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Word order typology Holger Diessel University of Jena

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1 Word order typology Holger Diessel University of Jena

2 Basic word order Japanese (1)Tarogainuomita TaroSUBdogOBJsaw ‘Taro saw the dog.’ Kinyarwanda (2)Umugorearasomaigitabo woman3S-readbook ‘The woman is reading a book.’ SVO Welsh (3)lladdoddyddraig ydyn killedthedragon theman ‘The dragon killed the man.’ SVO VSO

3 Basic word order Malagasay (4)Manasa lamba amin’ny savony ny lehilahy washes clothes with.the soap the man ‘The man washes clothes with the soap.’ VOS OVS OSV Hixkaryana (5)totoyahosiyekamara manit.grabbed.himjaguar ‘The jaguar grabbed the man.’ Urubú (6)pako xuāu’u banana Johnhe.ate ‘John ate bananas.’

4 Basic word order (1)Peter bought the blue book.SVO (2)*Bought Peter the blue book.VSO (3)*Bought the blue book Peter.VOS (4)*Peter the blue book bought.SOV (5)*The blue book Peter bought.OSV (6)The blue book, Peter bought.OSV (7)Never did Peter buy a book.ADV-AUX-SVO (8)Across the bridge lived an old man.ADV-VS

5 Basic word order Ancient Greek (1) ho didaskal-os paideueitopaidi-onSVO ART teacher-NOM teachesARTboy-ACC ‘The teacher instructs the boy.’ (2)ho didaskal-os to paidi-on paideueiSOV (3)paideuei ho didaskal-os to paidi-onVSO (4)paideuei to paidi-on ho didaskal-osVOS (5)to paidi-on ho didaskal-os paideueiOSV (6)to paidi-on paideuei ho didaskal-osOVS

6 Basic word order  It is most frequent.  It is structurally and behaviourally unmarked.  It occurs in a pragmatically neutral context. What determines the basic word order?

7 Basic word order Walpiri (1)ngarraka-ngkukawawirripanti-rni SOV man-ERGAUXkangaroospear-NONPST ‘The man is spearing the kangaroo.’ (2)wawirri ka panti-rni ngarraka-ngkOVS (3)wawirri ka ngarraka-ngku panti-rniOSV (4)ngarraka-ngku ka panti-rni wawirriSVO (5)panti-rni ka wawirri ngarraka-ngku VOS (6)panti-rni ka ngarraka-ngku wawirriVSO

8 Basic word order Walpiri (1)ngarraka-ngkukawawirripanti-rni SOV man-ERGAUXkangaroospear-NONPST ‘The man is spearing the kangaroo.’ (2)wawirri ka panti-rni ngarraka-ngkOVS (3)wawirri ka ngarraka-ngku panti-rniOSV (4)ngarraka-ngku ka panti-rni wawirriSVO (5)panti-rni ka wawirri ngarraka-ngku VOS (6)panti-rni ka ngarraka-ngku wawirriVSO -> Wackernagel’s law

9 Basic word order Walpiri (1)wawirri kapirnapanti-rni yalumpa kangoroo AUXspear-NONPST that ‘I will spear the kangaroo.’

10 Basic word order (1)Peter kaufte das blaue Buch.SVO (2)Das blaue Buch kaufte Peter.OVS (3)*Kaufte Peter das blaue Buch.VSO (4)*Kaufte das blaue Buch Peter.VOS (5)*Das blaue Buch Peter kaufte.OSV (6)*Peter das blaue Buch kaufte.SOV (7)Gestern kaufte Peter das blaue Buch.ADV-VSO (8)Peter hat das blaue Buch gekauft.Satzklammer (9)Das blaue Buch hat Peter gekauft.

11 Basic word order Cross-linguistic distribution of basic word order: SVO and SOV are by far the most common word orders. VSO is moderately frequent. All other word orders are rare.

12 SOV (Dryer 2005)

13 SVO languages (Dryer 2005)

14 VSO languages (Dryer 2005)

15 VOS languages (Dryer 2005)

16 OVS languages (Dryer 2005)

17 OSV languages (Dryer 2005)

18 (Dryer 2005)

19 Basic word order Dryer 2005 OrderNumber% SOV SVO VSO VOS OVS OSV Total

20 Basic word order Dryer 2005Tomlin 1986 OrderNumber% % SOV SVO VSO VOS OVS OSV Total

21 Basic word order The subject tends to precede the object (95%). The subject tends to precede the object (95%). The object tends to occur next to the verb (91%). The object tends to occur next to the verb (91%).

22 Basic word order OrderS - O SVO SOV VSO VOS OVS OSV

23 Basic word order OrderS - OVO/OV SVO SOV VSO VOS OVS OSV

24 Basic word order OrderS - OVO/OVTotal SVO SOV VSO VOS OVS OSV

25 Basic word order (Dryer 2005) Why does the subject tend to precede the object?

26 Why does the subject tend to precede verb and object? (1)Peter noticed that Sally wasn’t there. She had to attend a class in linguistics. The subject tends to be the topic. Given/old information helps the hearer to interpret the rest of the utterance, i.e. it provides an orientation at the beginning of the clause. The subject can be seen as a grammaticalized topic.

27 Basic word order (Dryer 2005) Why does the object tend to be adjacent to the verb?

28 (1)a.They are hunting a fox. b.They are fox-hunting. (2)a.I am taking care of my sister’s baby. b.I am baby-sitting. Verb and object form a tight conceptual unit.

29 Word order correlations Based on the ordering of verb and object, languages are commonly divided into two basic word order types: VO-languages and OV- languages. Greenberg (1966) discovered that the ordering of verb and object correlates with the ordering of other elements in the clause. VOOV prepositionalpostpositional head-initialhead-final right-branchingleft-branching

30 VO and OV languages (Dryer 2005)

31 Prepositions vs. Postpositions (2)Japanese John ga [Mary to] [kurma de] [kobe ni] it-ta JohnSU Mary with car by Kobe to go.PST ‘John went to Kobe by car with Mary.’ (1)English Peter saw the man [in the garden].

32 VO and Adpositions (Dryer 2005)

33

34 OV and Adpositions (Dryer 2005)

35

36 Genitive-noun order (1)Meines Vaters Auto (2)Das Auto meines Vaters

37 VO and Noun-Genitive (Dryer 2005)

38 OV and Genitive-Noun (Dryer 2005)

39 Word order correlations VOOV Preposition-Noun Noun-Genitive ART-N AUX-V SUB-Clause N-REL MAIN-ADV COPULA-NP/ADJ Sentence initial WH word Noun-Postposition Genitive-Noun N-ART V-AUX Clause-SUB REL-N ADV-MAIN NP/ADJ-COPULA Non-initial WH word

40 Word order correlations English is a VO (or right-branching) language, but: it places the head after the dependent category in the Saxon genitive (e.g. Peter’s car) it places the head after the dependent category in the Saxon genitive (e.g. Peter’s car) it employs suffixes it employs suffixes it has at least one postposition (= ago) it has at least one postposition (= ago)

41 Noun-Relative clause order (1)English The man [I met].

42 VO and Noun-Relative clause (Dryer 2005)

43 Noun-Relative clause order (1)Japanese [Mariagakai-ta]hon MariaSUwrite-PSTbook ‘The book that Mary wrote.’

44 OV and Noun-Relative clause (Dryer 2005)

45 Word order correlations VOOV N-REL REL-N If a language has basic VO order, the relative clause (almost) always follows the head noun.

46 Word order correlations If a language has basic OV order, the genitive almost always precedes the head noun. VOOV GEN-N N-GEN

47 Word order correlations If a language has basic VO order, the subordinator almost always occur at the beginning of the subordinate clause. VOOV Final SUB Initial SUB

48 Word order correlations If a language has basic VO order, it tends to employ prepositions, and if a language has basic OV order, it tends to employ postpositions. VOOV Prepostions Postpositions

49 Word order correlations If a language has basic VO order, it tends to place auxiliaries before the main verb, and if a language has basic OV order, it tends to place auxiliaries after the main verb. VOOV AUX V V AUX

50 Word order correlations If a language has basic VO order, it tends to place the article before the noun, and if it has OV order, it tends to place the article after the noun. VOOV ART N N ART

51 Explaining word order correlations Implicational universals require an explanation in terms of competing motivations. We have to explain the symmetry in constituent order across languages, i.e. why are there word order correlations? We have to explain the symmetry in constituent order across languages, i.e. why are there word order correlations? We have to account for the exceptions, i.e. why do VO and OV languages do not pattern consistently? We have to account for the exceptions, i.e. why do VO and OV languages do not pattern consistently?

52 Word order correlations Cross-category harmony: Greenberg’s word order correlations reflect a crosslinguistic tendency to place head and dependent in a consistent order. [W. Lehmann 1972; Vennemann 1972]

53 Word order correlations Cross-category harmony is based on the head-direction parameter. [Frazier 1985] head-initialhead-final

54 Word order correlations Greenberg’s word order correlations are motivated by processing. Languages tend to be consistently right-branching or consistently left- branching rather than mixed left- and right-branching because languages with consistent branching directions are easier to process. [Dryer 1992; Hawkins 1994, 2004]

55 Word order correlations PP P DET A N in the blue box Right-branching

56 Word order correlations PP P DET A N in the blue box PP P DET N A box blue the in Left-branchingRight-branching

57 Word order correlations PP P DET A N in the blue box PP P DET N A box blue the in PP P DET A N the blue box in Left-branchingRight-branchingMixed-branching

58 Processing PPs VP PP V NP P an old friend [with played] VP V PP P NP [played with] an old friend

59 Processing PPs VP PP V P NP [with an old friend played] VP V PP NP P [played an old friend with]

60 Skewed distributions VOOV N-REL REL-N How do we account for implicational universals?

61 Competing motivations The ordering of head and dependent The ordering of head and dependent The ordering of pronoun and antecedent The ordering of pronoun and antecedent

62 Relative clauses VP NP V S REL NP NP V [who i is sleeping] the man i (I)-saw

63 Relative clauses VP NP V S REL NP NP V [who i is sleeping] the man i (I)-saw VP NP V NP S REL NP V the man i [who i is sleeping] (I)-saw

64 Competing motivations Head and dependent are easier to process if Head and dependent are easier to process if they are consistently ordered. they are consistently ordered. Pronominal elements are easier to process if they Pronominal elements are easier to process if they follow their antecedent. follow their antecedent.


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