun modifiers. So adjective modifiers would be modifiers of noun modifiers? This sounds intriguing. In reality, we do not have the concept of ‘modifiers of modifiers’. In fact, we have the following rules:
- a verb modifier followed by a verb is a verb
- a determinant modifier followed by a determinant is a determinant
- and generally speaking, a modifier of an X followed by an X is an X (where X is a given grammatical type)
So a noun modifier followed by a noun is a noun, i.e. an adjective followed by a noun is a noun. For example: ‘un très beau livre’ (a very nice book), where ‘very’ is an adjective modifier, ‘nice’ is an adjective, i.e. a noun modifier, and ‘book’ is a noun.
Hence finally, ‘an adjective modifier is a modifier of a noun modifier’ reads as follows: an adjective modifier is a modifier of [noun modifier].