The Ranking and Interaction of Mollin’s Constraints in Persian Irreversible Binomials

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Candidate in linguistics, University of Isfahan , Isfahan, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor in Linguistics, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

3 Associate Professor in Linguistics, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.


The term “binomials” in the literature refers to the sequence of two words pertaining to the same form-class, and ordinarily connected by some kind of lexical link. In this term, “nomi” (which means “name”) doesn’t refer to names only, but it is a cover term and can refer to names, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and conjunctions. One important point in binomials relates to the order of constituents. In this regard, there is a model called Constraints’ Model which was proposed by Mollin (2014). The Constraints’ Model has some constraints which determine the order of constituents in binomials. The constraints of this model are: semantic-pragmatic constraints, nonmetrical-phonological constraints, metrical-phonological constraints, and frequency and alphabetic order constraints. The constraints in the model compete with each other to determine the order of constituents in the binomials. In this model, there is the possibility that one constraint can determine the order of constituents in some binomials, but it is possible that it can’t determine the order of constituents in all binomials. The reason for separating these four constituents from each other is that they have differences from each other. In this model, the constituents interact with each other and they have often significant correlations with each other. The paper aims to analyze Persian binomials based on Constraints’ Model and to determine their interactions with each other and finally to rank the constraints. To do the research, the data, including 534 Persian binomials, were analyzed based on Constraints’ Model.  Then the model’ constraints were ranked according to Persian binomials, finally the competition and interaction of the constraints were determined in the Persian language. The results showed that non-metrical-phonological constraints can explain the most of Persian binomials, so they rank first, but semantic-pragmatic constraints can explain the least of Persian binomials, so they rank last.


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Volume 11, Issue 1
October 2020
Pages 119-140
  • Receive Date: 14 August 2018
  • Revise Date: 19 July 2020
  • Accept Date: 05 September 2020
  • First Publish Date: 05 September 2020