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zompist bboard • View topic - Changes in word order

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 Post subject: Changes in word order
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:22 am 
Sanci
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:34 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:50 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:34 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:11 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:13 am 
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I think most often, a "word order change" is not so much a restructuring of the unmarked clause formula, as it is a change in which existing clause formula is least marked. Most languages permit three or four or five of the basic word orders - these may or may not involve extra grammatical morphemes, but will be valid orders in which the S, V, and O elements can appear.

There are two main motivators for an alternative clause construction to be reanalyzed as basic. One is language contact: for example, Breton changed its basic word order when, under the influence of French, its speakers began using the existing SVO cleft construction to the exclusion of what had previously been the default VSO order.

The other is that other grammatical changes can cause problems for a word order, leading speakers to select a different one. In particular, SOV languages that lose their case systems are prone to switching to a verb-medial structure, as the verb position helps keep subject and object distinct. This happened in both the Romance languages and the Germanic languages. It is not hard to imagine other such scenarios.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:14 am 
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After some time, I'm working on word order change again. And these are changes that I invented recently, but first I'll explain some terms:

O.GEN - direct object of verb, being in genitive case
V.Noun - verbal noun, action of doing something
Part. - a particle, of course :)
Remaining terms should be clear :).

First, change SVO>SOV, where O.GEN V.Noun is action nominal. It should appear in a language before, because as far as I know, action nominals involving genitive should be rather in V.Noun O.Gen order, because of standard genitive and possesed noun order in an SVO language.

SVO>S Aux. O V.Noun> S-Aux O V.Noun> S O V

Second change is one of kind SVO>VSO. It involves right dislocation and grammaticalization of subject and object pronouns, like in colloquial French

SVO>Pron. V Pron., S, O>Pron.-V-Pron., S, O>V S O

Another change, from VSO to SVO, by topicalization of subject and grammaticalization of subject pronoun:

VSO> S(topic), V Pron. O> S V-Pron O> SVO

Second change VSO>SVO, now involving evolution of an auxilary

VSO>Aux S V.Noun O>Part. S V O>SVO

The last change I have invented so far, is one from SOV to SVO. Like in the first change, it needs a change of order of genitive and possesed noun:

SOV>S Aux V.Noun O.GEN.>S-Aux V O>SVO

What do you think about my changes? Do they look plausible?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:44 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:47 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:24 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:09 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:20 am 
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