A corpus investigation of the ordering of selected attributive adjectives in SlovenianVesna Plesničar
, 2021, published scientific conference contribution abstract
Abstract: The paper investigates the question of attributive adjective ordering in Slovenian against the background of the cartographic model of natural language syntax, outlined already in Rizzi (1997). According to this model, the order of adjectives within a complex noun phrase results from a hierarchy of functional projections (e.g., Cinque 1994, 2010, Scott 2002, Shlonsky 2004, Laenzlinger 2005); a proposal for how the hierarchy should be structured is given below:
DETERMINER > ORDINAL NUMBER > CARDINAL NUMBER > SUBJECTIVE COMMENT > ?EVIDENTIAL > SIZE > LENGTH > HEIGHT > SPEED > ?DEPTH > WIDTH > WEIGHT > TEMPERTURE > ?WETNESS > AGE > SHAPE > COLOR > NATIONALITY/ORIGIN > MATERIAL > COMPOUND ELEMENT > NP
(Scott 2002: 114)
The model has been very influential, but has also attracted various types of criticism, ranging from the problem of innateness, origin and plentitude to the problem of rigidity (i.a., Truswell 2009, Larson 2017, Scontras et al. 2017, 2019, Leivada and Westergaard 2019). Given the conclusions based on large databases, the concerns of corpus studies focusing on the rigidity problem seem particularly relevant (i.a., Wulff 2003, Truswell 2009, Kotowski and Hartl 2019, Trotzke and Wittenberg 2019).
Using nearly 1,2-billion-word Gigafida corpus, we conducted a study in which we check the frequency of attested orders of selected attributive adjectives of thirteen semantic categories and determine whether we can adequately predict language use if we adopt a cartographic model as a working theoretical framework, specifically the adjective hierarchy proposed in Scott (2002).
The results show that the probability of encountering an order that violates the hierarchy, compared to the probability of encountering an order that respects the hierarchy, is in general extremely small, and indicates that the order of adjectives attested in our Slovenian corpus is by-and-large compatible with the proposal that the order is governed by a hierarchy of adjective projections.
Keywords: generative grammar, cartography, attributive adjective string, language use, corpus
Published in RUNG: 08.12.2021; Views: 1147; Downloads: 0
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