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Re: Lexical determination of word order

From:Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 19:31
For what it's worth, some years ago I worked out a
system where each word in the language would include,
in its dictionary definition, argument placeholders,
like the dummy variables in a C++ function definition.
The arguments would be attached where indicated, and
that could vary from word to word. For example, some
verbs might be defined as <S>+verb+<O> and others
might be defined <O>+verb+<S>. Likewise some nouns
might be defined as having their adjectives come
before (<adj>+noun) and some might be defined the
opposite way (noun+<adj>). There were no word order
rules for the language in general since word order
would be entirely determined by the linkageage
specified in the dictionary for each word.


--- Peter Bleackley <Peter.Bleackley@...>

> Khangaþyagon has a single, invariable word order, > VSO. Its descendent, > Mágikimnaz, had a variable word order, determined by > definiteness (definite > NPs occur before the verb, indefinites afterwards). > Most of Mágikimnaz's > descendents have found other ways of marking > definiteness, and adopted a > fixed word order - SOV, SVO, or VSO (OVS and rarely > OSV can occur as marked > word orders in some languages, but not as basic word > orders, and no > language ever uses VOS). Languages with SOV word > order generally leave > definite arguments unmarked and mark indefiniteness, > those with VSO leave > indefinite arguments unmarked and mark definiteness, > while those with SVO > either mark both or mark for definiteness on objects > and indefiniteness on > subjects.