Datapoint Italian / Order of Adjective and Noun

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One Response to “Datapoint Italian / Order of Adjective and Noun”

  1. Delvecchio Simone Says:

    Italian language have not a dominant “noun-adjective” word order for qualifying adjectives, Italian language uses the word order for focus.
    For example in Italian both
    1a) “Quella è una grande casa.”
    pronoun-V-article-adjective-noun
    “Quell-a è [un-a grand-e cas-a].”
    S -V-[ O ]
    (that-F.SG COP.3.SG.PRES.IND INDEF.ART-F.SG big-SG house-F.SG)
    “That is a big house.” and
    1b) “Quella è una casa grande.”
    pronoun-V-article-noun-adjective
    “Quell-a è [un-a cas-a grand-e].”
    S -V-[ O ]
    (that-F.SG COP.3.SG.PRES.IND INDEF.ART house-F.SG big-SG)
    “That is a big house.”
    are widely used.
    In the (1a) word order, in the object of the copula the focus is on the adjective “grande”,
    while in (1b) word order, in the object of the copula the focus is on the noun “casa”,
    in this example the “adjective-noun” word order is more common.
    An example with the noun “colore”/”color”
    (2a) “Quella casa è gialla di colore.
    adjective-noun-adjective-prep-noun
    “[Quell-a cas-a] è [giall-a] [di color-e]”
    “[ S ]-V-[ O ]-[X ]”
    (this-F.SG house-F.SG COP.3.SG.PRES.IND yellow-F.SG GEN colour-M.SG)
    “That house is yellow.”
    (2b) “Quella casa è di colore giallo.
    adjective-noun-V-prep-noun-adjective
    “[Quell-a cas-a] è [di color-e] [giall-o]”
    [ S ]-V-[X ]-[ O ]
    (this-F.SG house-F.SG COP.3.SG.PRES.IND GEN colour-M.SG yellow-M.SG)
    “That house is yellow.”
    (2c) “Quella casa è giallo canarino di colore.
    adjective-noun-adjective phrase(noun-noun)-prep-noun
    “[Quell-a cas-a] è [giall-o=canarin-o] [di color-e]”
    “[ S ]-V-[ O ]-[X ]”
    (this-F.SG house-F.SG COP.3.SG.PRES.IND yellow-M.SG=canary-M.SG GEN colour-M.SG)
    “That house is canary-yellow colour.”
    (2c) “Quella casa è di color giallo canarino.
    adjective-noun-V-prep-noun-adjective phrase(noun-noun)
    “[Quell-a cas-a] è [di color-Ø] [giall-o=canarin-o]”
    [ S ]-V-[X ]-[ O ]
    (this-F.SG house-F.SG COP.3.SG.PRES.IND GEN colour-M.SG yellow-M.SG=canary-M.SG)
    “That house is yellow.”
    Only a limited set of nouns or adjectives have a fixed word order, for example a subgroup of nouns, when with a colour adjective, need to use the noun by first because otherwise it forms an adjective phrase representing a shape of that colour.
    (3a) “(un) tulipano rosa”
    (article)-noun-adjective
    “(un-Ø) tulipan-o rosa”
    ((ART-M.SG) tulip-M.SG pink)
    “(a) pink tulip”
    (3b) “rosa tulipano”
    adjective phrase(noun-noun)
    “[color-Ø] rosa tulipan-o”
    ([colour-M.SG] pink tulip-M.SG)
    “tulip-pink [colour]”
    A noun not pertaining to this category is “rosa”
    (4a) “una rosa rossa.”
    article-adjective-noun
    ⟨un-a ròṡ-a róss-a⟩
    /u.na ˈrɔ˧˩.zä˨ ˈros˧˥.sa˦/.
    (ART-F.SG rose-F.SG red-F.SG)
    “a red rose”
    (4b) “una rossa rosa.”
    article-noun-adjective
    ⟨un-a róss-a ròṡ-a⟩
    /u.na ˈros˦˥.sa˦ ˈrɔ˨˩.zä˩/.
    (ART-F.SG red-F.SG rose-F.SG)
    “a red rose”
    (4c) “una rosa rosa.”
    article-noun-adjective or
    ⟨un-a ròṡ-a ròṡ-a⟩
    /u.na ˈrɔ˧˥.zä˦ ˈrɔ˧˨.zä˨/
    (ART-F.SG rose-F.SG pink-F.SG)
    article-adjective-noun
    ⟨un-a ròṡ-a ròṡ-a⟩
    /u.na ˈrɔ˨˩.zä˨ ˈrɔ˨˧.zä˧/
    (ART-F.SG pink-F.SG rose-F.SG)
    “a pink rose”
    In case (4c) only intonation determines which word is the noun and which is the adjective.
    The following (5a) is a fixed noun phrase where the “noun-adjective” word order is not allowed:
    5a) “Sacro Romano Impero”
    adjective2-adjective1-noun
    “Sacr-o Roman-o Imper-o”
    (Holy-M.SG Roman-M.SG Empire-M.SG)
    “Holy Roman Empire”
    Examples (6a) and (6b) are examples where different word orders have different meanings with the same noun and adjective
    6a) “Ho un unico amico.”
    V-article-adjective-noun
    “[io] H-o un-Ø unic-o amic-o”
    ([I.NOM] Have.SG.PRES.IND-1.SG one-M.SG only-M.SG friend-M.SG)
    “[I] have only one friend.”
    6b) “Ho un amico unico.”
    V-article-noun-adjective
    “[io] H-o un-Ø amic-o unic-o”
    ([I.NOM] Have.SG.PRES.IND-1.SG ART.IND-M.SG friend-M.SG unique-M.SG)
    “[I] have a unique/single friend.”
    The focus is also the reason why in chapter 82 (map 82A. Order of Subject and Verb) the Italian language has “no dominant order” (both SV and VS in intransitive clauses with auxiliary verb “essere”).
    For the same reason the Italian language has “no dominant order” also for chapter 84 (map 84A. Order of Object, Oblique and Verb) (both XSO and SOX are dominant, while SXO is allowed but not dominant).

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