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Language,verb–subject–object

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  • 1798
    replied
    Originally posted by DaveInGreece View Post
    I don't think it's safe to make such an assumption or inference. Celtic languages are understood to be a branch of the Indo-European languages and their "cousins" in other Indo-European language branches use a variety of different sentence structures. Nobody can be sure when or where Pro-Indo-European was first spoken or what the original word-order was.

    Since its clear that sentence structure can change (and can change relatively rapidly) as a language develops it's not safe to assume that a particular word order is indicative of a close affinity between two languages. The changes can happen independently.

    The gradual loss of noun cases in most European languages, especially English, makes it difficult to imagine how something like verb/subject/object order, which seems so intrinsic to understanding the meaning of a sentence, can be flexible and can change. But some modern languages like Greek have maintained much of the old grammatical complexity. So SVO (e.g. he sees him) may be the most standard word order in modern Greek, but other word orders are commonly used and could easily have been adopted as the standard syntax.
    We have been told many times that the first farmers came from the Middle East and we have a language in Ireland that has the same word order as ancient Irish. If new people came to Ireland and imposed their language since that period with a different word order then we should have adopted it but we didn't.

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  • Subwoofer
    replied
    Cheers, an informative post : )

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  • DaveInGreece
    replied
    I don't think it's safe to make such an assumption or inference. Celtic languages are understood to be a branch of the Indo-European languages and their "cousins" in other Indo-European language branches use a variety of different sentence structures. Nobody can be sure when or where Pro-Indo-European was first spoken or what the original word-order was.

    Since its clear that sentence structure can change (and can change relatively rapidly) as a language develops it's not safe to assume that a particular word order is indicative of a close affinity between two languages. The changes can happen independently.

    The gradual loss of noun cases in most European languages, especially English, makes it difficult to imagine how something like verb/subject/object order, which seems so intrinsic to understanding the meaning of a sentence, can be flexible and can change. But some modern languages like Greek have maintained much of the old grammatical complexity. So SVO (e.g. he sees him) may be the most standard word order in modern Greek, but other word orders are commonly used and could easily have been adopted as the standard syntax.

    Leave a comment:


  • Subwoofer
    replied
    Originally posted by 1798 View Post
    Wikipedia
    The fact that the Irish language has the VSO order which is also found in the Middle East suggests that the first farmers brought the language to Ireland that developed into Gaelic. That would make sense.
    Possible the science of linguistics is a tad more complicated and advanced than this ?

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  • 1798
    started a topic Language,verb–subject–object

    Language,verb–subject–object

    Wikipedia
    "In linguistic typology, a verb–subject–object (VSO) language is one in which the most typical sentences arrange their elements in that order, as in Ate Sam oranges (Sam ate oranges). VSO is the third-most common word order, after SVO (as in English and Mandarin) and SOV (as in Latin and Japanese).

    Examples of languages with VSO word order include Semitic languages (including Arabic, Classical Hebrew, and Ge'ez (Classical Ethiopic)), and Celtic languages (including Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Breton), and many Mesoamerican languages.

    Other families where all or many of the languages are VSO include the following

    the Afroasiatic languages (including the Berber languages and the Egyptian language)
    the Mayan languages (including Classic Maya)
    the Otomanguean languages (including Zapotec languages and Mixtecan languages)
    the Salishan languages
    the Austronesian languages (including Tagalog, Cebuano, Kadazan Dusun , Hawaiian, Pangasinan, Māori, Malagasy, and Tongan)."


    The fact that the Irish language has the VSO order which is also found in the Middle East suggests that the first farmers brought the language to Ireland that developed into Gaelic. That would make sense.
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