w11a Order A--PN in object position

Untitled Document

    Order of proper names and adjectives in object position

    There are two property definitions for relative order of proper names and adjectives in object position:

    adjectives precede proper names (Order A--PN), adjectives follow proper names (Order PN--A)

w11a: Order A--PN

This property is set to "yes" if the language has the order Adjective--Proper Name in object position

Elicitation contexts

I invited (the) old John
I saw (the) little Mary


  1. The proper name must be modified by an adjective: only test adjectives like old, little, young, nice, beautiful...
  2. If the above adjectives can be prenominal or postnominal in your language, test each position keeping the adjective same.
  3. [ More contexts]

Additional instructions

  1. This property applies only to proper names (I saw Mary), not to definite singular count nouns (I saw the girl)
  2. Please, do NOT use kinship nouns (like mum, dad, …) to test this property
  3. If there is more than one object position in your language, test this property for each position.
  4. If you notice any difference between affirmative and negative contexts (i.e. I saw the old John vs. I didn’t see the old John), please comment (or contact us).

NB: A “yes” value for this property does not exclude a yes value for property “ w11b Order PN--A”



English is “yes” for this property. It has the order Adjective--Proper Name in object position.

(i)     I saw (the) little Mary


Italian is “yes” for this property. It has the order Adjective--Proper Name in object position

(i) ho incontrato il vecchio Gianni
have.1S.PR met the.M.S old.M.S John
I met the old John


Modern Greek is “yes” for this property. It has the order Adjective--Proper Name in object position.

(i) sinàndisa ton jèro Jànni
meet.PST.1S the.ACC.SING old.ACC.SING John
I met old John


Basque is “no” for this property. The order Adjective--Proper Name is excluded in object position.

(i) *zaharra John ezagutu dut
old.ART John meet AUX
Intended:I met old John

Basque has the order Proper Name—Adjective only.

(ii) John zaharra ezagutu dut
John old.ART meet AUX
I met old John

Contributed by: Cristina Guardiano and Hilda Koopman
Language Value Contributor Comments
   Ancient Greek Yes Cristina Guardiano
   Armenian (Eastern) Yes Sona Haroutyunian
   Basaa Yes Paul Roger Bassong
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
   Cantonese (Guangzhou) No Zixian Qiu
   Cypriot Greek Yes Marios Andreou
   Danish Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Dutch Yes Hilda Koopman
   English Yes the property authors
   Faroese Yes Hjalmar Páll Petersen eg møtti teirri fittu Mariu 'I met the nice Mary'
   French (Ivorian) Yes Akpoué Josué
   Greek Yes Dimitris Michelioudakis
   Greek (Calabria) Yes Cristina Guardiano
+ Greek (Cappadocian) Yes Petros Karatsareas
  Words: traná páno so kaváx θorí to anastasía (Kostakis 1962: 181)
  Gloss: look.PRS.3SG SUP LOC.DEF.SG.ACC poplar_tree.SG.ACC see.PRS.3SG DEF.SG.ACC PN.SG.ACC
  Translation: he looks on the poplar tree and sees Anastasia
  Contributor: Petros Karatsareas
   Greek (Homer) Yes Cristina Guardiano
   Hebrew (Biblical) NA Massimo Gargiulo
   Italian Yes Cristina Guardiano
   Italian (Reggiano) Yes Giovanni Roversi
   Korean Yes Shin-Sook Kim
+ Kusaal No Hasiyatu Abubakari
  Words: *n sa nyɛ pυanyaŋ la Asibi
  Gloss: 1sg PRT see woman-old DEF Asibi
  Translation: I saw Asibi, the old lady
  Contributor: Hasiyatu Abubakari
+ Latin Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words: avi proavique (...) divum Iulium apud Alesiam obsederint
  Gloss: gf.NOM.PL ggf.NOM.PL (...) divine.ACC.SG Iulium.ACC.PL at Alessia besieged
  Translation: grandfathers and great-grandfathers (...) besieged the divine Julius at Alessia (Tac.Ann.11.23.16)
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   Portuguese Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Romanian Yes Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian Yes Nina Radkevich
   Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
+ Spanish Yes Alejandro Rodriguez
  Words: Ví a la hermosa Maria
  Gloss: See.PST.1SG to the.F beautiful Mary
  Translation: I saw the beautiful Mary
  Contributor: Alejandro Rodriguez
+ Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
  Words: i. *so nkuntratə vikkjə dʒuvannə ii. *so nkuntratə bellə Markə
  Gloss: i. be.1SG met old.SG.M Gianni ii. be.1SG met beautiful.SG.M Marco
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
   Tupi (Ancient) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish Yes Sozen Ozkan
   Vietnamese No Jimmy Nguyen
   Wuhu Chinese Yes Zhuo Chen