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Re: USAGE: Classification questions

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Thursday, August 7, 2003, 3:56
Christopher Wright scripsit:

> I'd say that the fundamental order is SVO, with SOV being a relic of Latin.
Not so much a relic of Latin, as the fact that object pronouns have been made into proclitics. In French, they have arguably become prefixes, so that French now has free word order.
> I'm not familiar with Klingon, but many of the uninitiated make no > distinction between agglutinating and inflecting. Looking at a Klingon > grammar sketch (one that seems unsure of itself), it has a few > agglutinating features such as compounding verb with indirect object > pronoun.
Klingon is emphatically agglutinating: it has been described as "an exuberant Amerind-style template machine". But the subject-object agreement marker is a single marker, not two separate ones. This closely resembles the situation in Hungarian, IIRC. -- John Cowan The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions. --Thomas Henry Huxley