Thank you. Yes I understand that about living languages, but it doesn't answer my question. To be more clear on my part, is there something specific about the grammar of this sentence, or the implied context in which it is uttered, that makes it necessary or more meaningful to use "příliš mnoho mléka" rather than simply "příliš mléka"?
I think what Jeff448012 is trying to ask is: since it seems that "příliš" is sometimes used alone, when is it necessary (or customary) to add "mnoho"? Is it when speaking of buying things, or when referring to liquids, or perhaps when denying/contradicting a previous reference to the quantity? Or is it only in this specific sentence and no other?
Is this the most intuitive word order for this sentence in Czech? I'm asking because for me it sounds really strange. As I understand the sentence, someone is arguing with the person who previously claimed they bought too much milk. In that case I would imagine saying "Nekoupili jsme Příliš mnoho mléka". Or is the meaning different? Something ironic like "we bought just a little bit of milk"?
imo there is no such thing as intuitive word order. just a range of possibilities with variations of what the message is primarily about, where it started and where it is going.
the earlier the student of czech sees that there is something going on with the message depending on the word order used, the better. if we always stick to the w.o. that corresponds as near as possible to the flat reading of the english sentence, the student learns less.
and yes, there may have been a conversation about the quantity of milk that was purchased here. someone may have claimed that too much milk was bought, or that plenty of milk was bought. the speaker disagrees. (and i disagree with you that the "intuitive" order would fit that scenario better.)
i think a whole new skill on theme/rheme (topic/focus) impacts of czech w.o. in the late part of the tree might be useful.
Ok, so... I was under the impression that "jsme"--the auxiliary verb-- should be in the second position. So does "Prilis mnoho mleka" count as ONE word? Do words of quantity NOT count in regards to word count as does "ale" when it starts a sentence, etc.? It seems a better w.o. would be Nekoupili jsme prilis mnoho mleka.
"příliš mnoho mléka" is a single syntactical unit (not a single word, obviously). We could extend it further, for instance "Příliš mnoho tohohle levného polotučného mléka z Lidlu jsme nekoupili." - this time "too much of this cheap half-fat milk from Lidl" is a compact unit (an extended object of the verb) that takes up the first position, followed by the second position, which is occupied by "jsme".
It's different from words like "ale", which is a conjunction that stands outside of the clause (it connects clauses), so it practically takes up the "zeroeth" position. Unfortunately, some conjunctions (like "že" or "protože") do take up the first position.
And "Nekoupili jsme příliš mnoho mléka" is a valid word order, sure, but not "better".