Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: CHAT: (no subject)

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, August 22, 2002, 16:26
Quoting John Cowan <jcowan@...>:

> Message from Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>, forwarded by request: > > Here's something I've been puzzling over for a while. Are > there any languages which have different word orders on a consistant > basis for transitive and intransitive verbs? Enamyn is currently APV > / SV (although with a wide range of permitted variations), but I would > like to change it to APV / VS. I can think of some marginal examples > in English; for instance, "Here comes the bus," but most intransitive > English sentences are SV, rather than VS. So are there any natlangs > (or conlangs, for that matter) that have a significant difference in > order between transitive and intransitive sentences?
Off the top of my head, I can't think of any good examples of this, but I seem to remember reading about something along these lines in _Linguistic Diversity in Space and Time_, by Johanna Nichols. The book is a must-have for anyone really interested in language typology and IMO is in some ways much more insightful than Comrie's book _Language Universals and Linguistic Typology_. Nichols' book is somewhat hard to read, though: in her attempt to be rigorous, she cites lots of raw statistical data which can bring on the kind of eye-glaze you can get while reading Kant. But from that statistical data, taken from 174 languages, she draws many interesting conclusions, especially about head-marking and dependent-marking languages, many of which are not what traditional typology would have us believe. I think anyone in this group interested in what's a possible human language would benefit from reading it. At, you can read some of it yourself: < 1/ref=sr_1_1/102-2002805-7868925> ========================================================================= 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