Datapoint Papiamentu/Order of adjective and noun

Adjectives normally appear in the postnominal position. Goilo (1972: 47) points out that a handful of adjectives can be either prenominal or postnominal witout change of meaning; these include dushi 'sweet', bunita 'beatiful, fine', bon 'good'. Other prenominal modifiers are either quantifiers (e.g. delaster ‘last’, henter ‘whole’, algun ‘some’, etc.), numerals and ordinals, or belong to a small class of adjectives which have an affective interpretation in the prenominal position (Kouwenberg 2007: 324).
The enclitic plural marker nan can follow either the head noun or the postnominal adjective. Muller (1989) argues that the positional difference marks a semantic difference. Based on his discussion, it seems that where nan follows the adjective, the noun + adjective is more likely to receive a compound interpretation, whereas this is never the case where nan follows the noun; in that case, the noun(PL) + adjective is clearly phrasal.
Also of interest is his (1989: 543ff) discussion of the structural relationship between the adjective and phrasal compounds. In a N + di + N phrasal compound, the adjective may be positioned either after the first N, or after the second N. The second option results in ambiguity, such that the adjective may also be interpreted as modifying the final N only, rather than the compound.

Values

Modifying adjective follows noun Frequency: 90.0%

Example 47-11:
un hende malu; e mucha pober
un
indf
hende
person
malu;
bad
e
def
mucha
child
pober
poor
a bad person; the poor child (i.e. without wealth)

Source: Kouwenberg 2007d: 324

Example 47-12:
mucha chikitu
mucha
child
chikitu
small
small children
Example 47-13:
e palabra difisilnan/ e palabranan difisil
e
def
palabra
word
difisil
difficult
nan/
pl
e
def
palabra
word
nan
pl
difisil
difficult
the difficult words

Source: Muller 1989a: 73

Example 47-14:
un palu di mango grandi/ un palu grandi di tamarein
un
indf
palu
tree
di
of
mango
mango
grandi/
large
un
indf
palu
tree
grandi
large
di
of
tamarein
tamarind
a large mango tree; a tree bearing large mangos/ a large tamarind tree

Source: Muller 1989b: 545f

Confidence:
Very certain

Modifying adjective precedes noun Frequency: 10.0%

Example 47-10:
un mal hende; e pober mucha
un
indf
mal
bad
hende;
person
e
def
pober
poor
mucha
child
a bad person; the poor child (arousing pity)

Source: Kouwenberg 2007d: 324

Confidence:
Very certain