Volume 20, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



This paper investigates the position of adjectives in noun phrases in Truku Seediq, proposing that the two documented positions correspond to different semantics as well as a difference in syntax. While post-nominal adjectives, corresponding to basic word-order in Truku Seediq, may be either restrictive or descriptive, pre-nominal adjectives, seen as an innovation, are semantically restrictive. This paper also argues for a difference in syntactic structure for both kinds of adjectives, restrictive adjectives heading their own projection while descriptive adjectives are bare adjectives standing in a closer relationship to the modified noun. This paper further identifies a syntactic constraint for pre-nominal adjectival placement that applies regardless of restrictivity of the modifier, namely the presence of a possessive clitic to the right of the modified noun. Data collection is achieved through both a traditional elicitation method and an experimental task-based method. Data are further digitalized in order to ensure systematic searchability. The data thus collected are apt to support semantic analysis as well as an investigation of age-group-related variation. It is claimed that language contact with Mandarin Chinese may be one of the triggering factors for the development of a pre-nominal position for modifying adjectives in Truku Seediq.

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