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Re: What psychological effect does word order have in languages?

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  • Leonardo Castro
    ... All the Romance languages I know have some adjectives whose meaning is different depending on whether they precede or follow the noun. IIRC, the sense of
    Message 1 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
      2013/2/20 Matthew George <matt.msg@...>:
      > Poetic language often violates principles of grammar regarding syntax and
      > word order. I think it may be for reasons other than meter and rhyme.
      >
      > What effect does placing adjectives before the noun they describe have,
      > compared with placing them after?

      All the Romance languages I know have some adjectives whose meaning is
      different depending on whether they precede or follow the noun. IIRC,
      the sense of the adjective is always more literal, more concrete when
      it follow the noun. The following page has some nice examples of it in
      French:

      http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_fickle.htm

      > Afterwards seems like a more logical
      > method - a gradual focusing within a general field - but since you can't
      > form a mental representation in adjective-first descriptions until the noun
      > is given, perhaps it induces people to form mental images differently.
      >
      > I realize that meaning is expressed equally well either way, but there
      > might be secondary instrumental effects that vary. I'm a novice at
      > studying linguistics, and I have very limited experience with languages, so
      > I have no way of judging from experience. What do those of you who are
      > fluent in languages that follow different word orders think?

      As a native Portuguese speaker, I feel that adjectives preceding the
      noun are more free semantically. Many Brazilian cities have their name
      from Tupi whose adjectives usually follow the nouns they modify and
      whose compound words usually have very concrete meanings such as
      "yellow-headed fish" -> "fish-head-yellow" = "piracanjuba" <- "pira
      acang yuba". This reinforce my native intuition.

      >
      > Matt G.
    • George Corley
      I m largely thinking that these poetic constructions are not ungrammatical (at least, not to the poet) but merely low-frequency. It makes sense for poetry to
      Message 2 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
        I'm largely thinking that these poetic constructions are not ungrammatical
        (at least, not to the poet) but merely low-frequency. It makes sense for
        poetry to make use of less common syntactic structures, both as a way of
        playing with words and as a strategy to fulfill whatever arbitrary schema
        the poet is using (whether it be patterns of meter, rhyme, alliteration,
        etc).

        On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

        >
        > What differences, if any, exist in your reaction to "the fast red car"
        > compared to "the car fast red"?
        >

        "*the car fast red" is ungrammatical for me, absolutely no question. "The
        car, fast and red", however, is not -- though I seem to get a
        nonrestrictive reading, whereas "the fast red car" seems restrictive.
        Somewhere in there is a vast theoretical rabbit hole that I somewhat fear
        to enter.
      • Patrick Dunn
        Considering that the location of English adjectives is already a deep and dark hole, a hole deep and dark, I don t think I dare to venture there either. ... --
        Message 3 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
          Considering that the location of English adjectives is already a deep and
          dark hole, a hole deep and dark, I don't think I dare to venture there
          either.


          On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:

          > I'm largely thinking that these poetic constructions are not ungrammatical
          > (at least, not to the poet) but merely low-frequency. It makes sense for
          > poetry to make use of less common syntactic structures, both as a way of
          > playing with words and as a strategy to fulfill whatever arbitrary schema
          > the poet is using (whether it be patterns of meter, rhyme, alliteration,
          > etc).
          >
          > On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...>
          > wrote:
          >
          > >
          > > What differences, if any, exist in your reaction to "the fast red car"
          > > compared to "the car fast red"?
          > >
          >
          > "*the car fast red" is ungrammatical for me, absolutely no question. "The
          > car, fast and red", however, is not -- though I seem to get a
          > nonrestrictive reading, whereas "the fast red car" seems restrictive.
          > Somewhere in there is a vast theoretical rabbit hole that I somewhat fear
          > to enter.
          >



          --
          Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
          order from Finishing Line
          Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
          and
          Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
        • Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews
          Doesn t it depend on the conlang? Mine would have the sentence cats she had, which I think is is Ovs. ... From: Constructed Languages List
          Message 4 of 29 , Feb 20, 2013
            Doesn't it depend on the conlang?

            Mine would have the sentence cats she had, which I think is is Ovs.

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@...] On
            Behalf Of Patrick Dunn
            Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 5:16 PM
            To: CONLANG@...
            Subject: Re: What psychological effect does word order have in languages?

            One function of word order deviating from SVO -- in prose as well as poetry
            -- is to emphasize the fronted element. I suspect in good poetry that uses
            syntactic inversion, that is the likely aim. As you said before, some
            poetasters use inversion to grab a rhyme or preserve meter, in which case I
            doubt it means much at all, or has much of an effect.

            Of course, to speak of the effect of inversion requires identifying a
            period. Contemporary poets sometimes find *any* inversion in contemporary
            poetry to be ridiculous, while in the 19th C. it was as common as dirt.




            On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 6:58 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

            > Altering the word order away from the normal obviously has psychological
            > implications, then. Is it merely that it's nonstandard, or does the
            actual
            > order matter? That's what I'm trying to find out.
            >
            > Matt G.
            >



            --
            Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for
            order from Finishing Line
            Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm>
            and
            Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr
            _1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.
          • Leonardo Castro
            BTW, the word puta ( whore ) can have an exclamatory function when placed before a noun (informally): Este é um puta carro! = This is a great car! Esta
            Message 5 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
              BTW, the word "puta" ("whore") can have an exclamatory function when
              placed before a noun (informally):

              "Este é um puta carro!" = "This is a great car!"
              "Esta é uma puta conlang!" = "This is an impressive conlang!"

              In the Big Brother Brasil TV Show (sorry for mentioning it), a woman
              recently said "Eu sou uma puta mulher!" with the sense of "I'm a great
              woman!", what unavoidbly caused many people to made the obvious pun
              "Puta mulher ou mulher puta?":
              http://www.rac.com.br/index.php?id=/blogs/olha_so/materia.php&cd_matia=27530

              Até mais!

              Leonardo


              2013/2/20 Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>:
              > 2013/2/20 Matthew George <matt.msg@...>:
              >> Poetic language often violates principles of grammar regarding syntax and
              >> word order. I think it may be for reasons other than meter and rhyme.
              >>
              >> What effect does placing adjectives before the noun they describe have,
              >> compared with placing them after?
              >
              > All the Romance languages I know have some adjectives whose meaning is
              > different depending on whether they precede or follow the noun. IIRC,
              > the sense of the adjective is always more literal, more concrete when
              > it follow the noun. The following page has some nice examples of it in
              > French:
              >
              > http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_fickle.htm
              >
              >> Afterwards seems like a more logical
              >> method - a gradual focusing within a general field - but since you can't
              >> form a mental representation in adjective-first descriptions until the noun
              >> is given, perhaps it induces people to form mental images differently.
              >>
              >> I realize that meaning is expressed equally well either way, but there
              >> might be secondary instrumental effects that vary. I'm a novice at
              >> studying linguistics, and I have very limited experience with languages, so
              >> I have no way of judging from experience. What do those of you who are
              >> fluent in languages that follow different word orders think?
              >
              > As a native Portuguese speaker, I feel that adjectives preceding the
              > noun are more free semantically. Many Brazilian cities have their name
              > from Tupi whose adjectives usually follow the nouns they modify and
              > whose compound words usually have very concrete meanings such as
              > "yellow-headed fish" -> "fish-head-yellow" = "piracanjuba" <- "pira
              > acang yuba". This reinforce my native intuition.
              >
              >>
              >> Matt G.
            • Roger Mills
              ... But * Once dreary a midnight upon would have been an impossible choice for Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally). Where do you draw the
              Message 6 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
                --- On Wed, 2/20/13, Matthew Boutilier <bvticvlarivs@...> wrote:
                But *"Once dreary a midnight upon" would have been an impossible choice for
                Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally).

                Where do you draw the line between poetically grammatical and totally
                ungrammatical?
                ============================================
                When you break up constituents (as your example breaks up a prep.phrase.)

                Milton's great line:
                "Him the Almighty hurled headlong from the sky" can undergo a variety of permutations, but you have to keep "the Almighty" and "from the sky" intact, no matter where they're located.


                On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM, Daniel Burgener
                <burgener.daniel@...>wrote:

                > On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 4:56 PM, And Rosta <and.rosta@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Matthew George, On 20/02/2013 21:22:
                > >
                > >  Poetic language often violates principles of grammar regarding syntax
                > and
                > >> word order.  I think it may be for reasons other than meter and rhyme.
                > >>
                > >
                > > What sorts of principles of grammar regarding syntax and word order does
                > > it violate?
                > >
                > > Do you have examples in mind?
                > >
                > > (I think I would be inclined to say that poetic language doesn't often
                > > violate principles of grammar regarding syntax and word order.)
                > >
                > > --And.
                > >
                >
                > How about the first line of Poe's The Raven?  "Once upon a midnight
                > dreary".  In non-poetic speech that would be "a dreary midnight".
                >
                > -Daniel
                >
              • George Corley
                ... Ah, but you could say It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him headlong from . It s not even such a poetic use, it s just suggest a very
                Message 7 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
                  On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 9:28 AM, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

                  > --- On Wed, 2/20/13, Matthew Boutilier <bvticvlarivs@...> wrote:
                  > But *"Once dreary a midnight upon" would have been an impossible choice for
                  > Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally).
                  >
                  > Where do you draw the line between poetically grammatical and totally
                  > ungrammatical?
                  > ============================================
                  > When you break up constituents (as your example breaks up a prep.phrase.)
                  >
                  > Milton's great line:
                  > "Him the Almighty hurled headlong from the sky" can undergo a variety of
                  > permutations, but you have to keep "the Almighty" and "from the sky"
                  > intact, no matter where they're located.


                  Ah, but you could say "It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him headlong
                  from". It's not even such a poetic use, it's just suggest a very
                  low-frequency structure that would require a particular discourse context.
                • Matthew George
                  ... General question: would be English equivalent be bitchin ? Matt G.
                  Message 8 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
                    On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 4:40 AM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>wrote:

                    > BTW, the word "puta" ("whore") can have an exclamatory function when
                    > placed before a noun (informally):
                    >
                    > "Este é um puta carro!" = "This is a great car!"
                    > "Esta é uma puta conlang!" = "This is an impressive conlang!"
                    >

                    General question: would be English equivalent be "bitchin' "?

                    Matt G.
                  • Matthew George
                    ... But then the subject becomes the sky instead of Him . The meaning is fundamentally changed - the alteration to word order disrupts the semantics. I m
                    Message 9 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
                      On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:

                      > Ah, but you could say "It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him headlong
                      > from". It's not even such a poetic use, it's just suggest a very
                      > low-frequency structure that would require a particular discourse context.
                      >

                      But then the subject becomes "the sky" instead of "Him". The meaning is
                      fundamentally changed - the alteration to word order disrupts the semantics.

                      I'm fascinated by the possibility that people with differently-structured
                      native languages perceive preceding adjectives as having variant
                      implications. Mr. Corley thinks they're more restrictive, while Mr. Castro
                      thinks they're freer - and if their respective native tongues are English
                      and Portuguese (correct?), that's very suggestive.

                      Perhaps I should seek out some poetry in languages where either position is
                      possible and see what choices people make.

                      Matt g.
                    • George Corley
                      ... The semantics don t change. The syntax does, as do the implications for discourse (as you would only see this construction in the wild in very particular
                      Message 10 of 29 , Feb 21, 2013
                        On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg@...> wrote:

                        > On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM, George Corley <gacorley@...>
                        > wrote:
                        >
                        > > Ah, but you could say "It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him
                        > headlong
                        > > from". It's not even such a poetic use, it's just suggest a very
                        > > low-frequency structure that would require a particular discourse
                        > context.
                        > >
                        >
                        > But then the subject becomes "the sky" instead of "Him". The meaning is
                        > fundamentally changed - the alteration to word order disrupts the
                        > semantics.
                        >

                        The semantics don't change. The syntax does, as do the implications for
                        discourse (as you would only see this construction in the wild in very
                        particular discourse circumstances, such as a correction or clarification),
                        but the sentence still means the same thing. I just used the clefting
                        structure as a test.


                        > I'm fascinated by the possibility that people with differently-structured
                        > native languages perceive preceding adjectives as having variant
                        > implications. Mr. Corley thinks they're more restrictive, while Mr. Castro
                        > thinks they're freer - and if their respective native tongues are English
                        > and Portuguese (correct?), that's very suggestive.
                        >
                        > Perhaps I should seek out some poetry in languages where either position is
                        > possible and see what choices people make.
                        >

                        It seems interesting. I think one point is that both languages put
                        restrictive adjectives in the more common of the two positions (if I
                        understand the Portuguese example correctly -- it sounds similar to what
                        I've heard for Spanish).
                      • Leonardo Castro
                        ... I didn t know this expression, but, judging by Urban Dictionary definitions, yes. [...] ... Yes with regard to me. ... I guess the less common order is
                        Message 11 of 29 , Feb 22, 2013
                          2013/2/21 Matthew George <matt.msg@...>:
                          > On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 4:40 AM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>wrote:
                          >
                          >> BTW, the word "puta" ("whore") can have an exclamatory function when
                          >> placed before a noun (informally):
                          >>
                          >> "Este é um puta carro!" = "This is a great car!"
                          >> "Esta é uma puta conlang!" = "This is an impressive conlang!"
                          >>
                          >
                          > General question: would be English equivalent be "bitchin' "?

                          I didn't know this expression, but, judging by Urban Dictionary
                          definitions, yes.

                          [...]

                          2013/2/21 Matthew George <matt.msg@...>:
                          > On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >> Ah, but you could say "It was the sky that the Almighty hurled Him headlong
                          >> from". It's not even such a poetic use, it's just suggest a very
                          >> low-frequency structure that would require a particular discourse context.
                          >>
                          >
                          > But then the subject becomes "the sky" instead of "Him". The meaning is
                          > fundamentally changed - the alteration to word order disrupts the semantics.
                          >
                          > I'm fascinated by the possibility that people with differently-structured
                          > native languages perceive preceding adjectives as having variant
                          > implications. Mr. Corley thinks they're more restrictive, while Mr. Castro
                          > thinks they're freer - and if their respective native tongues are English
                          > and Portuguese (correct?

                          Yes with regard to me.

                          > ), that's very suggestive.
                          >
                          > Perhaps I should seek out some poetry in languages where either position is
                          > possible and see what choices people make.

                          I guess the less common order is always considered more "poetic". In
                          the first strophe of one of the most famous Brazilian poetic text
                          "Navio Negreiro", we see two cases of adjective preceding nouns:
                          "pleno mar" ("open sea") and "dourada borboleta" ("golden butterfly").
                          In the second one, we find "líquido tesouro" ("liquid treasure").
                          However, the following three adjective-noun follow the conventional
                          order: "abraço insano" ("insane hug"), "vibrações marinhas" ("marine
                          vibrations") and "naus errantes" ("wandering ships").
                          http://www.culturabrasil.pro.br/navionegreiro.htm

                          "Canção do Exílio", probably the most famous Brazilian poem,
                          apparently doesn't have any united adjective-noun pair:
                          http://www.stirlinglaw.com/ea/exilio.htm

                          The second most famous poem is probably the 5th part of "Navio Negreiro":

                          V

                          Senhor Deus dos desgraçados!
                          Dizei-me vós, Senhor Deus!
                          Se é loucura... se é verdade
                          Tanto horror perante os céus?!
                          Ó mar, por que não apagas
                          Co'a esponja de tuas vagas
                          De teu manto este borrão?...
                          Astros! noites! tempestades!
                          Rolai das imensidades!
                          Varrei os mares, tufão!

                          Quem são estes desgraçados
                          Que não encontram em vós
                          Mais que o rir calmo da turba
                          Que excita a fúria do algoz?
                          Quem são? Se a estrela se cala,
                          Se a vaga à pressa resvala
                          Como um cúmplice fugaz,
                          Perante a noite confusa...
                          Dize-o tu, severa Musa,
                          Musa libérrima, audaz!...

                          São os filhos do deserto,
                          Onde a terra esposa a luz.
                          Onde vive em campo aberto
                          A tribo dos homens nus...
                          São os guerreiros ousados
                          Que com os tigres mosqueados
                          Combatem na solidão.
                          Ontem simples, fortes, bravos.
                          Hoje míseros escravos,
                          Sem luz, sem ar, sem razão. . .

                          São mulheres desgraçadas,
                          Como Agar o foi também.
                          Que sedentas, alquebradas,
                          De longe... bem longe vêm...
                          Trazendo com tíbios passos,
                          Filhos e algemas nos braços,
                          N'alma — lágrimas e fel...
                          Como Agar sofrendo tanto,
                          Que nem o leite de pranto
                          Têm que dar para Ismael.

                          Lá nas areias infindas,
                          Das palmeiras no país,
                          Nasceram crianças lindas,
                          Viveram moças gentis...
                          Passa um dia a caravana,
                          Quando a virgem na cabana
                          Cisma da noite nos véus ...
                          ... Adeus, ó choça do monte,
                          ... Adeus, palmeiras da fonte!...
                          ... Adeus, amores... adeus!...

                          Depois, o areal extenso...
                          Depois, o oceano de pó.
                          Depois no horizonte imenso
                          Desertos... desertos só...
                          E a fome, o cansaço, a sede...
                          Ai! quanto infeliz que cede,
                          E cai p'ra não mais s'erguer!...
                          Vaga um lugar na cadeia,
                          Mas o chacal sobre a areia
                          Acha um corpo que roer.

                          Ontem a Serra Leoa,
                          A guerra, a caça ao leão,
                          O sono dormido à toa
                          Sob as tendas d'amplidão!
                          Hoje... o porão negro, fundo,
                          Infecto, apertado, imundo,
                          Tendo a peste por jaguar...
                          E o sono sempre cortado
                          Pelo arranco de um finado,
                          E o baque de um corpo ao mar...

                          Ontem plena liberdade,
                          A vontade por poder...
                          Hoje... cúm'lo de maldade,
                          Nem são livres p'ra morrer. .
                          Prende-os a mesma corrente
                          — Férrea, lúgubre serpente —
                          Nas roscas da escravidão.
                          E assim zombando da morte,
                          Dança a lúgubre coorte
                          Ao som do açoute... Irrisão!...

                          Senhor Deus dos desgraçados!
                          Dizei-me vós, Senhor Deus,
                          Se eu deliro... ou se é verdade
                          Tanto horror perante os céus?!...
                          Ó mar, por que não apagas
                          Co'a esponja de tuas vagas
                          Do teu manto este borrão?
                          Astros! noites! tempestades!
                          Rolai das imensidades!
                          Varrei os mares, tufão! ...
                        • Matthew George
                          I look back on the poetry discussion and am reminded of why I should not try to analyze sentence structure when very tired. Those weren t the subjects at all,
                          Message 12 of 29 , Feb 22, 2013
                            I look back on the poetry discussion and am reminded of why I should not
                            try to analyze sentence structure when very tired. Those weren't the
                            subjects at all, were they? Oh well.

                            I happened to download Conlangery #44: Negation, and found that they spent
                            some time talking about pre- and post-noun adjectives and how certain
                            languages use them to express things differently. One language has all
                            pre-adjectives being figurative and post- being literal, which dovetailed
                            nicely with previous statements here.

                            Clearly I need to do more research - I hadn't realized this was such a
                            controversial issue.

                            Matt G.
                          • Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro
                            This thread reminds me of a Latin sentence structure I cannot understand. I usually see adpositions coming either before the phrase it modifies (preposition)
                            Message 13 of 29 , Feb 23, 2013
                              This thread reminds me of a Latin sentence structure I cannot understand.

                              I usually see adpositions coming either before the phrase it modifies
                              (preposition) or after it (postposition).

                              Can someone explain me what is the role of the word "cum" in "SVMMA CVM
                              LAVDE"?
                              "Summa laude" is a noun phrase in the ablative case. Is "cum" a
                              preposition? Or a postposition?
                            • Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro
                              On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro ... A further question: Can someone show me the syntactic tree structure of this sentence?
                              Message 14 of 29 , Feb 23, 2013
                                On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro
                                <hcesarcastro@...> wrote:
                                > This thread reminds me of a Latin sentence structure I cannot understand.
                                >
                                > I usually see adpositions coming either before the phrase it modifies
                                > (preposition) or after it (postposition).
                                >
                                > Can someone explain me what is the role of the word "cum" in "SVMMA CVM
                                > LAVDE"?
                                > "Summa laude" is a noun phrase in the ablative case. Is "cum" a preposition?
                                > Or a postposition?


                                A further question: Can someone show me the syntactic tree structure
                                of this sentence?
                              • Matthew A. Gurevitch
                                Dear Conlang-L, According to what I know of Latin, in summā cum laude, the cum is a preposition that introduces an ablative of manner. With some
                                Message 15 of 29 , Feb 24, 2013
                                  Dear Conlang-L,

                                  According to what I know of Latin, in "summā cum laude," the "cum" is a preposition that introduces an "ablative of manner." With some prepositions, especially in more poetic texts, adjectives precede the preposition that introduces its related noun for stylistic reasons.

                                  I have no experience with trees, so I cannot comment on that.

                                  All my best,
                                  Matthew Gurevitch



                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro <hcesarcastro@...>
                                  To: CONLANG <CONLANG@...>
                                  Sent: Sat, Feb 23, 2013 4:45 pm
                                  Subject: Re: What psychological effect does word order have in languages?


                                  On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro
                                  <hcesarcastro@...> wrote:
                                  > This thread reminds me of a Latin sentence structure I cannot understand.
                                  >
                                  > I usually see adpositions coming either before the phrase it modifies
                                  > (preposition) or after it (postposition).
                                  >
                                  > Can someone explain me what is the role of the word "cum" in "SVMMA CVM
                                  > LAVDE"?
                                  > "Summa laude" is a noun phrase in the ablative case. Is "cum" a preposition?
                                  > Or a postposition?


                                  A further question: Can someone show me the syntactic tree structure
                                  of this sentence?
                                • Jeffrey Daniel Rollin-Jones
                                  Sent from my iPhone ... Sorry, but that s neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition, even of it were true. In Turkish, the said word order would be
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Feb 24, 2013
                                    Sent from my iPhone

                                    On 21 Feb 2013, at 15:28, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

                                    > --- On Wed, 2/20/13, Matthew Boutilier <bvticvlarivs@...> wrote:
                                    > But *"Once dreary a midnight upon" would have been an impossible choice for
                                    > Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally).
                                    >
                                    > Where do you draw the line between poetically grammatical and totally
                                    > ungrammatical?
                                    > ============================================
                                    > When you break up constituents (as your example breaks up a prep.phrase.)

                                    Sorry, but that's neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition, even of it were true. In Turkish, the said word order would be acceptable (a) because Turkish uses prepositions and (b) the numeral "bir" means "one" if it is placed before any adjectives, but "a(n)" if it is the last constituent before the noun. Furthermore, many Australian languages are non-configurational, (meaning that the elements of a constituent need not be contiguous), and Latin and Ancient Greek approach non-configurationality in poetry.

                                    Jeff
                                  • Roger Mills
                                    ... Sorry, but that s neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition, RM it is in English. I d imagine Turkish and Australian languages have their own rules to
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Feb 24, 2013
                                      --- On Sun, 2/24/13, Jeffrey Daniel Rollin-Jones <jeff.rollin@...> wrote:
                                      On 21 Feb 2013, at 15:28, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

                                      > --- On Wed, 2/20/13, Matthew Boutilier <bvticvlarivs@...> wrote:
                                      > But *"Once dreary a midnight upon" would have been an impossible choice for
                                      > Poe (unless he were writing in Turkish, incidentally).
                                      >
                                      > Where do you draw the line between poetically grammatical and totally
                                      > ungrammatical?
                                      > ============================================
                                      > When you break up constituents (as your example breaks up a prep.phrase.)

                                      Sorry, but that's neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition,

                                      RM it is in English. I'd imagine Turkish and Australian languages have their own rules to determine ungrammaticality.

                                      even of it were true. In Turkish, the said word order would be acceptable (a) because Turkish uses prepositions and (b) the numeral "bir" means "one" if it is placed before any adjectives, but "a(n)" if it is the last constituent before the noun. Furthermore, many Australian languages are non-configurational, (meaning that the elements of a constituent need not be contiguous), and Latin and Ancient Greek approach non-configurationality in poetry.

                                      Jeff
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