Adjectiv-ized verbs and their order in a sentence
today I came over this sentence in a Spanish textbook:
A los 22 años, terminada la carrera, se trasladó a Nueva York...
I am wondering about the 'terminada la carrera' part here. Since it is the past participle, I guess it would be translated like something like "At 22 years, her studies [being] ended, she went to New York..." i.e. 'terminada' works like an adjective here.
If so, well and good. However, I am wondering about the order of the words here. Usually in Spanish you have noun-adjective. There are exceptions, of course, but I cannot see how this sentence 'qualifies' for any of the exceptions that I have read about.
Does anyone have any insight on this? If so, thanks in advance!
I think the issue is that it's not a noun-adjective pair, but rather a (somewhat elided) clause. Look at your own translation, "...her studies [being] ended, she went to New York." If "ended" was part of a noun-adjective pair, you would have used the normal English adjective-noun order, saying "her ended studies, she went to New York," which is obviously wrong. (This is slightly easier to follow if you use "her face [being] red" and "her red face," avoiding the abstract noun and the adjective derived from verb.) In Spanish you can put the subject after the verb, so the clause can be written as an independent sentence as "Es terminada la carrera." More on that here: http://spanish.about.com/od/word-order/a/verb-before-subject.htm
I could be wrong, but I see stuff like this all the time, and I think it's just a stylistic thing, just like if the subject comes after the verb sometimes. If you put it the other way around, it just doesn't sound as pleasing: "la carrera terminada." "The ended career" versus what they're trying to say, which is, "At 22 years, her career ended, she..." (Or studies or whatever carerra is in this context.)