In early 1920's, based on an investigation into a large number of languages, Otto Behaghel formulated a law accounting for the ordering of elements in juxtapositions. When the elements that are linked are of the same level, a shorter one tends to precede a longer one (where length is usually measured in syllables). Behaghel observed further that this basic order can only be reversed for semantic reasons. In this paper, the validity of Behaghel's law is tested against data from Polish. The analysis comprises compounds, appositions, and most of all, proper names which are combinations of the first name and surname. The data analyzed here corroborate some of Behaghel's claims.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.