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"the Asymmetrical SVO Middle Path" ;) (was Re: Branching typologies)

From:J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...>
Date:Friday, September 28, 2001, 17:42
In a message dated 27.09.2001 08:28:46 AM, bc_@MAIL.RU writes:

>On Wed, 26 Sep 2001 14:42:35 -0500, Thomas R. Wier ><trwier@...> wrote: > >>I'm curious: what is the most common branching typology for our >>conlangs?
Tr:pang is neither predominately right- or left-branching SVO. I am interested in utilizing the implicational universals theories of HSP (Heaviness Serialization Principle) & MP (Mobility Principle) [see Hawkins book cited below]. Briefly, HSP (Heaviness Serialization Principle) postulates left'n'right-branchin' asymmetry - that light modifiers prefer a left-branching, heavy modifiers right-branching. Light modifiers tend to be demonstratives & numerals/number-classifiers, various grammatical particles, etc.; heavy modifiers tend to be adjectives, relative clauses, etc.. Intermediate modifiers - havin' neither enough lightness or heaviness - can conceivably shift either direction - syntactically and/or historically... hence the Mobility Principle! Vive _mutatis mutandi_!!!! I very much like calling this combination of HSP and MP "the Asymmetrical SVO Middle Path" ;) it pretty much sums it up & it's easier than sayin' all that other long-winded, overly technical stuff... *gigglabyte*... ::straightens self up, gets serious:: The above branching typology ideas I gleaned from _Word Order Universals_ by John A. Hawkins, Quanitive Analyses of Linguistic Structure Series, Academic Press, 1983 [this maybe O.P. - outta print]. It is one of the best post-Greenberg typology book I have encountered, but quite dense [academically wordy] in places. Also the very best -current & easily readable- book in print regarding typology (as well as morphology) I have had the wisdom to acquire was a book suggested by members of this esteemed email list: _Describing Morphosyntax: A guide for Field Linguists_ by Thomas E. Payne, Cambridge University Press, 1997, reprinted 1999. One can just go through this book and make a conlang ;) Esp'ly since it has much & many examples from non-Indo-European languages!!! All I wish for now is a good comparative multilingual dictionary with words in more than 50 languages, esp'ly non-European languages like Sanskrit, Pali, Bahasa Indonesian/Malay, Maori, etc.. - with decent Romanization(s), phonetic spelling & IPA. But I'd settle for a good comparative dictionary of Indo-European languages (Latin and its descendants, Greek, Sanskrit, Prakrit - esp'ly Pali, etc.) with basic Romanization(s), phonetic spelling & IPA... and a big bonus would be lil brief linguistic histories. czHANg