Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier Dept. of Linguistics "Nihil magis praestandum est quam ne pecorum ritu University of Chicago sequamur antecedentium gregem, pergentes non qua 1010 E. 59th Street eundum est, sed qua itur." -- Seneca Chicago, IL 60637