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Variabilität in der Wortfolge. Eine Korpusanalyse zu polnischen Adjektiv-Substantiv-Konstruktionen

Christina Clasmeier

Pages 75 - 105


In Polish noun phrases, adjectives may precede the noun (AN) or follow it (NA), such as in grzecznyA człowiekN ‘polite person’ and falaN dźwiękowaA ‘sound wave’. The bulk of the literature on this issue is theoretical in nature and discusses semantic factors determining adjective placement for different types of constructions, as well as specific conditions (syntactical context, information structure) that result in deviations from this default word order. In contrast, this study is based on a quantitative analysis of AN and NA constructions in the Polish National Corpus and aims to evaluate the amount of word order variability within the same adjective–noun combination. For this purpose, 737 randomly chosen constructions were analyzed with regard to the frequency of their occurrences in AN and NA. Unexpectedly, more than one-third of the constructions appear in more or less balanced proportions, indicating that variability of word order plays a much bigger role than previously assumed.


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