Borrowed word order in phrases

Giorgio Francesco Arcodia -- ============================================================ Ljuba Veselinova, Associate Professor Dept of Linguistics, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46-8-16-2332 Fax: +46-8-15 5389 URL : "We learn by going where we want to go." Julia Cameron ============================================================ giorgio.arcodia at UNIMIB.IT
Sat Dec 14 15:07:36 UTC 2013

Dear colleague,

Are you investigating only phrases? If you are interested 
in compounding as well, there are plenty of examples of 
ordering of head and modifier/complement depending on 
whether the constituents and/or the word formation schema 
are native or borrowed. This is the case e.g. in Japanese, 
Vietnamese (native vs. Chinese word order), as well as in 
Italian (native vs. Germanic word order).


Giorgio F. Arcodia

Dr. Giorgio Francesco Arcodia
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la Formazione
Edificio U6 - stanza 4101
Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
20126 Milano

Tel.: (+39) 02 6448 4946
Fax: (+39) 02 6448 4863
E-mail: giorgio.arcodia at
On Sat, 14 Dec 2013 13:16:23 +0000
 "Randy John LaPolla (Prof)" <RandyLaPolla at NTU.EDU.SG> 
> Similar to Nick's examples, in Chinese you find things 
>translated directly from English or other languages, 
>keeping the same order, such as 后现代化 hou-xiandai-hua 
>[after modern change] or 后现代主义 hou-xiandai-zhuyi 
>[after-modern-ism] 'postmodernism', where the bit meaning 
>'after' follows the English order, not the Chinese order, 
>which should be as in 博士后 boshi-hou [doctor-after] 
>'post-doc'. Another one is the Chinese translation of the 
>name of the newspaper South China Morning Post, which 
>should be 华南早报 hua-nan-zao-bao 
>[China-south-morning-newspaper], but is in fact called 
>南华早报 nan-hua-zao-bao to match the English.
> In the Bai language, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in 
>Yunnan in China, and one heavily influenced by Chinese, 
>native auxiliary verbs follow the main verb, but if the 
>auxiliary is borrowed from Chinese, it follows the 
>Chinese word order and precedes the verb.
> Randy
> -----
> Prof. Randy J. LaPolla, PhD FAHA (罗仁地)| Head, Division 
>of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies | Nanyang 
>Technological University
> HSS-03-80, 14 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637332 | Tel: 
>(65) 6592-1825 GMT+8h | Fax: (65) 6795-6525 | 
> On Dec 14, 2013, at 3:11 PM, Nick Enfield wrote:
> 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 
> 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.
> Nick
> On 14/12/13 07:09, "Eduardo Ribeiro" 
><kariri at GMAIL.COM<mailto: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
> topic.
> Obrigado,
> Eduardo
> --
> Eduardo Rivail Ribeiro, lingüista
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