positioning of 'property concepts' in the NP

f.lichtenberk@auckland.ac.nz f.lichtenberk at AUCKLAND.AC.NZ
Tue Mar 30 23:34:12 UTC 2010

Dear Fritz,

Toqabaqita (Austronesian, Oceanic) has one adjective, 'small'. The adjective has three different forms whose use is determined, partly, by certain properties of the head noun. The adjective can only be used attributively, and it precedes the noun it modifies. 

Nouns can also be directly modified by verbs, mostly intransitive stative verbs. Such verbs follow the noun they modify.

Thus, the adjective 'small' precedes the noun, while the verb 'be small' follows the noun.

More information can be found in my A grammar of Toqabaqita.

Best wishes,
Frank Lichtenberk

From: Discussion List for ALT [LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG] On Behalf Of Frederick J Newmeyer [fjn at U.WASHINGTON.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, 30 March 2010 8:56 a.m.
Subject: positioning of 'property concepts' in the NP

Dear all,

I wonder if I might deflect the discussion from academic publishing for a moment. I am looking for an example of a language manifesting something very specific -- a language which might or might not exist:

1. In this language 'property concepts' (to use a neutral term) are encoded in part by a distinct category 'Adjective' and also by what are uncontroversially Nouns or Verbs in terms of their catgeory assignments.

2. In this language, within the Noun Phrase, Adjective modifiers of the Noun appear on one side of the Noun that they modify, whereas Noun or Verb modifiers appear on the opposite side of the Noun that they modify.

Does anybody know an example of such a language?



Frederick J. Newmeyer
Professor Emeritus, University of Washington
Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University
[for my postal address, please contact me by e-mail]

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