Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 12, 2019

Long-standing issues in adjective order and corpus evidence for a multifactorial approach

Andreas Trotzke ORCID logo and Eva Wittenberg ORCID logo
From the journal Linguistics

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce the issue of adjective order and show that different approaches vary in their answers to the question of how fine-grained the semantic categories determining adjective order are. We report on a corpus study that we conducted and that illustrates that a clear answer to the question of what general factors exactly determine adjective order is elusive, given the multifactorial nature of the problem. We then present the individual contributions to this special issue, and how they attempt to add new observations from Germanic languages to the general issues revolving around the topic of adjective order.

References

Bache, Carl & Niels Davidsen-Nielsen. 1997. Mastering English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110803181Search in Google Scholar

Bar-Sever, Galia, Rachael Lee, Gregory Scontras & Lisa Pearl. 2018. Little lexical learners: Quantitatively assessing the development of adjective ordering preferences. In Anne B. Bertolini & Maxwell J. Kaplan (eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd annual Boston university conference on language development, 58–71. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.Search in Google Scholar

Benor, Sarah Bunin & Roger Levy. 2006. The chicken or the egg? A probabilistic analysis of English binomials. Language 82. 233–278.10.1353/lan.2006.0077Search in Google Scholar

Bloomfield, Leonard. 1933. Language. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Cinque, Guglielmo. 1994. On the evidence for partial N movement in the Romance DP. In Guglielmo Cinque, Jan Koster, Jean-Yves Pollock, Luigi Rizzi & Raffaella Zanuttini (eds.), Paths towards universal grammar: Studies in honor of Richard S. Kayne, 85–110. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Cinque, Guglielmo. 2010. The syntax of adjectives: A comparative study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.10.7551/mitpress/9780262014168.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Cinque, Guglielmo. 2014. The semantic classification of adjectives: A view from syntax. Studies in Chinese Linguistics 35. 1–30.Search in Google Scholar

Dixon, Robert M. W. 1982. Where have all the adjectives gone? The Hague: Mouton.10.1515/9783110822939Search in Google Scholar

Feist, Jim. 2012. Premodifiers in English: Their structure and significance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511733192Search in Google Scholar

Fukumara, Kumiko. 2018. Ordering adjectives in referential communication. Journal of Memory and Language 101. 37–50.10.1016/j.jml.2018.03.003Search in Google Scholar

Hahn, Michael, Judith Degen, Noah D. Goodman, Dan Jurafsky & Richard Futrell. 2018. An information-theoretic explanation of adjective ordering preferences. In Proceedings of the 40th annual meeting of the cognitive science society (CogSci).Search in Google Scholar

Hetzron, Robert. 1978. On the relative order of adjectives. In Hansjakob Seiler (ed.), Language universals, 165–184. Tübingen: Narr.Search in Google Scholar

Jackendoff, Ray. 1972. Semantic interpretation in generative grammar. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Search in Google Scholar

Kamp, Hans & Barbara Partee. 1995. Prototype theory and compositionality. Cognition 57. 129–191.10.1016/0010-0277(94)00659-9Search in Google Scholar

Kotowski, Sven. 2016. Adjectival modification and order restrictions: The influence of temporariness on prenominal word order. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110478457Search in Google Scholar

Laenzlinger, Christopher. 2005. French adjective ordering: Perspectives on DP-internal movement types. Lingua 115. 645–689.10.1016/j.lingua.2003.11.003Search in Google Scholar

Levy, Roger 2014. Using R formulae to test for main effects in the presence of higher-order interactions. arXiv:stat.ME/1405.2094v1.Search in Google Scholar

Martin, James E. 1969. Some competence-process relationships in noun phrases with prenominal and postnominal adjectives. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behaviour 8. 471–480.10.1016/S0022-5371(69)80091-5Search in Google Scholar

McNally, Louise & Gemma Boleda. 2004. Relational adjectives as properties of kinds. In Olivier Bonami & Patricia Cabredo Hofherr (eds.), Empirical issues in formal syntax and semantics, vol. 5. 179–196. Paris: CNRS Editions.Search in Google Scholar

Morgan, Emily & Roger Levy. 2015. Modeling idiosyncratic preferences: How generative knowledge and expression frequency jointly determine language structure. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 1649–1654.Search in Google Scholar

Morgan, Emily & Roger Levy. 2016. Abstract knowledge versus direct experience in processing of binominal expressions. Cognition 157. 384–402.10.1016/j.cognition.2016.09.011Search in Google Scholar

Partee, Barbara H. 2010. Private adjectives: Subsective plus coercion. In Rainer Bäuerle, Uwe Reyle & Thomas E. Zimmermann (eds.), Presuppositions and discourse: Essays offered to Hans Kamp, 273–285. Leiden: Brill.10.1163/9789004253162_011Search in Google Scholar

Scontras, Gregory, Judith Degen & Noah D. Goodman. 2017. Subjectivity predicts adjective ordering preferences. Open Mind 1. 53–65.10.1162/OPMI_a_00005Search in Google Scholar

Scott, Gary-John. 2002. Stacked adjectival modification and the structure of nominal phrases. In Guglielmo Cinque (ed.), Functional structure in DP and IP, 91–120. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Sproat, Richard & Chinlin Shih. 1987. Prenominal adjectival ordering in English and Mandarin. In James Blevins & Juli Carter (eds.), Proceedings of the North Eastern linguistic society 18, 465–489. Amherst, MA: GSLA.Search in Google Scholar

Sproat, Richard & Chinlin Shih. 1991. The cross-linguistic distribution of adjectival ordering restrictions. In Carol Georgopoulos & Roberta Ishihara (eds.), Interdisciplinary approaches to language: Essays in honor of S-Y. Kuroda, 565–593. Dordrecht: Kluwer.10.1007/978-94-011-3818-5_30Search in Google Scholar

Truswell, Robert. 2009. Attributive adjectives and nominal templates. Linguistic Inquiry 40. 525–533.10.1162/ling.2009.40.3.525Search in Google Scholar

Vendler, Zeno. 1968. Adjectives and nominalizations. The Hague: Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Wulff, Stefanie. 2003. A multifactorial corpus analysis of adjective order in English. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 8. 245–282.10.1075/ijcl.8.2.04wulSearch in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2019-02-12
Published in Print: 2019-03-26

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Scroll Up Arrow