[Lingtyp] Adjective word order cognitive universal

Jan Rijkhoff linjr at cc.au.dk
Sun Oct 13 09:12:41 UTC 2019

Dear Hedvig,

See also:
Rijkhoff, Jan. 2015. Word Order. In James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition), Vol. 25, 644–656. Oxford: Elsevier. ISBN: 9780080970868 + references therein
    (Available in both print and online editions).
    Or http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780080970868530311

It addresses the "caveats for the existence of "adjectives" as a category" and distinguishes between the form and function of the various NP-internal modifiers.

Best, Jan R

School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University
DK-8000 Aarhus C, DENMARK
URL: http://pure.au.dk/portal/en/linjr@cc.au.dk

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Hedvig Skirgård <hedvig.skirgard at gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2019 5:02 AM
Subject: [Lingtyp] Adjective word order cognitive universal


In a recent paper on word order and cognitive universals, Alexander Martin, Theeraporn Ratitamkul, Klaus Abels, David Adger and Jennifer Culbertson argue that there are certain cognitive constraints when it comes to the placement of numerals, demonstratives and adjectives in a noun phrase.

"First, the most common orders place adjectives closest to the noun, then numerals, then demonstratives (e.g., N-Adj-Num-Dem). Second, exceptions to this are restricted to post-nominal position (e.g., N-Dem-Num-Adj, but not, for instance, Adj-Num-Dem-N)."


Is there anyone on this list that know of an example of Adj-Num-Dem-N being the most common order in a language?

Caveats for the existence of "adjectives" as a category of course, anything that is functionally similar enough will do. (Same for the others.)


Med vänliga hälsningar,

Hedvig Skirgård

PhD Candidate

The Wellsprings of Linguistic Diversity

ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language

School of Culture, History, and Language
College of Asia and the Pacific

The Australian National University


P.S. If you have multiple email addresses, I kindly ask you to just use one with corresponding with me. Email threads and invites to get confusing otherwise. I will only email you from my Gmail, even if other email addresses re-direct emails to them to my Gmail (ANU etc).

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list