Phrase Word Orders and Branching
The order of constituents in a phrase can vary as much as the order of constituents in a clause. Normally, the noun phrase and the adpositional phrase are investigated. Within the noun phrase, one investigates whether the following modifiers occur before or after the head noun.
- adjective (red house vs house red)
- determiner (this house vs house this)
- numeral (two houses vs houses two)
- possessor (my house vs house my)
- relative clause (the by me built house vs the house built by me)
Within the adpositional clause, one investigates whether the languages makes use of prepositions (in London), postpositions (London in), or both (normally with different adpositions at both sides).
There are several common correlations between sentence-level word order and phrase-level constituent order. For example, SOV languages generally put modifiers before heads and use postpositions. VSO languages tend to place modifiers after their heads, and use prepositions. For SVO languages, either order is common.
For example, French (SVO) uses prepositions (dans la voiture, à gauche), and places adjectives after (une voiture spacieuse). However, a small class of adjectives generally go before their heads (une grande voiture). On the other hand, in English (also SVO) adjectives almost always go before nouns (a big car), and adverbs can go either way, but initially is more common (greatly improved). (English has a very small number of adjectives that go after their heads, such as "extraordinaire", which kept its position when it was borrowed from French.)
Read more about this topic: Word Order
Famous quotes containing the words branching, orders, phrase and/or word:
“The moose will, perhaps, one day become extinct; but how naturally then, when it exists only as a fossil relic, and unseen as that, may the poet or sculptor invent a fabulous animal with similar branching and leafy horns ... to be the inhabitant of such a forest as this!”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Punishment may make us obey the orders we are given, but at best it will only teach an obedience to authority, not a self-control which enhances our self-respect.”
—Bruno Bettelheim (20th century)
“Mormon colonization south of this point in early times was characterized as going over the Rim, and in colloquial usage the same phrase came to connote violent death.”
—State of Utah, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“The word infant derives from Latin words meaning not yet speaking. It emphasizes what the child cannot do and reflects the babys total dependence on adults. The word toddler, however, demonstrates our change in perspective, for it focuses on the childs increased mobility and burgeoning independence.”
—Lawrence Kutner (20th century)