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Re: Verb-second ... verb-penultimate languages?

From:Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>
Date:Saturday, April 22, 2006, 3:49
On 4/21/06, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote:
> > Does anyone know of any verb-penultimate languages? > I suppose they would be VS in intransitive sentences, > SVO in transitive, and SOVA where there is a sentential adverb; > maybe SOVR (source/recipient last) in ditransitive sentences? > Part of me suspects this is unnatural, and yet it doesn't seem any > odder w.r.t. V2 languages than OVS or OSV languages, which > do exist in small numbers. >
A number of languages -- not just Germanic ones -- have V2-like constructions, but I can't name a single one with "V(-2)"-like constructions. If I'm looking through a grammar and find "X must be the second constituent in a sentence" I'm no longer surprised; I'd be surprised (and of course very interested) if I ran across "X must be the second-to-last constituent in a sentence." (This is assuming some variety of constituent order -- if every sentence ended in, say, a verb followed by a evidential particle, this "V(-2)" phenomenon would not be much to write home about.) So far as I've gathered, it's thought to be impossible. I'd greatly like to run across one, but I never have. -- Pat