OVS langs (was: Star Trek (was RE: Star Trek)
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Friday, May 19, 2006, 12:34|
Jean-François Colson wrote:
>>>Is there really a human language somewhere on the planet
>>>that's OVS? Where? How widely spoken?
> Occasionally Esperanto. For example here is a phrase I remember from Kajto's CD Procesio
> La momenton de retiriĝo (object) devas scii (verb) la ludist (subject)
> But does that count? Eo has a rather free word order.
No, it does not count. Such word orders are bound to occur in languages
with free word order. In Vergil's Eclogues we find: 'Omnia vincit amor'
= 'Love conquers everything'.
If the direct object is fronted, as it may be, in a German or Welsh,
then we _must_ have OVS word order.
If we extended the description 'OVS language' to include any language
where the order OVS _may_ occur, then we would almost certainly have a
few thousand. But this is not the normal, unmarked word order of those
When we label a language as a 'OVS language' we mean one in which OVS is
the normal word order in unmarked sentences with no emphasis; and such
languages are rare. Esperanto no more qualifies as a OVS language than
does Latin, German, Welsh etc.
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760