Greenbergian Word Order Correlations and the Principle of Head Proximity
The Principle of Head Proximity is an interpretation of the word order facts in which languages are classified as V-1 (V-initial), SVO, or SOV. There is a general tendency across languages to avoid having adjectives (A) and possessor NPs (G) between the head of the noun phrase (N) and the head of the clause (V). In the V-1 and SOV languages, a possessor NP (G) is only permitted in between heads V and N if an adjective can appear there as well. This chapter discusses languages in which adjectives do not normally appear next to the noun, which runs counter to the first hypothesis formulated on the basis of the Principle of Head Proximity: noun-adjective adjacency. The second hypothesis concerns the position of modifiers relative to the noun.
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