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THEORY: word-order

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Friday, December 24, 2004, 6:23
On Tuesday 14 Dec 2004 08:06, Chris Bates wrote:
> >That is my impression as well. Either order would work, though -- "to > >pnevma einai ayio" would be the usual form (the spirit is holy), but > >"ayio einai to pnevma" would correspond, as in English, to the marked > >(for emphasis or style) "holy is the spirit". > > Don't you just love "free" word order languages? Out of interest, how > many people have current conlangs with word order determined by > pragmatics rather than a fixed word order?
I'm not sure how one could objectively classify languages into "free" word-order languages, and "strict" word-order languages. Some otherwise very similar languages have very different attitudes towards branchedness and word-order. Turkish and Georgian, e.g., are both highly left-branching languages, and both have extensive case marking to identify NPs' roles, but Turkish is said to be very strictly SOV, while Georgian does sometimes, sometimes not. Phaleran tends more to be like Georgian in this respect; it's nonconfigurational, and can throw things around in really wild orders. (See my earlier post on binding and anaphora for some examples.) C'ali, on the other hand, tends strongly to VSO order, with focused or topicalized NPs coming initially sometimes. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637