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Abstract

This paper focusses on the conceptualising function of Scottish Gaelic preposed adjectives (i.e., AN vs. NA phrases). A combined analysis of a corpus study and interviews with native speakers was applied in the research which underlies the article. Preposed adjectives are often encountered with abstract concepts, verbal nouns, or with words with more complex semantics in general, while plain adjectives tend to qualify more tangible, countable nouns, such as people or objects, as well as pronouns. The plain adjective dona ‘bad’ often conveys criticism, and aosta/sean ‘old’ tend to refer to biological (or physical) age. The paper also addresses similarities with other languages.

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