ERIC Number: ED217718
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Teaching the Order of Adjectives in the English Noun Phrase.
Ney, James W.
A number of studies on the order of adjectives in the English noun phrase are reviewed. Analysis of the studies and examples used in them indicates that almost any order of adjective seems to be possible depending on the intended meaning of the speaker or the situation in which the speaker frames an utterance. To see if in fact the ordering of adjectives is semantically based, and to determine if there is a set order for adjectives in the English noun phrase, three questionnaires were designed and administered to more than 100 students attending Arizona State University. Three groups of students were represented: upperclass and graduate students, freshmen, and foreign students. Some of the results indicate that: (1) students are not sure of the order of adjectives that do not occur very frequently in the language; (2) some phrases are so ordered because they exist as the habitual form of the phrase, for example, "old gray mare"; (3) the questionnaire that compared student preferences with those of a linguist did not indicate a widespread degree of support for the linguist's ordering. The evidence in the questionnaires would seem to indicate that all rules are subject to variation in the speech of native speakers. (AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (16th, Honolulu, HI, May 1-6, 1982).