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Old June 02, 2009, 07:00 AM
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brute brute is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: en el norte de Inglaterra
Posts: 526
Native Language: British English
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Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
I had started to type a response earlier, but didn't post it because I was lacking in some information.

But anyway, I agree. It seems that adjectives that describe similar features can be interchanged, but that there's still an underlying order to them. I never learned an order, so I don't know if it's a set grammatical rule, or just an artifact of how we're use to saying it. I do know an English grammar expert though, so I'll ask her.

It seems to me that the order is

[Opinion adjectives*] -> [Physical Features: Age, size, ect.] -> [Color] -> [Personal distinctions: Race, Nationality, religion, etc.].

But that leaves large gaps that maybe someone, or ourselves as a collective effort, can fill in.

Oh, and I astrix'ed the "opinion adjectives" because playing with them, you seem to be able to move them anywhere you want and it works, but some places sound better than others.
This raises another question: What is the purpose of "rules" of grammar.

Are they designed to fossilise the way a language is used?
Are they simply an attempt to classify the way a language is used?

The former inhibits the evolution of a language, the latter encourages it.

The Academie Française has always done its best to keep French as it was in the time of Molière. They now seem to be losing the battle to prevent the invasion of English.

However, the English and Spanish languages seem not to be "ruled" by their so called "rules" and have been allowed to diverge into many interesting varietions. The rules are used to describe the language and not to prescribe it.

Perhaps the francophones are scared that their language will be diluted out of existence by contamination with other more dominant languages.
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