word order of adjectives
|From:||Tommie L Powell <tommiepowell@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, August 26, 2003, 0:35|
I notice that, in every language I'm familiar with (even if its grammar
doesn't ever require a sentence's words to follow any word-order rules),
any group of adjectives that modify a particular noun are ordinarily
arranged in a particular order. For example, in English, we may speak of
a BIG OLD RED CAR (or house or whatever), but people do a double-take if
we say OLD BIG RED CAR or BIG RED OLD CAR or OLD RED BIG CAR or RED OLD
BIG CAR or RED BIG OLD CAR (or house or whatever). So it seems that size
beats age and color, and that age beats color, somewhere in the brains of
This also holds where only two adjectives are involved. It's normally a
BIG OLD CAR (not an OLD BIG CAR), or an OLD RED CAR (not a RED OLD CAR),
or a BIG RED CAR (not a RED BIG CAR).
Has anybody here considered this matter? If so, what are your thoughts?