Word Order

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LinguoFranco
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Word Order

Post by LinguoFranco » 20 Jul 2016 20:11

I'm trying to decide the word order of my conlang, Namasa, and I am debating between VSO, SVO, OSV.

English is my native language, so I feel like SVO would make it to English-y. I have also borrowed influences from Spanish since the conlang has extensive verb conjugation like Spanish. It also places adjectives after the nouns, which Spanish does, so I feel SVO would also make it closer to Spanish as well.

Namasan has some Semitic influences as well, particularly with the placement of adjectives as stated above, and I might make it an inflecting/fusional language, and the inspiration for the vowels came from Malta, and a little bit of Japanese also.

I think the OSV sentence order flows well, but it may be too exotic as the official word order, but I will use it as one of the alternate word orders that can be used.

As of right now, Namasan is agglutinative, and many of those languages are SOV, which is a word order I feel is too common in both natural languages and conlangs.

Tips?

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Creyeditor
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Re: Word Order

Post by Creyeditor » 20 Jul 2016 20:19

If you like all of them you could try to implement all of them. Topicalization, focus, yes-no questions and the like can influence word order.
If you are going for naturalism, either SOV or VSO would be good choices, IMHO.
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Lao Kou
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Re: Word Order

Post by Lao Kou » 20 Jul 2016 20:25

Chinese is predominantly SVO, not English-y, and does topic/focus stuff.
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Re: Word Order

Post by LinguoFranco » 20 Jul 2016 20:31

Lao Kou wrote:Chinese is predominantly SVO, not English-y, and does topic/focus stuff.
Yeah, I like Chinese as it is pretty unique compared to European languages.

Another concern about the SVO word order is that Namasan was inspired by Austronesian languages (or is it Austroasiatic), which have a SVO word order though there is also VOS. Please correct me if I am wrong. Namasan has nasal harmony, two separate forms of 'we' (inclusive and exclusive) and alienable and inalienable possession.

Also, is there any correlation between word order and whether a language is nominative accusative or ergative absolutive? I know Basque is an agglutinative language with a SOV word order and is ergative while Japanese has the same structure and word order, but is nominative.

It seems that languages that place the Object before the Subject would be more ergative leaning. That's just my guess, though.

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Lao Kou
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Re: Word Order

Post by Lao Kou » 20 Jul 2016 21:18

LinguoFranco wrote:Please correct me if I am wrong.
I am in no way qualified to do so.
Namasan has nasal harmony, two separate forms of 'we' (inclusive and exclusive) and alienable and inalienable possession.
So far, so good. [:)]
Also, is there any correlation between word order and whether a language is nominative accusative or ergative absolutive? I know Basque is an agglutinative language with a SOV word order and is ergative while Japanese has the same structure and word order, but is nominative.
Have you not answered your own question? But if you really need %'s, there are probably stats out there in the ether for you.
It seems that languages that place the Object before the Subject would be more ergative leaning. That's just my guess, though.
Who cares?!

I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if VSO, SVO, etc. had certain ramifications elsewhere downline in a lang, but try it! Use it! If OVS lends itself to a certain adjective placement or ergativism, if you break a universal (aka. a generalization), you'll find out soon enough because as you try to form thoughts with it, you'll find yourself going [o.O] . In which case you can go back a step or two to where the generalization stops working for you, or you find a linguistic work-around, precedents be damned. Too, something seemingly not working doesn't require the scorched-earth policy as a response. Keep what you've got and revise. That should add a "depth" to your lang that should have any naturalistic conlanger salivating, if those are the opinions you seek.

Fun... creativity... fun.
道可道,非常道
名可名,非常名

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LinguoFranco
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Re: Word Order

Post by LinguoFranco » 20 Jul 2016 21:38

Lao Kou wrote:
LinguoFranco wrote:Please correct me if I am wrong.
I am in no way qualified to do so.
Namasan has nasal harmony, two separate forms of 'we' (inclusive and exclusive) and alienable and inalienable possession.
So far, so good. [:)]
Also, is there any correlation between word order and whether a language is nominative accusative or ergative absolutive? I know Basque is an agglutinative language with a SOV word order and is ergative while Japanese has the same structure and word order, but is nominative.
Have you not answered your own question? But if you really need %'s, there are probably stats out there in the ether for you.
It seems that languages that place the Object before the Subject would be more ergative leaning. That's just my guess, though.
Who cares?!

I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if VSO, SVO, etc. had certain ramifications elsewhere downline in a lang, but try it! Use it! If OVS lends itself to a certain adjective placement or ergativism, if you break a universal (aka. a generalization), you'll find out soon enough because as you try to form thoughts with it, you'll find yourself going [o.O] . In which case you can go back a step or two to where the generalization stops working for you, or you find a linguistic work-around, precedents be damned. Too, something seemingly not working doesn't require the scorched-earth policy as a response. Keep what you've got and revise. That should add a "depth" to your lang that should have any naturalistic conlanger salivating, if those are the opinions you seek.

Fun... creativity... fun.
Thanks. I guess I'm underestimating myself. My goal with Namasan is to create what the ideal language would sound and look like to me.

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Lao Kou
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Re: Word Order

Post by Lao Kou » 20 Jul 2016 22:43

LinguoFranco wrote:My goal with Namasan is to create what the ideal language would sound and look like to me.
One looks forward to seeing that. [:)]
道可道,非常道
名可名,非常名

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Re: Word Order

Post by k1234567890y » 21 Jul 2016 12:19

you can just do SVO+prepositions like English does, but with adjectives, demonstratives and probably numerals follow the noun they modify, like some African languages and southeast Asian languages with SVO word order.

There's a strong tendency for SOV languages to use postpositions, and SVO and VSO languages to use prepositions; however, there are exceptions in both cases. for example, Persian is a language that uses SOV and prepositions(so does Latin to some extent, as the basic word order of Latin is SOV and uses prepositions, however, Latin has a free sentential word order and allows all possible combinations); while some West African languages like Fon uses SVO and postpositions.
...

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abi
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Re: Word Order

Post by abi » 23 Jul 2016 12:02

Depends on what you're going for. If you want a "normal" language then SVO or SOV is the obvious choice. But if it's a personal language or one that you don't mind being a little off the beaten trail then OSV is fine. I've found that some languages tend to just "fit" with certain word orders, even if I never considered it at first. I'd make some other grammar, some words, and put together some sentences with identical content except for different word orders, and pick the one that just feels "right".

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