Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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The paper provides a quantitative study (on the syntax) of the placement alternation for the adjective within the noun phrase in French. Taking the hypothesis that position constraints are mostly preferential as a starting point, we develop a methodology based on statistical inference in order to provide a formal account of the relative importance of three different groups of constraints: combinatorial, frequency and length, and lexical constraints. The study highlights the clear importance of lexical constraints for deciding the effective position of the adjective within the noun phrase. We conclude the paper by bringing some elements of discussion for two issues: the interaction between lexicon and grammar (or storage versus computation) and the underlying methodology for a probability-based study of syntax.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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