The Principle of Scope

J. Rijkhoff

in The Noun Phrase

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780198237822
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706776 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory

The Principle of Scope

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According to the Principle of Scope, the semantic distance of grammatical and lexical modifiers relative to the head in the underlying structure is iconically reflected in the actual linguistic expression. Modifiers tend to occur next to the part of the expression that they have in their scope. This principle predicts — implicitly — that constituents that are in the scope of a certain modifier (that is, elements that are part of the same layer in the underlying noun phrase structure) are expressed in a continuous sequence. It also predicts — explicitly — that operators and satellites occur immediately before or after the material they have in their scope. This chapter discusses the relative order of modifiers in non-complex noun phrases and the position of embedded modifiers, along with free nominal aspect markers and adjectives. It also examines the relative order of demonstrative, numeral, adjective, and noun in those languages in which the three modifiers are always free, fully integrated constituents of the noun phrase.

Keywords: Principle of Scope; head; lexical modifiers; noun phrase; operators; satellites; embedded modifiers; nominal aspect markers; adjectives

Chapter.  9783 words. 

Subjects: Semantics

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