Ideal in introductory courses dealing with grammatical structure and linguistic analysis, Introduction to Typology overviews the major grammatical categories and constructions in the world's languages. Framed in a typological perspective, the constant concern of this primary text is to underscore the similarities and differences which underlie the vast array of human languages.
Chapter 6: Determining Basic Constituent Order
Determining Basic Constituent Order
Although constituent order typology has proved to be a powerful line of research in answering the question, “What is language?,” there are some rather basic issues in constituent order research that remain controversial. Many of these issues have been raised, however briefly, in previous chapters: the composition and size of the database, the accurate determination of correlation pairs, and the explanation for constituent order patterns. In this chapter, I address an additional concern—the very practical problem of how one goes about determining the basic constituent order in a given language, particularly if that language has a fairly flexible constituent order.
Constituent Order Variation
Most (probably all) languages have more than one way to order subject (S), verb (V), and object ...