Questions tagged [word-order]

When the relative position of words within a sentence may change the meaning or grammaticality, a language is said to be sensitive to word order.

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In which non-Sinitic languages do negative clauses retain older constituent order in SVC-derived complex predicates?

Many complex predicates are historically derived from serial verb constructions. This is not only true of the Sinitic family. For example, in Saramaccan (Byrne 1987, as cited in Givón 2009): (1) a ...
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How common are languages with different word orders in matrix and non-matrix clauses

How common is it cross-linguistically for a language to have a different word order in various types of embedded clauses such as relative clauses? WALS appears to collect information on word order in ...
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Is there any difference in meaning or nuance when the adjective follows the noun in Georgian?

Many languages allow the order of adjectives compared to nouns to vary, but for different reasons: Some languages have very free word order in which case there is little difference between adj + noun ...
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V-Bar Syntax in Latin

I am reading Devine and Stephens Latin Word Order, but without the requisite grounding in formal linguistics. They use the term V-bar syntax, and I am not sure what they mean by this and would like ...
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In English, what rules govern the optimal order of nouns in a list?

For example, is noun word-order governed by a universal ranking of semantic fields, as with adjectives, or do other considerations in general English word choice and order (well-formedness of ...
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3 votes
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How often can the words in a sentence be rearranged to form different but similarly likely setentence

I have a conjecture that given a particular (multi)set of words without knowledge of ordering, then one ordering is normally much more likely than any others. Its not always true, Show me flights ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Which languages allow right-branching nominal pre-modifiers?

In English, as in German, Spanish, French, or Italian, non-lexicalized noun pre-modifiers cannot be 'right-branching' (i.e., they cannot carry either complements or modifiers of their own placed ...
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Formal approaches to Russian word order

What are the known formal approaches to Russian (or similar languages) word order? I'd expect something expressed in terms of exteded DRT or similar formalism.
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rules of syllogistic logic in an OVS or OSV language

I am looking to write the present the rules of Aristotelian syllogistic logic in a language that would be unfamiliar to my mostly-American students. So I thought I would do it in an OVS or OSV ...
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Linear order preserving syntactic trees

Two questions: Is the syntactic tree notation supposed to be Linear order preserving in general Linear order preserving for English Generally linear order preserving for English None of the above ...
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2 votes
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The barrier of intuitively using a second language’s word order

I am learning German and a big hurdle I am facing is word placement. For example, the last half of a sentence is: […], aber ich werde es nicht verstehen. (but I would not understand it.) I know ...
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Does understanding free word order require a distinct cognitive process?

Abbreviate 'a language with free word order' to FWOL (eg: 1, 2, 3, 4). I exemplify with Latin. When trying to read a FWOL, I must firstly consciously determine the lexical categories of each word, ...
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How can we account for head-final PPs and VPs in Classical Chinese?

According to Koopman (1983), there is an explanation for why Chinese, despite being a head-final language, has SVO and prepositional features. She suggested that Chinese assigns Case to the right but ...
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Why is less consistent SVO more common than VSO or VOS?

"Language Change as a Source of Word Order Correlations", by Brady Clark, Matthew Goldrick, and Kenneth Konopka, is among the many sources dating back to Greenberg (1966) stating that language ...
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OVS in English dialogue

English is an SVO language. When writing dialogue, especially in literature, writing a sentence with the speech first is considered grammatically correct. Take for example this extract from Ursula K ...
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What are some good resources on the study of word order?

I've already read the Wikipedia article on the subject, and I was wondering if any resources exist that go more into detail.
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On the change of word order as languages develop?

While I understand the most common changes in word order, the whole SOV can go to OSV, SVO, and OVS, and so forth. But I do not exactly understand how and why word order would change. Can you explain ...
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Alternative subject positions in Spanish questions, economy and markedness

The following six Spanish sentences are different versions of the question/different questions corresponding to the unmarked declarative sentence Alguien más podría haber estado usando su ordenador (= ...
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You fought so bravely for it. [adjunct vs. complement]

You fought so bravely for it. In this sentence, the verb 'fought' is followed by two dependents: so bravely and for it. I thought that for it was a complement whereas so bravely was an adjunct. But ...
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