[Lingtyp] Attributive adjectives with complements

Sascha Alexeyenko alexeyenko at em.uni-frankfurt.de
Fri Sep 1 11:07:18 UTC 2017

Dear all,

In a joint project, Hedde Zeijlstra (U Göttingen) and I (U Frankfurt) are doing a cross-linguistic study on the constraint operative in many languages that disallows ad-adjectival PP/DP modifiers to intervene between pre-nominal attributive adjectives and the nouns they modify. Examples of the effect of this constraint in English are phrases like

	*a proud of his son father
	*an independent of his parents teenager

This constraint, which, following Williams (1982), is commonly referred to as the Head-Final Filter on pre-nominal modifiers (HFF), is often believed to be universal, and in fact a version of it features as Greenberg's (1963) Universal 21. There are, however, a number of languages that disobey it; as of now we are aware of Greek, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian. This is a very restricted group of related languages, and so it is not clear at the moment whether these languages are (rare) exceptions that superficially disobey the HFF due to independent factors or there are many more of such languages and the HFF is in fact not a universal.

To accelerate our data collection, we would like to ask whether anyone knows of any other languages that disobey the HFF, that is, languages that allow for the Adj--PP/DP--Noun word order, or, if attributive adjectives are normally placed post-nominally, for the Noun--PP/DP--Adj order.

Any hints would be of great help!


Sascha Alexeyenko
Institute of Linguistics
Goethe University Frankfurt
user.uni-frankfurt.de/~alyeksye/ <http://user.uni-frankfurt.de/~alyeksye/>
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