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I'm confused as to whether this is a noun, an adjective, or both (adverb?) --Coppertwig 00:16, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

It works as all three in different cases. If I talk about the north of a country, it is a noun, if I talk about North Carolina it is an adjective, and if I talk about how I'm going north, it's an adverb. Now is it clear as mud? --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 00:39, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
In The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, the compass directions are described as begin primarily nouns, but also prepositions in sentences like "they travelled 10 miles north." In North Carolina, North is still a noun, just one that is functioning as a modifier. You can tell it's not an adjective because it can't be used predictively, nor can it typically be modified by adverbs such as very in the way that an adjective could be. Traditional grammar would have north as an adverb in "they travelled 10 miles north." The CGEL explains why this analysis is inconsistent.--Brett 13:13, 28 July 2007 (UTC)