A Position on Classifying and Qualifying Adjectives Revisited

Jadwiga Linde-Usiekniewicz


This work is sequel to my paper on the controversy concerning the appropriate syntactic and semantic account of the distinction between classificatory and qualifying adjectives in Polish (Linde-Usiekniewicz 2013). It develops the lines of inquiry suggested therein, mainly the claim that differences between the pre-nominal and post-nominal attributive syntax can only be adequately explained when the lexical meaning of the head noun and the attribute are taken into account – specifically, in the case of relational adjectives, the actual semantic relation between the head noun and the adjective. The interplay between the lexical meanings and the meanings imposed by syntactic order is presented within Encoding Grammar, a multi-layered framework devised in Linde-Usiekniewicz (2012). In particular, postposing of lexically qualitative adjectives and preposing of relational adjectives is presented as a type of coercion, in which the meaning imposed by syntax overrides the lexical meaning of the adjective. The possibilities for and restrictions on the order of multiple adjectives occurring within a noun phrase is explained by proposing a distinction between adjectives that saturate argument positions of the head noun, as in produkcja samochodowa ‘car production’, and adjectives that correspond to adjuncts, as in wycieczka samochodowa ‘car trip’ (cf. Bosque and Picallo 1996). A more fine-grained hierarchy within each class is proposed to account for possible noun—adjective(s) permutations.

Słowa kluczowe

adjective order in Polish, classifying adjectives, relational adjectives, qualifying adjectives, coercion, Encoding Grammar

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