Pre-modification of noun phrases in the writings of students in Ghanaian colleges of education

2022 IJRSE – Volume 11 Issue 5

Available Online:  13 February 2022


Frempong, Clara Ofosua
Abetifi College of Education, Ghana (

Anani, Gifty Edna
University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana (

Ayitey, Henry Kwao
Kibi College of Education, Ghana (

Agbaglo, Ebenezer*
University of Cape Coast, Ghana (


The past few decades have witnessed a proliferation of studies on students’ writing, but texts written by students of colleges of education remain largely unexplored. The purpose of this research was to investigate pre-modification of the noun phrases (NPs) in texts written by students in colleges of education (CoEs) in Ghana. A total of three hundred and eighteen (318) texts produced by Levels 100, 200 and 300 students from three colleges of education in Ghana were selected and analysed based on Quirk et al.’s (1985) analytical framework on NPs. It was found that with a total of 3,742 pre-modifications, 1,404 (37.5%) were simple pre-modifiers and 2,338 (62.5%) were complex pre-modifiers. This means that students’ writings were filled with more simple pre-modifiers than complex pre-modifiers. In the corpus, pre-modifying adjectives were the most frequently used word class in the complex NPs. The use of these pre-modification types also varied across levels of college education. The present study contributes to knowledge on the noun phrase and academic genres and also has implications for pedagogy and further research.

Keywords: colleges of education, Ghana, noun phrase, pre-modification, students’ writings



Cite this article:
Frempong, C. O., Anani, G. E., Ayitey, H. K., & Agbaglo, E. (2022). Pre-modification of noun phrases in the writings of students in Ghanaian colleges of education. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 11(5), 73-87.

*Corresponding Author