Noun Order

You have words - now what do you do with them?
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Postby KatyBr » Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:40 pm

PS : Hope both those new houses contained huge refrigerators filled to the brim with goodies - chocolates for Katy, and red meat for yours truly !...

Ah, so now we're to be neighhbors? Be still my heart!

You know It does sound ok to me ears to have Big, new, blue, but the first one for me is still big, new, blue.

how is that neutral?


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Postby Flaminius » Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:01 pm

In a careless speech I think I would resort to a phonetic alignment like, "Big blue new house." Of course the semantic alignment is what native speakers use from a very early childhood. I think we have picked on another piece of evidence how first language acquisition is different from second language learning.


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Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:53 pm

KatyBr wrote:

Ah, so now we're to be neighhbors? Be still my heart!


how is that neutral?

Not to worry !I haven't made any campaign contributions lately, so I doubt whether we'll be getting permits to build those houses in the immediate future. Thus your heart should have a chance to return to its ordinary calm squish, squish before any decisions are made. Besides, nobody said anything about where the houses were to be located - being a man I confined myself to the really important topic : the contents of the refrigerators....

I used the word «neutral» in contradistinction to situations like those discussed by Tim supra, i e, in which the new blue house is one of a group of big houses, or the new big house is one of a group of blue houses, etc., which, as he pointed out, affects the order in which the adjectives are placed. According to this (ad hoc) terminology, the «neutral» case with respect to the three adjectives would be one in which no adjective enjoyed priority, i e, in which the only element common to the houses in the group is that they are all houses....


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Postby Apoclima » Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:05 pm

That is how I understood your use of "neutral," too, Henri!

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