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To my best knowledge, an adjective cannot modify another adjective, but I cannot realize how the following sentence works:

Create a stimulating working environment is what a leader should do.

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    Consider that "working" modifies "environment" to form the nominal "working environment" which in turn is modified by "stimulating". The interpretation is thus "environment that is stimulating by the usual standards applicable to working ones. – BillJ Apr 2 at 8:42
  • @BillJ you mean stimulating is modifying (working environment)?. To be more precise something like this: (stimulating -> (working -> environment)) – en glish Apr 2 at 8:46
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    Yes: "stimulating [working environment]". Thus "stimulating" is not modifying "working", but the nominal "working environment". – BillJ Apr 2 at 8:50
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Create a stimulating working environment is what a leader should do.

The absence of a comma separating the two adjectives makes this a case of 'stacked' modification, where "working" modifies "environment" to form the nominal "working environment", and this in turn is modified by "stimulating". The interpretation is thus "environment that is stimulating by the usual standards applicable to working ones".

If there were a comma separating the two modifiers, "environment" would be modified by a coordination of adjectives, giving the meaning "environment that is both stimulating and working".

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“Stimulating” is not modifying “working” here. Stimulating and working are both modifying the noun, “environment.” It’s a stimulating environment and a working environment.

If you switched them to say “working stimulating environment,” it wouldn’t sound right.

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