By Russell S Tomlin

ISBN-10: 0415723574

ISBN-13: 9780415723572

ISBN-10: 1138964425

ISBN-13: 9781138964426

This e-book examines the frequencies of the six attainable uncomplicated observe (or constituent) orders (SOV, SVO, VSO, VOS, OSV, OVS) presents a typologically grounded cause of these frequencies by way of 3 self sufficient, sensible ideas of linguistic organization.

From a database of approximately 1,000 languages and their simple constituent orders, a pattern of four hundred languages used to be produced that's statistically consultant of either the genetic and areal distributions of the world’s languages. This pattern unearths the next relative frequencies (in order from excessive to low) of simple constituent order forms: (1) SOV and SVO, (2) VSO, (3) VOS and OVS, (4) OSV.

It is argued that those relative frequencies may be defined to be the results of the prospective interactions of 3 basic useful rules of linguistic association. precept 1, the thematic info principle, specifies that preliminary place is the cross-linguistically favoured place for clause-level thematic details. precept 2, the verb-object bonding principle, describes the cross-linguistic tendency for a transitive verb and its item to shape a extra tightly built-in unit, syntactically and semantically, than does a transitive verb and its topic. precept three, the animated principle, describes the cross-linguistic tendency for semantic arguments that are both extra animate or extra agentive to happen previous within the clause. each one precept is prompted independently of the others, drawing on cross-linguistic info from greater than eighty genetically and typologically various languages.

Given those 3 independently influenced practical ideas, it really is argued that the relative frequency of easy constituent order varieties is because of the tendency for the 3 ideas to be maximally discovered within the world’s languages. SOV and SVO languages are typologically such a lot widespread simply because such easy orders replicate all 3 rules. the remainder orders take place much less usually simply because they mirror fewer of the principles.

The 1,000-language database and the genetic and areal class frames are released as appendices to the volume.

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Basic Word Order (RLE Linguistics B: Grammar): Functional Principles (Routledge Library Editions: Linguistics) by Russell S Tomlin

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