Your Conlang's Word Order

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Your Conlang's Word Order

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Your Conlang's Word Order

Postby Atluk » 2016-08-21, 2:51

I'm curious to know the dominant word of your main conlang(s) and why you chose that particularly word order.

My so far only conlang has a VSO word order since as it is not too common, nor is it too uncommon. To me SVO, seems too Englishy especially since it is my native language, and SOV seems way too common in both natlangs and conlangs.

Nãmãsan is agglutinating and it seems that the majority of agglutinating languages are SOV, and I wanted mine to stand out more. It has flexible word order as long as the verb precedes the object.

So what about you? What word order did you choose and why?

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Re: Your Conlang's Word Order

Postby Le Wuumross » 2016-08-28, 8:48

I went with VSO for pretty much the same reasons. Plus I don't want to try any Object-first orders again, that stuff just messed with the mind; it feels counter-intuitive.

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Re: Your Conlang's Word Order

Postby thezerech » 2016-12-27, 4:21

I went with Verb-Subject-Object after evolving my conlang heavily. Eventually I decided to merge pronouns and the verbs, like a conjugation, and possessive like a declension. For example, one of my favorite sentences,

Herlovauv Leyd Kynyyson ko Cantobrah yv auv Brïannia

(Hail-all great King-ours of Cantobrah and all Brïannia)

In some ways it functions as just V-O because the verb and subject are always one word. For example if I wanted to say, "john said" I'd say "Perytlojohn bedyk" (Speak-he-John [past]).

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Re: Your Conlang's Word Order

Postby Mentilliath » 2017-01-06, 5:30

Halvian's primary word order is SOV, but SVO also occurs frequently. For the most part, word order is fairly free--these are just the two preferred. In creating sentences I tend to stick to SOV most of the time, but I will somewhat randomly use SVO if it seems more appropriate.
Primary Conlang: Halvian
Additional conlangs: Hesternese (Aikedenejo), Galsaic (sister language of Halvian), and Ogygian (unrelated to the others.

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Re: Your Conlang's Word Order

Postby Quetzalcoatl » 2017-01-08, 8:09

Miwonša has free word order, but SVO is usually preferred. However, SOV is also very frequent, but there is a little shift of emphasis:


Hanza = dog (nominative case), kaikai = cat (accusative case), žanjan = sees (finite verb)

Hanza žanjan kaikai. (The dog sees the/a cat)

= the listener already knows that there is a dog... the new information is that there is also a cat which the dog sees)

Hanza kaikai žanjan. (The dog sees the cat)

= the listener already knows that there is a dog and a cat... the new information is that the dog sees the cat

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Re: Your Conlang's Word Order

Postby Aquila Ex Machina » 2017-01-17, 0:56

Technically, deyryck doesn't use "verbs" and the place of the subject may change. Still if the closest to reality here is OSV.
Lag ta lag é kén ta kén é i tay lag é

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Re: Your Conlang's Word Order

Postby Koko » 2017-01-28, 1:57

In my primary conlang, Isyan, there is free word order, but SOV is preferred. VOS or VSO are also common, especially when the verb is a verb "to be." Verb-medial word orders (SVO/OVS) are common when there as extremely modified noun. (a noun that is modifed by many adjectives or by a relative clause; especially ones attached to a relative clause must come at the end of a statement) This clarifies what the relative clause modifies as well as distinguishes the main verb from the relative clause.

I've always liked VSO over all other word-orders though, and prioritize it in other projects and am thinking of using it more in Isyan.

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Re: Your Conlang's Word Order

Postby xBlackHeartx » 2017-02-24, 23:44

I was wanting a vso language for quite some time. But I was always annoyed by things like copular sentences, since this would require you to place the whole predicate before the subject. I decided recently to just give up on it and go for something I'm actually familiar with, aka an order used by a language I know.

I have thought about sov. I was making a conlang for a while that was sov, with direct-inverse alignment and configurational grammar, and yes, that can work in practice, surprising as it may be.

All nouns belong to one of three cateogories: proper nouns, pronouns/people (their third person singular pronoun is actually the word for person), animates, and inanimates. Simply if there were two nouns, the one higher on the heirarchy was the subject. If they were on the same level (which in practice is surprisingly rare), then word order determined the difference. There is no inverse marker though. To have a subject that's lower on the heirarchy than the object, you simply indicate the lower noun as a topic and indicate its role in the sentence with an appropriate pronoun.

I chose the sov order mostly because its so common and I wanted to explore it more (I'm already somewhat familiar with it through Japanese).

Though I'm thinking I would prefer a svo order. Honestly, you can't make your conlang different from English in every way possible, especially since English has many features that are quite common (such as tense, grammatical number, definiteness). Really, its better to just make the language odd in a few ways and leave the rest more or less normal. And only work with what you're familiar with. I was completely unable to do a vso language simple because I couldn't find much detail on vso languages (especcialy since most languages commonly billed as 'vso' actually aren't, such as the Celtic languages). For now, I'm thinking I'm going to go with something I actually have experience with. Of course, the thing won't be a clone of English, honestly I'm more tempted to add in loglan features than English ones. Besides, SVO isn't exactly uniquely English anyway. I mean, the Chinese languages are all SVO. I actually would prefer a free-er word-order though, but honestly the word-order of English and Chinese are free-er than many people assume.

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Re: Your Conlang's Word Order

Postby kevin » 2017-02-28, 11:28

xBlackHeartx wrote:I was completely unable to do a vso language simple because I couldn't find much detail on vso languages (especcialy since most languages commonly billed as 'vso' actually aren't, such as the Celtic languages).

Hm, what would your requirements be before something can be called "real" VSO? And what are the not-really-VSO languages actually in your opinion?

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