Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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9.4. The order of constituents on the noun phrase level

In this section I limit myself to noun phrases (for preposition phrases see crosssection 5.3.). The grammars agree on a number of generalizations with regard to the

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`normal' position of certain categories of Attribute relative to a Head (see K.–St. II.605–11; Sz. 406–9). These generalizations are illustrated in table 9.6. Table 9.6 Position of Attributesa
Position of Attributes with regard to Heads
Type of AttributeBeforeAfter
Demonstrative pronoun+
Possessive pronoun+
`Determining' adjective+
`Qualifying' adjective+
Complex Attributeb+
Noun in the genitive+

a There is a difference of opinion as to the position of the Attribute (casu quo adjective) in Indo - European. K.-St. (II.605) concluded that according to the Indo-European rule the Attribute was traditionally placed before its noun (but see their note 2). Sz., on the other hand, remarks (406) that in Indo - European the adjective seems usually to have been placed after the noun. Rubio (1976: 20–1) assumes an order `determinans – determinatum', without the subdivisions given in table 9.6.

b See p. 83.

Furthermore, the grammars agree that Attributes with monosyllabic Heads are predominantly placed after the Head. [37] Deviation from the normal word order is possible if the Attribute has Focus function. Examples from the grammars are:

(42) altercatio … cui pro tuo studio non est alienum te interesse (`A discussion, in which you, in view of your interests, might very well participate', Cic. N.D. 1.15)

(43) nec me angoribus dedidi … nec rursum indignis homine docto voluptatibus (`I did not let myself go in sadness, or in pleasures that would be unworthy of a learned man', Cic. Off. 2.2)

One of the many problems in table 9.6 is formed by the notions `determining' [38] and `qualifying'. [39] These terms suggest that some adjectives belong to the former class and other adjectives to the latter, and that this determines the `normal' placement of those adjectives. In view of the fact, however, that all adjectives may occur both before and after a noun, it might be preferable to say that in Latin adjectives follow the Head unless pragmatic factors such as Focus cause them to be preposed. Some adjectives are – on account of their lexical meaning – more suitable candidates for Focus function than others, e.g. bonus (`good') more so than Romanus (`Roman'). Further research is required on this point. [40] Placement before or after the Head is one of the means by which an Attribute can be marked as having Focus function. Another means is discontinuity. Two examples are:

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(44) dedi … symbolum servo tuo … epistulam … :: meo tu epistulam dedisti servo? (`I gave a token to your slave, a letter. :: To my slave you gave a letter?', Pl. Ps. 1200–3)

(45) pro di immortales! tantamne unius hominis incredibilis ac divina virtus tam brevi tempore lucem adferre rei publicae potuit? (`By the immortal gods! Is it possible that one man, with his incredible and divine virtue, has brought so much good to this country in so little time?', Cic. Man. 33)

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Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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