Re: Word order
|From:||Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 7, 2002, 3:38|
Quoting Tim May <butsuri@...>:
> At present, it's basically SOV, with postpositions. It also has a
> general principle that modifier follows modified (suffixation,
> head-first compounds). But this seems to be a fairly unusual
> situation. LC-01 doesn't have adjectives (as distinct from verbs) but
> if it did, they'd follow the noun. The only SOV language in Campbell
> where the adjective regularly follows the noun is Tibetan (which has
> both head first and head last compounds).
> So, why is this the case? I've heard people talking about
> left-branching and right-branching languages, but I don't really
> understand the theoretical interpretation of this.
As I said in my last post, this is not so much of a problem as
it may sound. The two largest languages in the world in terms
of population, Mandarin and English, are both predominantly
right-branching languages with the peculiarity that adjectives
precede the nouns they modify. The terms "right-branching"
and "left-branching" are only meant as indicators of a general
tendency, not as absolutes.
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