VSO languages are few and hard to find. The few I know of all switch to VOS order in copular sentences. Is this universal or are there exceptions? Do humans really dislike de-coupling V and O so much they refuse to do so in all circumstances?

  • Not an answer, but humans really do dislike decoupling V and O. According to many syntacticians, that's because O is an argument of V, and S is not. So O and V are always more closely linked in the underlying structure, and some movement has to happen to end up with S in between them.
    – Draconis
    Commented Feb 11 at 20:48
  • 1
    Welsh has a fairly free word order, allowing a variety of elements to be fronted, but the base word order in ascriptive copular clauses is non-fronted VSO (whereas in identificatory copular clauses, the base order is SVO, with the subject fronted). Oddly, the opposite is true of Irish, where classificatory (= ascriptive) copular clauses have VOS, while identificatory copular clauses retain VSO. So neither splits verb and subject predicate in all circumstances, but both do it in some circumstances. Commented Feb 11 at 23:17


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