Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: THEORY: branchedness [was Re: Word order]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, August 8, 2002, 2:08
Quoting Tim May <butsuri@...>:

> Thomas R. Wier writes:
> > The general idea to take away from all this is that in constructing > > your language, you want to think about what the head word is for > > any clause you're constructing, and then consistently branch > > complements off to the same side in that clause. > > Most interesting. The idea of the object being part of the verb > phrase is relatively new to me (I have very little formal training in > grammar). How is this treated in VSO languages, where the verb and > object are seperated by the subject? Also, which is considered the > head of the sentence, the subject noun phrase or the main verb phrase? > Or is this language-dependent?
This answer is a little more complicated, and it is my impression that the answer is very theory-dependent. In Government-Binding theory, some claim that at deep-structure, all languages are actually VSO, and move-alpha rules raise the subject in SVO languages, and both the subject and object in SOV languages. For these people, then, a VSO language is simply one where neither the subject nor the object is raised. This would seem to suggest that VSO languages are basically right-branching. In any event, the verb will be the head of the VP, and the VP will be the dominant phrase in the sentence. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about syntactic typology could explain this better. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier Dept. of Linguistics "Nihil magis praestandum est quam ne pecorum ritu University of Chicago sequamur antecedentium gregem, pergentes non qua 1010 E. 59th Street eundum est, sed qua itur." -- Seneca Chicago, IL 60637


Marcus Smith <smithma@...>