Word order in a sentence, syntactic branched trees

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Word order in a sentence, syntactic branched trees

Postby Vojta » Mon 09 Apr 2012 2:18 pm

Dear Conlangers!

I think that it is time to re-evaluate the English-like concept of the word order in a sentence. In many languages, the word order in a sentence is rather flexible. In English, the position of words in sentences is necessary to inform, whether it is a noun, adjective, verb, subject, object, or something else. But in many natural indo-european languages (e.g. Latin, Greek, Slavic, ...) words have their own endings (declension and conjugation), in which is stored the complete information about their grammatical category, so there is no need any word to respect a specific position in the sentence.

We can say that English needs the fixed position of words in sentences in order to add words missing information about whether these words are subjects, objects, verbs or something else. It is obvious that other languages operate with words containing more unambiguous grammatical information without the need to use fixed positions. Free word order can then be used to express the finer details of communication in these languages. See our solution in our NS conlang: http://www.neoslavonic.org/lessons/2

Much better concept than English linear rules (e.g. first word, second word, third word, ...) is a concept of a branched tree we use:

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Neoslavonic language, Slavic conlangs
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Re: Word order in a sentence, syntactic branched trees

Postby linguoboy » Mon 09 Apr 2012 3:21 pm

What's your rationale for labeling svojemu and dobry as "pronouns" rather than "adjectives"?
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Re: Word order in a sentence, syntactic branched trees

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Mon 09 Apr 2012 11:47 pm

English tends to strict SVO because it lost the usual IE inflections. OTOH, even highly inflected IE languages do tend to have preferred word orders. Latin and most Indo-Iranian languages, for example, tend to SOV.

My own conlang is designed as an agglutinave language with strong case marking, but a preferred SOV word order. I use OVS to imply passive voice.

OTOH, I included a double-agreement system (nouns and following words and subject with verb) that I think would tend to militate against free word order.
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Re: Word order in a sentence, syntactic branched trees

Postby Vojta » Tue 10 Apr 2012 7:20 am

linguoboy wrote:What's your rationale for labeling svojemu and dobry as "pronouns" rather than "adjectives"?


oh, this is my error.

dobry = adjective.

svojemu = pronoun (svoj = self in English, but in adjectival position)

thanks!
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Vojtieh, the conlanger
Neoslavonic language, Slavic conlangs
http://www.neoslavonic.org, http://IZVIESTIJA.info
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Re: Word order in a sentence, syntactic branched trees

Postby Vojta » Tue 10 Apr 2012 7:32 am

Dan_ad_nauseam wrote:English tends to strict SVO because it lost the usual IE inflections. OTOH, even highly inflected IE languages do tend to have preferred word orders. Latin and most Indo-Iranian languages, for example, tend to SOV.

My own conlang is designed as an agglutinave language with strong case marking, but a preferred SOV word order. I use OVS to imply passive voice.

OTOH, I included a double-agreement system (nouns and following words and subject with verb) that I think would tend to militate against free word order.


I mentioned that "free word order" is not so free as it looks for people having fixed word order. It is common error by them to think that free word order means everything-everywhere.

My idea is, that clause elements (branches of a syntactical tree) can have various sequences in order to express finer information, but branches do not mix. See this (A big hare quickly runs around us to a very dark forest):

{clause {subj. veliky zajec} {v. bystro bieži} {prov. okolo nas} {prov. do mnogo temnego lesa}}

{clause {prov. okolo nas} {prov. do mnogo temnego lesa} {v. bystro bieži} {subj. veliky zajec}}

These two sentences have the identical syntactical tree, but different word order. First sentence stresses the hare (zajec) and its running (bieži). The second sentence stresses that this event of running is related to us (okolo us). We need to express these finer details in English as well, but fixed word order requires us to use various idioms (e.g. there is ... it is ...)

(for detail, read this page: http://www.neoslavonic.org/lessons/2)
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http://www.neoslavonic.org, http://IZVIESTIJA.info
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