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Re: phrase's order

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, December 27, 2004, 20:06
On Monday, December 27, 2004, at 06:06 , # 1 wrote:

> I've read in an old post > ( > &P=5853) > that: > >> looking at word order typology, we have the following: >> >> SOV = 45% of the world's languages >> SVO = 42% >> VSO = 9% >> VOS = 3% >> OVS = 0.9% >> OSV = 0.1% > > but with a language where it is not constant what do we do?
Good question - in fact these 'Greenberg statistics' IMO beg many questions. But generally languages will have a unmarked, default or favorite order. Thus tho Latin word order is variable, Classical Latin it is normally classified as SOV because that tends to be the order in unmarked sentences (i.e. sentences where there is no emphasis on any particular element).
> In frensh, the order will be SVO if the object is a noun or an adjective > > "Je mange une pomme" I eat an apple > "J'aime ma femme" I love my wife > "Je deviens vieux" I become old > > but if the object is a pronoun it will become SOV > > "Je la mange" I eat it(feminine, like "pomme") > "Je t'aime" I love you > "Je le deviens" I become it > > So how is Frensh classed in these statistics??
SV0 - the pronouns will be considered a 'special case' :) Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]