1

I want to refrain from using an adjectival phrase because I would prefer to avoid any confusion ('Governorate-generals were headed by governors-general appointed by monarchs whose job was to keep an eye on governors under their supervision,' it's not clear whether it was monarchs' or governors-general's job).

2

"Monarch-appointed" is perfectly fine as a compound adjective. However, "prime minister" is not a compound adjective and should be written without the hyphen.

Another possibility to avoid the ambiguity you described is:

Governorate-generals were headed by governors-general appointed by monarchs, and their job was to keep an eye on governors under their supervision.

  • Thanks, but your suggestion is not much better. It's still not 100% clear whether 'their' refers to 'monarchs' or 'governors-general' – Sergey Zolotarev Nov 17 '19 at 11:32
  • @SergeyZoloratev Actually, it should technically refer to "governorate-generals," the subject of the first clause. So your choice probably is the best. – TypeIA Nov 17 '19 at 11:55

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