Re: Language Change
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, January 4, 2000, 6:01|
At 11:24 pm -0500 3/1/00, Mia Soderquist wrote:
>Could someone explain some of the ways that grammar of a language
>might change over time? I can see that it might gain or lose
>tenses, affixes of various sorts, etc, but is word order likely
Most certainly. Latin was essentially a SVO language; the modern
Romancelangs are basically SVO, tho with considerable variation.
The traditional Celtic languages are VSO, but Breton (and I think modern
Cornish, tho I'm not sure) has become a V2 language.
The Germanic languages had a word order similar to that still used in
modern German & Dutch, i.e. main clauses are V2 & subordinate clauses are
verb last; English & the scandinavian languages have moved toward VSO
orders in both clauses.
In short, word order is IME quite likely to change.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]