Greenberg's universals for SVO
|From:||Adrian Morgan <morg0072@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, September 9, 2000, 7:06|
Marcus Smith wrote:
> case is less common, and when present, usually doesn't not follow an
> ergative pattern.
I take it the double negative is a typing error :-)
Speaking of which ... many people have probably heard the quip that
"English is a language in which a double negative is a no-no", and also
the joke about the linguistics student who, told that a double positive
cannot make a negative in any language, responded, "Yeah right!"
> Subordinate clauses are often finite (e.g., "I want he goes" rather
> than "I want him to go").
This is an easy sentence in my conlang as all the words are among the
first that I ever specified. However, transcribing it into ASCII is a
nightmare. Grammatically it's "I want, he goes" with the comma seperating
the prelude from the rest of the sentence. The word for "he" is marked to
indicate that "he goes" is a hypothetical rather than an actual event.
> Of course, as somebody pointed out in another message, universals are
> just statistics. I know of no absolute universals except things like
> "All languages have vowels".
Someone once said (speaking of programming languages, actually), "Every
language offers you a way to shoot yourself in the foot". That sounds
like a good universal to me :-)
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