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In one Wikipedia page I read this definition:

The zemsky sobor was the first Russian parliament of the feudal Estates type, in the 16th and 17th centuries.

I don't understand, why is there no hyphen between feudal and Estates? Is there any rule that would regulate the usage of hyphens in such cases?

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Thank you, RegDwight. I should have researched more before posting. –  brilliant Apr 20 '11 at 14:13
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The usage of a hyphen in this case is not clear-cut, and there isn't a rule which absolutely dictates what should be done in this scenario.

To me, at least, the quoted text is difficult to understand. I would have put in a hyphen.

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Whereas to me, the hyphenated text is difficult to understand (because I'm now looking for a non-standard meaning, because I'm like that :-). There's no clear winner, as you say. –  user1579 Apr 20 '11 at 15:44
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