On the role of conjunction in adjective ordering preferences

Cesar Manuel Rosales Jr., Gregory Scontras


Adjective ordering preferences are robustly attested in English and many unrelated languages. In nominals with multi-adjective strings (e.g., big blue box), chances are the order of the adjectives is non-arbitrary. However, ordering preferences are claimed to neutralize in cases where multi-adjective strings are formed via conjunction (e.g., blue and big box). We provide empirical evidence in support of this claim, but with an important caveat: conjunction neutralizes adjective ordering preferences in languages like Spanish where multi-adjective strings obligatorily feature conjunction. In English, where multi-adjective strings optionally feature conjunction, ordering preferences persist in the presence of conjunction.


adjective ordering; subjectivity; conjunction; Spanish

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v4i1.4524

Copyright (c) 2019 Cesar Manuel Rosales Jr., Gregory Scontras

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