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Results of Poll by Email No. 27

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Sunday, April 6, 2003, 1:06
        25 people responded to last week's poll, which asked, "What's your favorite
word order?" VSO was declared the sexiest word order, closely followed by
free word order. Here are the results:
        A. SVO (3 responses, 12%)
        B. SOV (3 responses, 12%)
        C. VOS (1 response, 4%)
        D. VSO (9 responses, 36%)
        E. OSV (0 responses, 0%
        F. OVS (0 responses, 0%)
        G. Free word order (6 responses, 24%)
        H. Other (Not originally part of the poll) (3 responses, 12%)

        Arnt Richard Johansen forgot that this ISN'T Slashdot when he voted for B:
"You forgot the option 'I prefer languages for which one or more of the
categories subject, object and verb are irrelevant, you insensitive clod!'."

        Mia Soderquist claims that VSO "seems most natural to my brain. There's no
explaining it, really. It's the order that makes the most sense to me on an
intuitive level."
        Likewise, Keith Gaughan wrote, "What can I say: I'm irish and I grew up with
        The most original "D" response goes to Adam Walker: " Is here one word order
never have used I  in a conlang and really want to try it out do I.  But must
find I first the time."

        Rachel Klippenstein, while voting for G, wrote: "Unless I'm playing around
with lots of other syntactic features, in which case I might like to keep it
SVO so it's intelligible to my English-speaking mind."

        H.S. Teoh wrote: "I like being unconstrained by word order, and having the
freedom to say things in the order they occur to me. Interestingly, all the
languages I grew up with are non-inflectional or minimally inflectional
(English) with rigid word orders. The very thought of free word order sounded
implausible to me then---one time, I remember someone saying that in a
Russian sentence you're allowed to move words around freely. That made me
wonder how on earth that was possible. Until one day, I took a course in
Classical Greek---and then my eyes were opened to free word order
languages. Ebisedian is, therefore, a free word order language. I like the

        While an H option was not originally available, there were a couple of good
arguments for it: Nik Taylor likes verb-second order. Mike Ellis simply has
no preference: "I try different word orders -- or really, I try to try. The
one language that sucks up all my creative energy is SOV, but I've developed
a taste for verb-initial languages and Lid(id)ric, should it ever go
anywhere, will be VSO." Christophe Grandsire, like a typical lefty (*dig*),
couldn't make up his mind: "My favourite is: H. Word order isn't free, but
changes depending on various elements (like Itakian where word order
indicates aspect :)) ). But apart from that, I'm a big fan of C. and D., with
no preference (in Chasmäöcho, I have D. but with object incorporation, so it
also looks like C. :)) . I really can't choose :)) )."

        Thanks to all who particiapted, and stay tuned for the next Poll by Email!
Oh what a tangled web they weave who try a new word to conceive!


Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>