Adjective ordering in Tagalog: A cross-linguistic comparison of subjectivity-based preferences

Suttera Samonte, Gregory Scontras


Previous studies have shown that speakers have robust adjective ordering preferences. For example, in English, big red apple is strongly preferred to red big apple. Recently, Scontras et al. (2017) showed that an adjective’s distance from the noun it modifies is best predicted by the adjective’s subjectivity, with less subjective adjectives preferred closer to the modified noun. However, this finding was limited to English. The current study investigates the status of subjectivity-based adjective ordering preference in Tagalog, a language that forms its modification structures with the conjunction-like LINKER particle. Using Tagalog translations of the original English materials, we show that subjectivity predicts ordering preferences in Tagalog, as it does in English.


Tagalog; adjective ordering; linker; subjectivity

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Copyright (c) 2019 Suttera Samonte, Gregory Scontras

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