Borrowed word order in phrases

Nick Enfield Nick.Enfield at MPI.NL
Sat Dec 14 07:11:24 UTC 2013

There are many examples in Thai when proper names of businesses and other
organisations involve English words. Thai noun-modifier NPs are
head-initial. In this example, the head ŒGas¹ is final, and note that the
modifier ŒGulf of Thailand¹ is a head-modifier phrase with the normal
head-initial order (tones omitted from example):

Aaw thai kaet
Gulf-Thai gas
³Thai Gulf Gas² (gas company name)

Here¹s another case - here the head Œbox vehicle¹ (I.e., van) is final,
and note that its internal structure is the normal head-initial:

Raachaa rot tuu
R. vehicle-box
³Raja Vans² (van company name)

These constructions are very widespread, but I wouldn¹t say they are
permeating the normal grammar.


On 14/12/13 07:09, "Eduardo Ribeiro" <kariri at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

>[apologies for cross-posting]
>Dear colleagues,
>I'm looking for examples of languages where certain (types of) phrases
>present a different, borrowed word order when compared to a more
>common, inherited type.  Well-known examples are, in English, legal
>terms in which the adjective follows the noun, preserving the original
>Norman French order: "attorney general", "court martial", etc.
>(Jespersen 1912:87-88).
>Are you aware of similar examples from other languages? And of cases
>in which the borrowed order, originally limited to borrowed lexemes,
>ended up becoming the default usage?
>I would appreciate any insights and bibliographic references on this
>Eduardo Rivail Ribeiro, lingüista

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