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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Some theories of language typology and language change Hawes, Lorna Joy 1975

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SOME THEORIES OF LANGUAGE TYPOLOGY AND LANGUAGE CHANGE by LORNA JOY HAWES B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1972  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Linguistics  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1975  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s  thesis  in p a r t i a l  f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r  an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, the I  Library shall  freely available  f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n  for  for  r e f e r e n c e and  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s  that  study. thesis  s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department o r  by h i s of  make i t  I agree  representatives.  this  thesis  It  i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l  written permission.  n  , _..„,„„ +. „r  Department o r  Linguistics ^  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada  D a t e  April  30, 1975  Columbia  not be allowed without my  ABSTRACT Introduction  This thesis considers various theories of language typology put forward over the years, w i t h p a r t i c u l a r reference to the more recent typologies of word order and the evidence they might provide of how and why languages change.  Language  typology and change i s again arousing much i n t e r e s t i n l i n g u i s t i c c i r c l e s , but our understanding of i t i s s t i l l i n the beginning stages and much work remains to be done on l a n guage c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . In Chapter I I consider nineteenth and e a r l y twentieth century c l a s s i f i c a t o r y systems, which, f o r the most p a r t , take the word as t h e i r fundamental u n i t .  Tracing the  development of typologies from the e a r l i e r purely morphological systems of von Schlegel and von Humboldt to the l a t e r morphological-conceptual system of S a p i r , I compare and c o n t r a s t the major c l a s s i f i c a t o r y systems of the period and i n d i c a t e t h e i r limitations. In Chapter I I I review the s y n t a c t i c typologies proposed r e c e n t l y by Lehmann and Vennemann.  As a r e s u l t of  the upsurge of i n t e r e s t i n syntax, both systems take the  - ii -  sentence as t h e i r fundamental u n i t and base t h e i r c r i t e r i a on word order c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n consistent verb i n i t i a l and verb f i n a l languages.  I discuss the merits and inadequacies of both  typologies and conclude t h a t , as neither c l a s s i f i c a t o r y system appears t o account f o r word order data s a t i s f a c t o r i l y , a f u r t h e r explanation must be sought.  I suggest that perceptual  s t r a t e g i e s employed by speaker and l i s t e n e r can provide t h i s explanation. In Chapter I I I I review some major work on percept u a l s t r a t e g i e s and f i n d that m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h e o r e t i c a l l y grammatical structures r e s u l t s from three causes:  erroneous  segmentation, d i s c o n t i n u i t y , and m u l t i p l e centre embeddings. I then t r y to show how implementation of these perceptual s t r a t e g i e s may account f o r or further e x p l a i n the word order c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Lehmann's and Vennemann's s y n t a c t i c typologies. In Chapter IV I am concerned with how the s y n t a c t i c typologies show evidence of diachronic word order change i n l a n guage.  I review several theories of word order change and comment  on hypotheses regarding evidence of older word orders.  I discuss  the merits of each theory but t r y t o p o i n t out where i t s claims can be questioned.  I conclude that although many c r e d i t a b l e  - iii -  observations and ideas have been presented w i t h i n the framework of the s y n t a c t i c typologies many of the connected hypotheses are subject to controversy and w i l l have to be much more r i g o r o u s l y tested before t h e i r v a l i d i t y can be accepted.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Chapter  Page INTRODUCTION  I  •  i  LANGUAGE TYPOLOGIES BASED ON MORPHOLOGY  II  1  LANGUAGE TYPOLOGIES BASED ON WORD ORDER  III  ..  ..  ..  16  PERCEPTUAL CONSTRAINTS ON GRAMMAR AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR WORD ORDER TYPES  IV  ..  ..  ..  38  THEORIES OF LANGUAGE CHANGE AND EVIDENCE OF OLDER ORDERS  68  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS FOOTNOTES  .. ..  LIST OF WORKS CITED  - iv -  133 136  ..  149  CHAPTER  I  LANGUAGE TYPOLOGIES BASED ON MORPHOLOGY  1.0  Despite the apparent d i v e r s i t y of the world's  tongues,  ever since the r i s e of the comparative method i n the middle eighteenth century l i n g u i s t s have p e r i o d i c a l l y made formal attempts to c l a s s i f y languages s y s t e m a t i c a l l y .  Language typology can be  attempted a t any l e v e l - phonological, morphological,  syntactic,  l e x i c a l , semantic, and even symbolic - and i t i s perhaps t h i s l i n g u i s t i c complexity which accounts f o r the d i f f i c u l t y of the task and for the g e n e r a l l y d i s a p p o i n t i n g r e s u l t s achieved u n t i l recently. P r i o r t o 1971, when Winfred Lehmann proposed a s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e of language based on the surface order of major sentence elements, t y p o l o g i c a l  l i n g u i s t s , especially  those  of the nineteenth century, concentrated almost e n t i r e l y on the morphological or "word" ( i . e . root + modifier) l e v e l of language, paying scant a t t e n t i o n t o the many other l e v e l s . 1.1"""  The f i r s t s i g n i f i c a n t typology proposed was t h a t of F r i e d r i c h von Schlegel (1808), i n which were p o s i t e d two c l a s s e s of language: one modified the root morpheme by i n t e r n a l change or i n f l e c t i o n ;  the other modified by a f f i x a t i o n (to which was  given a very broad d e f i n i t i o n , ranging from Root + bound  - 1 -  - 2 -  d e r i v a t i o n a l morpheme to Root + Root s t r u c t u r e s ) .  Von Schlegel's  typology was subsequently modified by h i s brother, August, who added to i t the dimensions of ' s y n t h e t i c  1  and ' a n a l y t i c ' .  For  August von Schlegel, an a n a l y t i c language used independent elements, such as a r t i c l e s , p r e p o s i t i o n s , pronouns, e t c . , to express p a r t i c u l a r concepts, whereas a synthetic language combined these concepts with the root to form a s i n g l e word. 1.2  . The morphological typology established by Wilhelm von Humboldt i n 1840 was to be the most widely accepted f o r the next one hundred years. Rejecting von Schlegel's a n a l y t i c and synthetic breakdown on the grounds that the d i v i d i n g l i n e between the two was i n s u f f i c i e n t l y c l e a r , von Humboldt expanded the i n f l e c t i o n a l / a f f i x a t i o n a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n by d i v i d i n g languages into four classes: a)  those which are grammatically formless, i . e . which use i s o l a t e d roots but no function-marking morphemes, e.g. Chinese  b)  those which are completely f l e x i o n a l , i . e . which show grammatical and r e l a t i o n a l concepts by inner root m o d i f i c a t i o n , e.g. Hebrew  c)  those which are a g g l u t i n a t i v e , a term which von Humboldt describes as "intended, but incomplete f l e x i o n , a more or l e s s mechanical a f f i x i n g , not a t r u l y organic development ..1"  d)  those which are i n c o r p o r a t i n g , i . e . which combine a l l sentence elements (subject, verb, object and t h e i r modifiers) i n t o a s i n g l e word, e.g. Nootka.  1.3  Von Humboldt's typology was subsequently reaffirmed by August Pott and August Schleicher, although the l a t t e r reduced the four classes to three by regarding  'incorporating' languages  as more extreme members of the a g g l u t i n a t i v e c l a s s ;  Schleicher  a l s o reintroduced von Schlegel's terms of 'synthetic' and ' a n a l y t i c ' to denote the various degrees of f u s i o n between a f f i x and root. Schleicher's t r i p a r t i t e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n thus included: a)  monosyllabic languages, i . e . those composed s o l e l y of 'meaning' words and no f u n c t i o n a l or d e r i v a t i o n a l morphemes  b)  a g g l u t i n a t i v e languages, i . e . those which add f u n c t i o n a l and d e r i v a t i o n a l morphemes t o the root.  According to the  degree of f u s i o n between a f f i x and r o o t , the language may be e i t h e r a n a l y t i c or synthetic c)  i n f l e c t i o n a l languages, i . e . those which allow a l t e r a t i o n to the root form to show m o d i f i c a t i o n .  This t h i r d c l a s s  may a l s o be e i t h e r a n a l y t i c or s y n t h e t i c . 1.4  S t i l l operating a t the word l e v e l , Franz Bopp (1833) suggested a typology based on the formation of the word root and i t s capacity f o r compounding.  Although Bopp c a r e f u l l y avoids  - 4 -  mention of the terms ' i n f l e c t i o n a l ' and ' a g g l u t i n a t i v e ' , h i s three p a r t d i v i s i o n i n essence covers the same phenomena: a)  monosyllabic roots incapable of m o d i f i c a t i o n and compounding ( i . e . i s o l a t i n g )  b)  roots capable of m o d i f i c a t i o n and/or compounding, by which means the majority of t h e i r grammatical concepts are expressed ( i . e . a g g l u t i n a t i v e and inflectional)  c)  d i s y l l a b i c roots based on three e s s e n t i a l consonants through which a l l word meaning i s c a r r i e d and which may be modified through compounding or inner m o d i f i c a t i o n , e.g. Semitic ( i . e . s p e c i a l i n f l e c t i o n a l ) .  Bopp's typology was l a t e r supported and enlarged upon by Max Muller (1880), who provided a r e v i s e d v e r s i o n of von Humboldt's 'formless', a g g l u t i n a t i v e ' and ' i n f l e c t i o n a l ' concepts to 1  c l a s s i f y the ways i n which Bopp's roots could undergo m o d i f i c a t i o n . 1.5  In 1860, Heymann S t e i n t h a l put forward a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n based on word r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  Whereas h i s predecessors had devoted  t h e i r a t t e n t i o n s almost e n t i r e l y inward from the word, S t e i n t h a l rather r e f r e s h i n g l y concerns himself w i t h s e n t e n t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between words.  A language which expresses grammatical f u n c t i o n by  word order alone or by changeable ( i . e . agreement) s u f f i x e s i s , i n S t e i n t h a l ' s terminology, a 'form' language.  Any language not  - 5 r e l y i n g upon word order or v a r i a b l e a f f i x e s to express s e n t e n t i a l f u n c t i o n i s considered by S t e i n t h a l to be 'formless'.  Although  such a language might perhaps be one which shows grammatical funct i o n by unchangeable a f f i x e s , such as pure subject and object markers, t h i s i s not s p e c i f i e d , leaving the 'formless' d e f i n i t i o n manifestly unclear.  U r a l - A l t a i c languages are c l a s s i f i e d 'formless'  because t h e i r s u f f i x e s , being separate e n t i t i e s , do not show r e l a t i o n s h i p s between words;  polysynthetic languages are also  considered formless because they contain only one word per sentence. The two examples of formless languages appear to have l i t t l e i n common save t h e i r l a c k of c l a r i t y .  Steinthal also c l a s s i f i e s  languages according to t h e i r tendency toward ' c o l l o c a t i n g ' or ' d e r i v a t i v e ' constructions, with i n v a r i a b l e words appearing only i n c o l l o c a t i n g constructions (i.e.  they can only be placed next  to one another) and varying words appearing i n d e r i v a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s (i.e.  morphemes can combine to a l t e r each o t h e r ) .  Thus Chinese i s  c l a s s i f i e d as a 'form c o l l o c a t i n g ' language as i t s i g n i f i e s sentent i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s by word order and juxtaposes i n v a r i a b l e words. Sanskrit i s c l a s s i f i e d as a 'form d e r i v a t i v e ' language as i t cont a i n s v a r i a b l e s u f f i x e s which mark s e n t e n t i a l f u n c t i o n and d e r i v a t i v e s u f f i x e s which modify the root word. Although the d i v i s i o n s of h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n are nebulous and s u b j e c t i v e , making h i s typology almost impossible to apply, S t e i n t h a l must be c r e d i t e d with r e a l i z i n g the importance of the t o t a l utterance and, i n so doing, moving beyond the h i t h e r t o  - 6 -  unbreached confines of the s i n g l e word.  Commenting on the  nineteenth century p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r the l i m i t e d morphological viewpoint, Mauthner (1923) w r i t e s : "... the v a l u a t i o n [of languages] according to whether t h e i r i n f l e c t i o n s are more or l e s s transparent i s as f o o l i s h as i f one judged the m e r i t of European armies according to the greater or l e s s e r v i s i b i l i t y of t h e i r trouser seams." 3 Also debating the merits of morphologically based t y p o l o g i e s , Hodge (1970) comments t h a t the morphological c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of language may merely r e f l e c t the stage of development of a language w i t h i n the hypothesized l i n g u i s t i c c y c l e (from a n a l y t i c through a g g l u t i n a t i v e and i n f l e c t i o n a l back t o a n a l y t i c ) and may not i n d i c a t e basic dichotomies of language (the l i n g u i s t i c c y c l e i s discussed more f u l l y i n 4.2.0 of t h i s t h e s i s ) .  In e f f e c t , Hodge  suggests t h a t morphological c l a s s i f i c a t o r y systems are not evidence of the fundamental patterns of language. 1.6  The e a r l y twentieth century showed l i t t l e improvement i n the breadth of t y p o l o g i c a l v i s i o n , f o r i t was not u n t i l 1921 that Edward Sapir again broke with the s t y l e of t r a d i t i o n a l morphological typologies by introducing a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n which, although  still  b a s i c a l l y o r i e n t e d to word s t r u c t u r e , introduced a f u r t h e r dimension covering s e n t e n t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  Sapir's typology considered the  i n t e r a c t i o n of three l i n g u i s t i c dimensions: ship of grammatical concepts,  the manner of r e l a t i o n -  the t e c h n i c a l processes by which the  concepts are j o i n e d , and the degree to which a language w i l l combine concepts i n t o a s i n g l e word.  - 7 -  Sapir s p e c i f i e s four ways of expressing grammatical concepts: I  basic concrete concepts, i . e . those which c o n s i s t of an unmodified concept, e.g. f i g h t  II  d e r i v a t i o n a l concepts, i . e . those which add t o or change the root word, but which are independent of the r e s t of the sentence, e.g. f i g h t + er_  III  concrete r e l a t i o n a l concepts, i . e . those which a f f e c t or are a f f e c t e d by elements outside the word, e.g. f i g h t e r + s_ (where the p l u r a l marker demands a p l u r a l verb agreement) , le_ + s^ rue + s_ e t r o i t + e_ + s_ (where both a r t i c l e and a d j e c t i v e are marked f o r agreement w i t h the noun)  IV  pure r e l a t i o n a l concepts, i . e . those which c a r r y no concrete meaning, but which merely operate t o i n d i c a t e the s e n t e n t i a l f u n c t i o n of a concrete concept, e.g. an agent marker or object marker.  The above c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s combine to produce four language types: A  simple pure r e l a t i o n a l  (I and IV)  B  complex pure r e l a t i o n a l  ( I , I I and IV)  C  simple mixed r e l a t i o n a l ( I , I I I and IV)  D  complex mixed r e l a t i o n a l ( I , I I , I I I and I V ) .  - 8 -  In considering grammatical processes, or the techn i c a l method of combining elements, Sapir makes three d i v i s i o n s : a)  i s o l a t i n g , where the word contains a s i n g l e unadulterated root  b)  a f f i x i n g , where root m o d i f i c a t i o n i s p r a c t i s e d through a f f i x a t i o n  c)  symbolic, where root m o d i f i c a t i o n i s p r a c t i s e d through, f o r example, i n t e r n a l vowel or consonant change, r e d u p l i c a t i o n , or s t r e s s / p i t c h change ( i . e . a phonological change).  Sapir f u r t h e r subdivides h i s ' a f f i x i n g ' category according to the degree of f u s i o n e x i s t i n g between the root and i t s a f f i x .  The  degree of f u s i o n i s evaluated on the transparency of the a f f i x and a l s o , l e s s c l e a r l y , on the p s y c h o l o g i c a l perception of the a f f i x as a separate meaning e n t i t y . The t h i r d major stratum of Sapir's typology deals w i t h the conceptual elaborateness of a word, i . e . the extent t o which concrete concepts are combined i n t o a s i n g l e word.  This l a s t  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s measured on a q u a n t i t a t i v e s c a l e , with languages being marked f o r the degree of conceptual e l a b o r a t i o n of t h e i r average word rather than f o r a plus- or minus membership of a s p e c i f i c l i m i t e d c l a s s . "The e l a b o r a t i o n scale ranges from a n a l y t i c (having l i t t l e or no combination of concepts w i t h i n a s i n g l e word,  -  9  -  e.g. English) through synthetic (having a higher degree of conceptual combination, but s t i l l operating under r e s t r a i n t s , e.g. L a t i n , Sanskrit) to p o l y s y n t h e t i c (having an extremely elaborate system of concept combination, e.g. Nootka, Algonquian). Breaking with the purely t r a d i t i o n a l l i n e a r t y p o l o g i c a l approaches, Sapir's i n f i n i t e l y more complex approach provides a three dimensional matrix on which languages can be mapped, and thus o f f e r s a much broader overview of the q u a l i t i e s of any one language. Although h i s typology provides f o r no l e s s than 2,870 d i f f e r e n t l a n 4 guage types  (thus allowing a separate type f o r almost every known  language), Sapir comments that " c e r t a i n l i n g u i s t i c types are more stable and frequently represented than others that are j u s t as pos5 s i b l e from a t h e o r e t i c a l standpoint,"  and notes t h a t languages which  f a l l i n t o the same c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i n h i s typology o f t e n show other s i m i l a r i t i e s not covered i n the c l a s s i f i c a t o r y system, thus suggest i n g t h a t languages do indeed f a l l i n t o a l i m i t e d number of n a t u r a l groupings, some aspects of which h i s scheme of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n has s u c c e s s f u l l y captured.  Sapir's system does not go f a r enough,  however, i n that i t does not capture the 'other s i m i l a r i t i e s ' e x i s t i n g across language, and although Sapir has s e t up several d i s t i n c t i v e features of typology, i t appears that he has not located a l l of them, nor has he defined t h e i r redundancies or i m p l i c a t i o n s .  However,  Sapir w i s e l y entertains no delusions about the problems facing t y p o l o g i s t s , commenting:  - 10 -  " c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s , neat constructions of the s p e c u l a t i v e mind, are s l i p p e r y t h i n g s . They have to be t e s t e d a t every p o s s i b l e opportunity ..." 6 Because he f e e l s the understanding of language t o be only i n i t s infancy, he continues: " I t i s of less importance to put language i n a neat pigeonhole than to have evolved a f l e x i b l e method which enables us to place i t , from two or three independent standpoints, r e l a t i v e l y t o another language. But we are too i l l - i n f o r m e d as yet of the s t r u c t u r a l s p i r i t of great numbers of languages t o have the r i g h t t o frame a d e s c r i p t i o n that i s other than f l e x i b l e and experimental." 7 Eor these reasons, Sapir j u s t i f i e s the i n c l u s i o n of three l e v e l s w i t h i n h i s c l a s s i f i c a t o r y system, although he admits that not a l l w i l l give equal i n s i g h t i n t o the underlying form o r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of  language: "A purely t e c h n i c a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n [such] as the current one i n t o ' i s o l a t i n g ' 'agglutinative' and ' i n f l e c t i v e , ' cannot claim t o have great value as an entering wedge i n t o the discovery of the i n t u i t i o n a l forms of language. I do not know whether the suggested c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i n t o four conceptual groups i s l i k e l y t o d r i v e deeper or not. My own f e e l i n g i s t h a t i t does ..." 8  In a l a t e r chapter, Sapir concludes t h a t of h i s three dimensions of language (see p.6), the conceptual l e v e l i s the most  fundamental.  This hypothesis i s to some extent a forerunner of the language s t r u c t u r e suggested by some o f the recent transformational-generative l i n g u i s t s , who conceived three language l e v e l s , of which the semantic component i s the deepest and. thus the most b a s i c . provides an example:  Langacker's model  - 11 -  CONCEPTUAL STRUCTURE  Choice of L e x i c a l Items Syntactic Rules  (= conceptual (Sapir))  (= i s o l a t i n g / a g g l u t i n a t i v e & analytic/synthetic)  SURFACE STRUCTURE  Phonological Rules  PHONETIC MANIFESTATION Despite the omission of any word order c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , on an o v e r a l l b a s i s Sapir's three dimensional c l a s s i f i c a t o r y system gives f a r more i n s i g h t i n t o the character of languages than do any suggested by h i s predecessors o r , perhaps, by h i s successors.  The  f a c t that h i s typology can be used on a synchronic or diachronic l e v e l (see 4.1 below) a l s o marks Sapir's work as the most perceptive yet.  I f such i n s i g h t s i n t o the "fundamental form i n t u i t i o n s "  1 0  of  language continue t o be made, then some day "we s h a l l be able t o read from them the great underlying ground plans [of language]  1 , 1 1  and Sapir's prophecy w i l l be r e a l i z e d . 1.7  In h i s paper "A Q u a n t i t a t i v e Approach t o the Morphological Typology of Language" (1954), Joseph Greenberg, b a s i c a l l y f o l l o w i n g  - 12 -  Sapir's t y p o l o g i c a l system, develops a numerically based procedure f o r comparing language forms-  I n place o f Sapir's i n t u i t i v e  approach, Greenberg defines each feature i n terms of a u n i t r a t i o of two to one. The system operates on a one hundred word s t r e t c h of t e x t , with the r e s u l t s being expressed through t e n numerical indices: i)  degree of synthesis, i n d i c a t e d by the r a t i o of morphemes t o the word (e.g. laugh + ed_ = 2/1). This index corresponds to Sapir's a n a l y t i c / s y n t h e t i c / polysynthetic  ii)  scale,  index of a g g l u t i n a t i o n , i n d i c a t e d by the r a t i o of a g g l u t i n a t i v e constructions t o the number of morpheme junctures  iii)  (e.g. laugh + t e r = 1/1).  This index corres-  ponds to S a p i r s i s o l a t i n g / a g g l u t i n a t i v e / s y m b o l i c 1  divi-  sion. iii)  presence or absence of d e r i v a t i o n a l and concrete r e l a t i o n a l concepts a)  compositional  index, i n d i c a t e d by the number of  roots per word (e.g. drugstore = 2/1) b)  d e r i v a t i o n a l index, indicated by the number of d e r i v a t i o n a l morphemes per word (e.g. farm + er_ = 1/D  - 13 -  c)  gross i n f l e c t i o n a l index, i n d i c a t e d by the number of i n f l e c t i o n a l morphemes per word (e.g. farmer + s_ = 1/1)  This corresponds to Sapir's d i v i s i o n i n t o basic concrete through pure r e l a t i o n a l concepts, iv)  index of order of subordinate elements i n r e l a t i o n to root a)  p r e f i x a l index, indicated by the number of p r e f i x e s per word (e.g. pre + empt = 1/1)  b)  s u f f i x a l index, indicated by the number of s u f f i x e s per word (e.g. mat(t) + ed = 1/1)  v)  index showing devices used to r e l a t e words t o each other a)  i s o l a t i o n a l index, indicated by r e l a t i o n s h i p through word order, i . e . containing no i n f l e c t i o n a l morphemes per r e l a t e d u n i t  b)  pure i n f l e c t i o n a l index, indicated by r e l a t i o n s h i p through purely function-marking morphemes  c)  concordial index, indicated by r e l a t i o n s h i p through a morpheme combining both function-marking and extra-word agreement.  These ten i n d i c e s again allow f o r an i n f i n i t e v a r i e t y of p o s s i b l e combinations, but Greenberg, l i k e Sapir, i s l e s s i n t e r e s t e d i n  - 14 -  assigning languages t o a s p e c i f i c c l a s s or type than he i s i n i n d i c a t i n g t h e i r various trends.  He c r i t i c i z e s previous typolo-  g i e s f o r assigning languages to one s p e c i f i c category, thus f a i l i n g to show t h e i r other tendencies. For example, a language i n which a g g l u t i n a t i v e constructions outnumber non-agglutinative by 60:40 w i l l be c l a s s i f i e d ' a g g l u t i n a t i v e ' with no i n d i c a t i o n of i t s nonagglutinative characteristics.  I t w i l l , therefore, be considered  the same type as a 99:1 a g g l u t i n a t i v e language, and a d i f f e r e n t type from a 40:60 agglutinative:non-agglutinative language, w i t h which i t would a c t u a l l y seem to have a much c l o s e r t i e .  Greenberg's  more complex breakdown allows a l l of what he considers the most important tendencies of language to be i n d i c a t e d . Greenberg's c l a s s i f i c a t i o n has, however, i t s e l f been c r i t i c i z e d on the grounds that the tendencies indicated a f t e r applying the ten indices to one one-hundred word s t r e t c h of a p a r t i c u l a r language might d i f f e r when the system i s applied to another s t r e t c h i n the same language, thus a l t e r i n g the rank ordering of languages f o r s p e c i f i c i n d i c e s .  For example, i n  E n g l i s h a formal s t y l e and a c o l l o q u i a l s t y l e would undoubtedly y i e l d very d i f f e r e n t r e s u l t s due to the former's use of synthetic 12 compounds of c l a s s i c a l d e r i v a t i o n .  Householder  comments that  Greenberg's typology contains no p r o v i s i o n f o r the s y n t a c t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of language, e.g. presence or absence of tense,  - 15 -  aspect, number, case systems, ergative systems and major c o n s t i t u e n t order (SOV, SVO, VSO, e t c . ) , and suggests t h a t i n d i c e s f o r c e r t a i n of these could be added to Greenberg's predominantly morphological typology.  As noted above, the same c r i t i c i s m i s , of course,  equally a p p l i c a b l e to Sapir's typology. Concentrating almost e n t i r e l y on the morphological aspects of language, c l a s s i f i c a t o r y systems up t o and i n c l u d i n g that of Greenberg c o n s i s t e n t l y excluded s y n t a c t i c information from t h e i r considerations. That a s y n t a c t i c c l a s s i f i c a t i o n based on word order had not so f a r been attempted seems s u r p r i s i n g i n r e t r o s p e c t , and yet perhaps not, f o r p r i o r to 1957 when there occurred an increased upsurge of i n t e r e s t i n syntax consequent to Noam Chomsky's w r i t i n g s , the complexities of word order had been l i t t l e comprehended by l i n g u i s t s and had, as a r e s u l t , been severely neglected.  "The i n a b i l i t y to f i n d explanations f o r  s y n t a c t i c phenomena seemed to Hermann H i r t the reason f o r lack of 13 i n t e r e s t i n s y n t a c t i c studies i n h i s day."  Chomsky's t h e o r i e s ,  however, opened the door to a greater understanding of language s t r u c t u r e , since when enormous s t r i d e s have been made i n l i n g u i s t i c s , e s p e c i a l l y i n the f i e l d of syntax.  I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that t h i s  reawakened i n t e r e s t i n syntax eventually caused a break through the t r a d i t i o n a l morphological l i m i t s of language typology.  CHAPTER I I  LANGUAGE TYPOLOGIES BASED ON WORD ORDER  2.0  A good typology should, i n Greenberg's words, "involve 14 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f fundamental importance i n language."  I n recent  years c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of fundamental importance i n syntax have taken precedence over those i n morphology.  Work i n syntax has  u s u a l l y taken the sentence as i t s domain: and i t i s perhaps as a consequence of t h i s that recent work on typology has been based on c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the sentence,  i n p a r t i c u l a r on c h a r a c t e r i s -  t i c s of word order. The typologies considered below account neither f o r a l l known orderings across language nor f o r a l t e r n a t e s y n t a c t i c orderings w i t h i n s p e c i f i c languages.  They account f o r only the  unmarked orders across language and f o r the order w i t h i n the basic sentences of these languages.  Keenan b e l i e v e s t h a t "we  design our language i n a c e r t a i n way unless there i s a s p e c i f i e d 15 reason not t o . "  Some deviations from the unmarked order s t a t e  can be explained i n terms of the e v o l u t i o n from one language type to another (see Chapter I V ) ; others can r e s u l t from h i s t o r i c a l or a r e a l contamination or even from the u n i v e r s a l law of entropy, which demands the degeneration of any o r d e r l y state through disorder to subsequent reorder and which, applying t o society and super-nova a l i k e , does not exclude language from i t s - 16 -  - 17 -  domain.  Within a s p e c i f i c language, longer and more complex  structures b u i l t upon basic sentences may demand reordering of the t y p o l o g i c a l features manifest i n the basic sentence i n order to conform to primary perceptual s t r a t e g i e s operating w i t h i n that language.  The f o l l o w i n g t y p o l o g i c a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s , t h e r e f o r e ,  are based on the unmarked order w i t h i n simple sentences. 2.1.0  I n 1966, Joseph Greenberg, working w i t h a corpus of t h i r t y languages, observed c e r t a i n common word order c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s from which he subsequently extracted h i s now famous 'universals'. Although Greenberg himself d i d not formulate h i s observations i n t o a s y n t a c t i c typology, h i s work has provided the base f o r other l i n g u i s t s to enlarge on and expand i n t o c l a s s i f i c a t o r y systems. The f i r s t major s y n t a c t i c c l a s s i f i c a t o r y system of l a n guage to be put forward was that of Winfred Lehmann who, i n 1971, published "A S t r u c t u r a l P r i n c i p l e of Language and i t s I m p l i c a t i o n s " , i n which the suggestion i s made that languages should be c l a s s i f i e d according to t h e i r ordering of various sentence elements.  "There i s  scarcely a more fundamental r e l a t i o n s h i p i n language than that between verbs and t h e i r objects,""'''"' w r i t e s Lehmann, who considers these two elements t o be the most important of the sentence.  According t o  Lehmann, the subject of a sentence i s by no means of the same importance as are the verb and object i n making s y n t a c t i c classifications."'*  - 18 -  He comments: "Including them [subjects] among the primary elements, as i n the attempts to c l a s s i f y SVO and VSO languages as major types i n the same way as VO and OV languages, has been a source of trouble f o r t y p o l o g i s t s as w e l l as for l i n g u i s t i c t h e o r i s t s i n general. Other evidence i n favour of excluding subjects from the basic phrases t r u c t u r e r u l e s has been given i n many recent grammatical studies ... Typological study accordingly supports t h i s point of view by i l l u s t r a t i n g that the S i n SVO formulae i s f a r l e s s s i g n i f i c a n t than are the categories represented by V and 0." 19 Working with data from several language f a m i l i e s and using the word order c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s observed by Greenberg and the subsequently posited u n i v e r s a l s , Lehmann c l a s s i f i e s languages i n t o two groups, Verb + Object (VO) and Object + Verb (OV).  Noting that i n a con-  s i s t e n t OV language nominal modifiers precede t h e i r head noun and verbal q u a l i f i e r s f o l l o w the verb, but i n a consistent VO language the opposite orders occur, Lehmann p o s i t s a s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e of language, s t a t i n g that because of the strong bond he considers e x i s t s between the verb and the object of a sentence, a l l m o d i f i e r s q u a l i f i e r s tend to appear on the open end of the V-0 u n i t .  and This  " P r i n c i p l e of Opposite Side" i s formally expressed as: Qf V ((N  .)Mod)#  A l i s t of the nominal modifiers and verbal q u a l i f i e r s which Lehmann considers of c l a s s i f i c a t o r y s i g n i f i c a n c e f o l l o w s :  - 19 -  VO Order Nominal Modifiers  Noun + A d j e c t i v e  A d j e c t i v e + Noun  Noun + Genitive  Genitive + Noun  Noun + R e l a t i v e  R e l a t i v e + Noun  A d j e c t i v e + Standard Verbal Qualifiers  OV Order  Standard + A d j e c t i v e  Negative + Verb  Verb + Negative  Question + Verb  Verb + Question  Causative + Verb  Verb + Causative  P o t e n t i a l + Verb  Verb + P o t e n t i a l  A u x i l i a r y + Verb  Verb + A u x i l i a r y  D e c l a r a t i v e + Verb  Verb + D e c l a r a t i v e  Other c r i t e r i a noted by Greenberg and Lehmann to be c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the two orders are: VO Order R e f l e x i v e Pronoun R e l a t i v e Pronoun Prepositions Prefixes  OV Order Reflexive A f f i x NoNRelativ.evBronoun Postpositions Suffixes  Not included i n the t y p o l o g i c a l c r i t e r i a are markers of congruence, gender, case d i s t i n c t i o n and number, which, because of t h e i r r e s t r i c ted occurrence i n languages, Lehmann f e e l s to be d i f f e r e n t from u n i v e r s a l l y present elements such as negative and question.  - 20 -  Lehmann considers a balanced s y n t a c t i c pattern t o be one which completely conforms to a set of VO or OV c r i t e r i a , c i t i n g Japanese and Turkish as examples of consistent OV languages, with Semitic and I r i s h as consistent VO types.  From the observed data  of s y n t a c t i c a l l y consistent VO or OV languages, Lehmann p o s i t s a further four c r i t e r i a f o r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n : VO Order +  OV Order  inflection umlaut . ^. (vowel, influence operating right to left)  +  agglutination  ., , , vowel , . harmony (vowel i n f l u e n c e .. .. . . ,.. operating l e f t to r i g h t )  s t r e s s accent CVC base s y l l a b l e  p i t c h accent CV base s y l l a b l e  although he comments t h a t the l a s t two c r i t e r i a are, a t t h i s stage, only t e n t a t i v e l y substantiated and need f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n and testing. Languages which do not completely conform t o e i t h e r a VO or an OV pattern are considered by Lehmann to be i n a state of t r a n s i t i o n from one consistent base to another.  Lehmann believes  that once an influence - external or i n t e r n a l - has caused a s h i f t i n the basic verb and object sequence, the language w i l l rearrange i t s order of constituents t o conform t o the new base p a t t e r n . Thus languages with both VO and OV q u a l i t i e s are seen to be i n the process of rearranging elements to a new base pattern modelled on the verb and object sequence.  - 21 -  2.1.1  I t should be noted that while Lehmann's " P r i n c i p l e of Opposite Side" c o r r e c t l y p r e d i c t s the placement of c e r t a i n elements i n r e l a t i o n to t h e i r head words, i t does not p r e d i c t the  order i n which two or more modifiers t o the same element  w i l l occur. the  For example, i f both negative and question q u a l i f y  verb, t h e i r ordering i n r e l a t i o n to each other i s not s p e c i f i e d .  From Lehmann's data i n h i s 1971 and 1973 a r t i c l e s , the ordering of two or more modifiers does seem t o show some patterning i n t h a t , for  example, the negative occupies the p o s i t i o n nearer t o the verb  than does the question.  I t thus appears that Lehmann has neglected  to account f o r t h i s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i n h i s theory. I t should a l s o be noted that Lehmann's l i s t of c r i t e r i a omits the ordering of Verb and Adverb.  I f the Adverb i s considered  a v e r b a l q u a l i f i e r , i t would be expected to precede the verb i n VO languages and f o l l o w the verb i n OV languages.  The reverse i s i n  f a c t the case, f o r i n consistent VO languages, the adverb f o l l o w s the  verb whereas i n consistent OV languages i t precedes i t .  Lehmann  has not accounted f o r t h i s discrepancy i n h i s theory, nor has he made p r o v i s i o n f o r Adverb placement should t h i s element be defined as something other than a v e r b a l q u a l i f i e r . 20 E d i t h Moravcsik based on two assumptions. over the subject.  p o i n t s out that Lehmann's typology i s  The f i r s t i s the primacy of the object  However, Ross (1972) has argued f o r the opposite  - 22 -  r e l a t i o n s h i p ( i . e . subject over object) and has pointed to several grammatical r u l e s showing t h a t i f a r u l e applies to objects, i t a l s o a p p l i e s to subjects, and that i f a r u l e i s l e x i c a l l y or s t r u c t u r a l l y r e s t r i c t e d f o r subjects, i t must a l s o be r e s t r i c t e d f o r objects.  On the other hand, Lehmann"s observations on the  " P r i n c i p l e of Opposite Side" ordering suggest that the object i s indeed the primary concomitant of the verb.  This argument i s only  v a l i d , however, i f nominal modifiers are considered modifiers of the object.  to be p r i m a r i l y  I f the subject has equal claim to nominal  m o d i f i e r s , then the P r i n c i p l e of Opposite Side works f o r VSO SOV  languages, but not f o r SVO  languages:  VSO  [ Q u a l i f i e r + V] + [S + Modifier]  SOV  [Modifier + S]  + [(0)V + Q u a l i f i e r ]  SVO  [S + Modifier]  + [V + Q u a l i f i e r ] .  While the primary concomitant of the Subject i n SVO and SOV i s the VO complex, i n VSO  and  languages  types, one would a r b i t r a r i l y have to assume  the Verb as the primary concomitant of the  Subject.  Moravcsik p o i n t s out a f u r t h e r argument i n favour of the primacy of object over subject: "...we may a l l u d e to the area of d e f i n i t e n e s s . There seem to be many r e g u l a r i t i e s here which p e r t a i n to the Object but not to the Subject. Two of these I know of as being w e l l - a t t e s t e d i n a number of languages. F i r s t ... the i n f l e c t i o n of the main Verb v a r i e s depending on whether the Object i s d e f i n i t e or i i n d e f i n i t e . Second, i n some languages the marking of the Object i t s e l f v a r i e s depending on whether the Object i s d e f i n i t e or i n d e f i n i t e ..." 21  - 23 -  The second assumption i m p l i c i t i n Lehmann's typology i s that there must be a u n i v e r s a l node VP, which, dominating the verb and i t s o b j e c t , ensures the object as the primary concomitant of the verb.  The P r i n c i p l e of Opposite Side thus operates to  maintain the close bond of primary concomitants.  Schwartz (1972),  however, claims that evidence f o r a VP c o n s t i t u e n t e x i s t s o n l y i n some SVO languages and i s f a r from u n i v e r s a l .  Lehmann's t y p o l o g i c a l  theory i s thus based on two assumptions - primacy of object over subject and u n i v e r s a l i t y of the VP node - which are s t i l l the subject of controversy. 2.2.0  Again working from Greenberg's data and h i s own observat i o n s , Theo Vennemann agrees w i t h Lehmann that languages appear to f a l l i n t o two s y n t a c t i c c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s , which he r e f e r s t o as VX and XV (where X = verb complement).  Vennemann d e f i n e s an XV language  as one i n which the f i n i t e verb appears i n clause f i n a l p o s i t i o n , and a VX language as one where t h i s i s not the case.  Vennemann's concept  of the primary importance of the verb i n the surface structure corr e l a t e s with i t s importance i n the deep s t r u c t u r e , as suggested by Chafe, who s t a t e s : "...the e n t i r e sentence ... i s b u i l t around the verb ... the nature of the verb determines what the r e s t of the sentence w i l l be l i k e ..."  22  Vennemann f e e l s that Lehmann's explana-  t i o n f o r the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c orders found i n VX and XV languages i s i n s u f f i c i e n t l y r e v e a l i n g and claims instead that the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c orders f o r these types can be accounted f o r by the P r i n c i p l e s of  - 24 -  Natural Constituent Structure and Natural S e r i a l i z a t i o n .  23  These  p r i n c i p l e s i n essence s t a t e that i n an unmarked order semantic h i e r a r c h i c a l dependencies are d i r e c t l y r e f l e c t e d i n surface operatoroperand r e l a t i o n s h i p s , which r e l a t i o n s h i p s must be u n i d i r e c t i o n a l l y serialized. The P r i n c i p l e of Natural Constituent Structure i s a m o d i f i c a t i o n of Behagel's F i r s t Law, which states that what belongs together semantically w i l l be placed c l o s e together  syntactically.  Renate Bartsch (1972) developed the P r i n c i p l e of Natural Constituent Structure from Richard Montague's attempt to t r a n s l a t e n a t u r a l l a n guage structures i n t o predicate l o g i c .  The P r i n c i p l e states t h a t  h i e r a r c h i c a l l y adjacent function-argument semantic elements w i l l be l i n e a r l y juxtaposed i n the surface s t r u c t u r e .  For example, f o r  the phrase, three large brown dogs, the semantic hierarchy would be: {Adj } 3  f  ({Adj |  3  2  f  2  ({AdjJ  f , ({NJ )))  24  — | t h r e e ^ be (|largej be (jbrown^ be (£dogsj )) ) and for the sentence, Susan worked during the weekend because of the r a i n , would be:  { 1N A  —->  2  (  (f  (  H  ) ) }  ^because of the r a i n j (^during the weekendJ ( worked (^Susanj)))  The function-argument semantic h i e r a r c h i e s are subsequently d i r e c t l y r e f l e c t e d i n operator-operand surface r e l a t i o n s h i p s , with the f u n c t i o n corresponding  to the operator, and the argument to the operand.  - 25 -  Borrowing h i s terms from symbolic l o g i c , Vennemann defines the operator-operand r e l a t i o n s h i p as corresponding to the s p e c i f i e r - s p e c i f i e d or determinant-determine r e l a t i o n s h i p of a given sequence.  The operator ( s p e c i f i e r , determinant)  d e l i m i t s the range of the operand subset;  ( s p e c i f i e d , determine) to a  the operand determines the s y n t a c t i c c l a s s of the com-  bined operator-operand sequence.  Thus i n the sequence A-B, A i s  the operator and B i s the operand i f the s y n t a c t i c category of A-B i s equal to the s y n t a c t i c category of B.  For example, i n  the phrase golden b e l l s , the range of b e l l s i s l i m i t e d by golden to a subclass of b e l l s which are golden. s p e c i f i e r , or operator, on b e l l s .  Golden thus acts as a  The noun b e l l s c o n t r o l s the  s y n t a c t i c c l a s s of the word sequence, i n t h i s instance a l s o modifying the c l a s s of golden, and i s thus seen as the operand. The most basic operator-operand r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h i n the proposit i o n a l nexus, claims Vennemann, i s that of the f i n i t e verb and i t s complement (Vennemann, l i k e Lehmann, assumes the existence of a u n i v e r s a l VP node).  Other operator-operand r e l a t i o n s h i p s e x i s t  between verb roots and t h e i r (to use Lehmann s term) q u a l i f i e r s , 1  i . e . negative, question, a u x i l i a r y verbs, etc.  I t i s interesting  to note that whereas Lehmann sees the negative, e t c . , as q u a l i f y i n g the verb, Vennemann, i n contrast, claims the verb s p e c i f i e s the negative, etc.  In f a c t he considers the verbal ' q u a l i f i e r s ' to be  operands on the whole p r o p o s i t i o n a l nexus, although he recognizes that they are frequently constructed as operands on the verb alone.  - 26 -  In her d i s c u s s i o n of modals, Susan Steele agrees with Vennemann"s analysis: "Assuming ... that modals are higher predicates u n d e r l y i n g l y , these p o s i t i o n s are p r e d i c t a b l e from the typology of the l a n guage. Modals should occur i n i t i a l l y i n verb i n i t i a l languages ... and f i n a l l y i n verb f i n a l languages." 25 In her e x c e l l e n t paper, Steele provides evidence that modals a l s o occur dependent upon the verb and, more i n t e r e s t i n g l y , claims'that i n both OV and VO types l a t e r movement of sentence operands toward a common s e n t e n t i a l p o s i t i o n (usually second p o s i t i o n ) i s not an unusual phenomenon.  This a t t r a c t i o n toward a common s e n t e n t i a l  p o s i t i o n may w e l l e x p l a i n the deviant orders from consistent VO or OV types.  I t does not, however, d e t r a c t from the theory of o r i g i n a l  basic orders. Also considered by Vennemann to be i n operator-operand r e l a t i o n s h i p are the noun phrase and i t s associated adposition ( i . e . p r e p o s i t i o n or postposition) r e s p e c t i v e l y .  Included i n h i s  l i s t of operator-operand r e l a t i o n s h i p s are a l l of the s i g n i f i c a n t syntactic c l a s s i f i c a t o r y c r i t e r i a noted by Lehmann plus the f o l l o w i n g : VX Order (operand + operator) Verb + Adverb Noun + Number Marker Noun + Numeral Comparison Marker + A d j e c t i v e Stem  XV Order (operator + operand) Adverb + Verb Number Marker + Noun Numeral + Noun A d j e c t i v e Stem + Comparison Marker  26  - 27 -  VX Order  XV Order  A d j e c t i v e + Adverb  Adverb + A d j e c t i v e  D i r e c t Object + I n d i r e c t Object  I n d i r e c t Object + D i r e c t Object  Directional Adverbial + Temporal A d v e r b i a l  Temporal A d v e r b i a l + Directional Adverbial  The P r i n c i p l e of Natural S e r i a l i z a t i o n demands t h a t a language r e t a i n a c o n s i s t e n t operator-operand order f o r a l l synt a c t i c sequences having t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , i . e . the operatoroperand order must be u n i d i r e c t i o n a l , w i t h the operator always preceding or always f o l l o w i n g the operand.  For example, the  sentences: 2.a  (Susan) a  donne  od  sa  op  robe od  jaune  a  op  od  sa  soeur. op_  od od  op_  od 2.b  2.c  op_  Est-ce que  (le garcon) a frappe l e chien?  od  op_  (Susan-wa) Susan  imotoni  kiirono  sister-to QP  od op_  yellow QP  fukuo  agemashita  dress  give + past  od_  QP  od  od op  od  (Susan gave her yellow dress to her s i s t e r )  - 28 -  2.6.  Shone-wa boy '_  inuo  kerimashita  ka?  dog  k i c k + past  Q  op  (Did the boy k i c k the dog?)  od  show consistent operator-operand sequencing.  The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  orderings found i n VX and XV languages are thus explained.  Venne-  mann formalizes the P r i n c i p l e of Natural S e r i a l i z a t i o n : ^Operatorj  (^Operandj)  =4  [Operator  [Operand]] / XV  [[Operand] Operator] / VX I t seems, however, that i f verb and complement are considered i n an operand-operator r e l a t i o n s h i p , the environments f o r the above formula are redundant, and the r u l e could be r e s t a t e d : ^Operatorj  (joperandj)  =4  [Operator  [Operand]]  [[Operand] Operator] The P r i n c i p l e s of Natural Constituent Structure and Natural S e r i a l i z a t i o n , Vennemann modestly claims, "reduce the e n t i r e basic word order structure of a language to a s i n g l e r u l e 27 of overwhelming transparency and s i m p l i c i t y . "  Indeed, perhaps  he i s r i g h t . 2.2.1  Although Vennemann proposes an integrated theory of semantic-syntactic ordering, he does not motivate h i s claim of c o r r e l a t i o n between the semantic and surface s t r u c t u r e s .  This  r e l a t i o n s h i p has been discussed i n more d e t a i l by Keenan (i972), who o f f e r s a motivation to the e f f e c t that the more c l o s e l y the  - 29 -  s y n t a c t i c s t r u c t u r e resembles the semantic s t r u c t u r e , the more e a s i l y r e t r i e v a b l e the semantic s t r u c t u r e w i l l be and the more economical the grammar. Although.he has studied word order r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n a f a r wider number of languages, Keenan has not so f a r presented an o v e r a l l account of h i s f i n d i n g s .  Nevertheless,  for d e t a i l e d word order studies i n languages other than IndoEuropean and f o r s p e c i f i c s t r u c t u r e s , Keenan's work o f f e r s i n s i g h t s and m a t e r i a l not discussed i n Vennemann s work. 1  Vennemann does not s p e c i f i c a l l y comment on the r e l a 28 t i o n s h i p between the verb and i t s subject  . Although i n predicate  l o g i c verb-subject and verb-object stand i n the same r e l a t i o n s h i p ( i . e . verb(subject, o b j e c t ) ) , Vennemann, i n order to cover a potent i a l flaw i n h i s theory, argues that the subject and i t s predicate do not seem to stand i n operator-operand  r e l a t i o n s h i p , thus exempting  the subject from the P r i n c i p l e of Natural S e r i a l i z a t i o n .  He f u r t h e r  contends t h a t the subject and predicate stand i n a t o p i c + comment r e l a t i o n s h i p (see Chapter I V ) , f o r which reason the subject i s most n a t u r a l l y placed i n sentence i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n i n both VX and XV languages, having a constant preferred s e r i a l i z a t i o n : ^Subjectj £predicatej i . e . ^Topicj |comment|  ==^  [Subject] + [Predicate]  =^  [Topic]  + [Comment]  This rather cursory d i s p o s a l of a major sentence element which does not appear to f i t h i s theory i s a d i s q u i e t i n g aspect of Vennemann's work.  -  30  -  During the e a r l y stages of the t r a n s l a t i o n of n a t u r a l language i n t o predicate l o g i c , Vennemann admits that there was some u n c e r t a i n t y as t o i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the operator and operand of a given sequence, c i t i n g , f o r example, Montague's c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the verb as an operator on i t s d i r e c t object.  This u n c e r t a i n t y  may w e l l account f o r Vennemann's extremely unclear presentation of h i s theory i n h i s only published (as of January 1, 1975) work on the subject, "Explanation i n Syntax".  I n t h i s a r t i c l e , Vennemann  strongly implies t h a t the.verb and i t s object (he has not y e t changed h i s terminology to VX) do not stand i n an operator-operand r e l a t i o n s h i p , thus making h i s theory incomplete and inadequate to account f o r the data.  I f verb and object do not d i s p l a y the  operator-operand r e l a t i o n s h i p , t h e i r s e r i a l i z a t i o n cannot be included i n the theory and thus can have no bearing on the sequencing of other sentence elements.  There i s , t h e r e f o r e , no way of p r e d i c t i n g  why VO and OV types choose the operand + operator and operator + operand sequences r e s p e c t i v e l y .  I n h i s f i r s t a r t i c l e , Vennemann had  to be content with merely s t a t i n g that: "The r i g h t to l e f t order [ i . e . operator + operand] tends t o be employed by SOV languages ... the l e f t to r i g h t order [ i . e . operand + operator] tends to be employed by SVO and VSO languages. 29 According to "Explanation i n Syntax", languages could t h e o r e t i c a l l y have the following four orders:  - 31 -  2.1  VO order:  Operator + Operand  II  VO order:  Operand  III  OV order:  Operator + Operand  IV  OV order:  Operand  sequence  + Operator sequence sequence  + Operator sequence  Orders I I and I I I are the most frequently found i n languages; orders I and IV are r a r e l y , i f ever, found. Following subsequent development of Montague's theory by Bartsch, Vennemann claims that the uncertainty of the verb and object r e l a t i o n s h i p was eliminated and these elements were c l a s s i f i e d as operand and operator r e s p e c t i v e l y .  Vennemann incorporates  these new analyses i n t o h i s l a t e r unpublished papers, on which t h i s section i s mainly based. There are, however, arguments against accepting the operator-operand r e l a t i o n s h i p of the verb and i t s complement. F i r s t l y , Vennemann claims that the operator-operand categories correspond to the function-argument r e l a t i o n s h i p s of p r e d i c a t e logic.  This seems to be true f o r Adverb + Verb, A d j e c t i v e + Noun,  P r e p o s i t i o n + Noun r e l a t i o n s h i p s , but i t does not appear to hold f o r the verb-object r e l a t i o n s h i p .  Compare: Operator + Operand Operator + Operand Operand  + Operator  - 32 -  The operator-operand  r e l a t i o n s h i p which corresponds to the  function-argument d i s t i n c t i o n i s reversed i n the case of the verb and i t s o b j e c t , and only i n t h i s case.  As noted above,  the subject i s not considered i n an operator-operand  relation-  ship with the verb and yet the object, l o g i c a l l y i d e n t i c a l l y positioned with the subject, i s so considered.  This discrepancy  i n Vennemann's argument would appear to cast doubt on h i s verbobject a n a l y s i s . A second argument against accepting the operandoperator c l a s s i f i c a t i o n f o r the verb and i t s object i s that the r e s t r i c t i o n s placed on each other by these l a t t e r elements do not appear to be the same as the operator-operand for example, between a d j e c t i v e and noun.  restriction existing,  The true  operator-operand  r e l a t i o n s h i p i s that of q u a n t i f i e r - q u a n t i f i e d : 2.d  a l l cats purr f (x)  =  (x )  =  of cats (x), a l l cats (x.^ purr (f)  2.e  1  black cats purr =  (Bx) f (x)  =  of cats (x), black cats (Bx) purr (f)  The true operator-operand  r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s between (x^)/(Bx) and  (x), f o r i n both cases (x^) and (Bx) s p e c i f y or l i m i t the number of (x) which undergo f. The range of . (x) i s thus s p e c i f i e d .  Neither  - 33 -  (x^) nor  (Bx) have any power of q u a n t i f i c a t i o n over f_ and  f o r e a r e not i n any operator-operand the same way,  r e l a t i o n s h i p with i t .  In  adverbs a c t as o p e r a t o r s on t h e i r v e r b s because  they q u a n t i f y o r l i m i t the semantic 2.f  there-  f i e l d of the v e r b :  talked softly =  (Av) f  (v)  =  o f to t a l k  ( v ) , s o f t l y to t a l k  (Av)  i s the c a s e . ( f ) .  Even sentence m o d i f i e r s stand i n a q u a n t i f i e r - q u a n t i f i e d s h i p w i t h t h e p r o p o s i t i o n a l nexus. 2.g  For the  relation-  sentence:  Do b l a c k c a t s p u r r ?  the l o g i c a l e x p r e s s i o n would (((Bx) f =  (x)) Q)  g  be: (Q)  o f q u e s t i o n s (Q), the q u e s t i o n do b l a c k c a t s p u r r (((Bx) f (x) QJ e x i s t s (g).  While the o b j e c t of a v e r b may of the v e r b , i n no way  s p e c i f y the r e c i p i e n t of the a c t i o n  does i t l i m i t the q u a l i t y of the a c t i o n .  t h e r e f o r e seems to stand i n a d i f f e r e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the  It  verb  than do the other v e r b a l m o d i f i e r s . A t h i r d argument a g a i n s t a c c e p t i n g the v e r b - o b j e c t = operand-operator  r e l a t i o n s h i p i s found  i n VSX  languages which,  although  the l e a s t f r e q u e n t type, i n t h e i r unmarked o r d e r p l a c e the s u b j e c t between the v e r b and o b j e c t . operand-operator  I f the v e r b and o b j e c t stand i n an  r e l a t i o n s h i p , the l i n e a r u n i t y of the  sequence  w i l l be broken by the i n t r u s i v e s u b j e c t , a d i s r u p t i o n not  otherwise  - 34 -  occurring i n other operator-operand sequences.  30  Subject i n t e r -  r u p t i o n of the verb-object sequence r a i s e s the question as to whether the subject i t s e l f , i f not undergoing f r o n t i n g by t o p i c a l i z a t i o n , should be c l a s s i f i e d i n a surface operator-operand sequence, i n which case, the r o l e of the object would become even more uncertain: i)  ?  Verb  +  Subject  od  +  op od  ii)  ?  Object  Verb  +  op  Subject  +  Object  ? od  ?  (no function-argument relation)  op_  Neither o f the two analyses i ) and i i ) seem adequate, and both are a r b i t r a r i l y ordered.  Vennemann avoids d i s c u s s i o n of operator-  operand sequences i n VSO languages. Another example of a r b i t r a r y operator-operand ordering seems to e x i s t i n Vennemann's object and i n d i r e c t object sequencing (VX = Object + I n d i r e c t Object;  XV = I n d i r e c t Object + Object).  I have been informed by native speakers that the Japanese 2.c i s equally, acceptable as e i t h e r 2.c' or 2.c': 2.c  (Susan-wa) S  2.c'  (Susan-wa) S  imotoni 10 kiirono Adj.  kiirono Adj. fukuo 0  fukuo 0 imotoni 10  agemashita. V agemashita. V  sentence  - 35 -  I f i n d equal a c c e p t a b i l i t y f o r the E n g l i s h counterparts to 2.c and 2.c : 1  2.h  I gave the yellow dress to my s i s t e r .  2.i  I gave my s i s t e r the yellow dress.  The d i f f e r e n c e between the sentences i n both languages appears to l i e i n the element of newest information, which w i l l be put i n stressed p o s i t i o n (NP f i n a l i n E n g l i s h , post-topic NP i n Japanese) regardless of i t s status as object or i n d i r e c t object.  The semantic  l e v e l of these elements i s equal: gave  ( I , yellow dress,  my s i s t e r ) .  Vennemann's a r b i t r a r y ordering of these NPs does not, therefore, seem j u s t i f i e d .  In l i g h t of t h i s problem, together with that of  the operator-operand sequencing of verb and object, I am not s a t i s f i e d that these major elements of the k e r n e l sentence ( i . e . V + NPs) can be so e a s i l y assigned operator-operand status with respect to each other. Despite i t s drawbacks, Vennemann's d i s c u s s i o n of s y n t a c t i c types has some advantage over Lehmann's.in that not only does i t account f o r the mirrored s y n t a c t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of VX and XV languages, but i t also p r e d i c t s the order i n which two or more nominal modifiers or verbal q u a l i f i e r s may appear, a p r e d i c t i o n which Lehmann's theory was unable to make.  Although Vennemann's  - 36 -  explanation of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s y n t a c t i c sequences i s not completely s a t i s f a c t o r y , i t does attempt t o account f o r the data formally, f o r which reason i t i s superior to Lehmann's. Although Lehmann c o r r e c t l y observes that languages h e s i t a t e t o break the verb-object bond, he neglects t o i n d i c a t e why t h i s should be so and thus does not explain t h i s i n t u i t i v e statement.  Neither  theory accounts f o r some of the 'other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ' of t y p i c a l VO and OV languages as noted by Greenberg and Lehmann, e.g. R e f l e x i v e A f f i x vs. R e f l e x i v e Pronoun; of a R e l a t i v e Pronoun;  presence or absence  phonological c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , e t c .  As noted above, Vennemann s theory contains discrepan1  c i e s regarding the status of the major sentence elements i n respect to one another, and, due t o t h i s uncertainty, I f e e l that language orders 2.1 and 2.IV (see p.31) might be p o s s i b l e to generate. I b e l i e v e , and s h a l l attempt to show i n the f o l l o w i n g chapter, that the common occurrence of sequences 2.II and 2 . I l l and the (to the best of my knowledge) non-occurrence of sequences 2.1 and 2.IV i n languages may i n p a r t or i n whole be due to the operation of perceptual c o n s t r a i n t s which s p e c i f y t h a t , because of p o s s i b l e m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , verb i n i t i a l and verb f i n a l languages must avoid operator-+ operand and operand + operator sequences  - 37 -  r e s p e c t i v e l y f o r the ordering of t h e i r nominal modifiers and verbal q u a l i f i e r s .  The same perceptual c o n s t r a i n t s would a l s o  account f o r Lehmann's i n t u i t i o n regarding the close bond between verb and object.  CHAPTER I I I  PERCEPTUAL CONSTRAINTS ON GRAMMAR AND  THE  IMPLICATIONS FOR WORD ORDER TYPES  3.0  This chapter w i l l attempt to j u s t i f y the claim made at the end of Chapter I I that perceptual c o n s t r a i n t s are respons i b l e f o r the avoidance of the t h e o r e t i c a l l y p o s s i b l e word order types I and IV. The f i r s t section of t h i s chapter w i l l give a b r i e f background of relevant work i n the f i e l d of perceptual cons t r a i n t s while the second s e c t i o n w i l l t r y to show how these cons t r a i n t s operate to prevent the occurrence of orders I and IV.  3.1.0  Studies i n d i c a t e that c e r t a i n apparently  grammatical  structures may not i n f a c t have developed from i n h e r e n t l y grammat i c a l r u l e s , but may have a r i s e n through the a p p l i c a t i o n of perceptual s t r a t e g i e s which operate, a t l e a s t p a r t i a l l y , independently of grammatical r u l e s .  Bever (1970) states that between the ages of  2 and 6, a c h i l d appears t o develop perceptual s t r a t e g i e s which cons t r a i n h i s l a t e r a c q u i s i t i o n of c e r t a i n l i n g u i s t i c s t r u c t u r e s .  The  f a c t that, i n adult grammar, some formally p o s s i b l e structures never appear suggests that the mature speaker may also have some perceptual l i m i t a t i o n s on h i s l i n g u i s t i c system. - 38 -  31  - 39 -  A grammar which generates such acceptable sentences as 3.a-d w i l l also generate the grammatical, but much l e s s ( i f a t a l l ) acceptable sentences 3.e-h. 3.a  The dog beaten by the o l d man escaped.  b  The boy the g i r l loved died.  c  Jane figured the problem out.  d  L i n g u i s t s women admire speak I l l o n g o .  e  The dog walked t o the lamppost escaped.  f  The man the g i r l the boy despised loved died.  g  Jane f i g u r e d that John wanted to take the cat out.  h  Men women and c h i l d r e n annoy stay bachelors.  Sentences such as 3.e-h, i f they are understood a t a l l , o f t e n r e s u l t i n severe m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  I n sentence 3.e,  The dog walked to the  lamppost i s i n i t i a l l y misperceived as the main clause of the sentence with the r e s u l t that the complete sentence cannot be grammatically interpreted.  Blumenthal (1967) showed that sentences patterned l i k e  3.f are frequently i n c o r r e c t l y paraphrased to a compound s t r u c t u r e : 3.i  The man, the g i r l , and the boy despised, loved, and died.  In sentence 3.g the p a r t i c l e out i s often i n c o r r e c t l y assigned t o the verb take rather than t o the verb f i g u r e to which, i n t h i s instance, i t belongs.  Sentences of the type 3.h were i n i t i a l l y misinterpreted  as containing a compound subject + main verb: 3.j  Men, women and c h i l d r e n annoy ...  - 40 -  The remainder of the sentence again does not allow a grammatical processing of the utterance. Several theories have been advanced t o account f o r the  f a c t that some l i n g u i s t i c structures generated by r u l e s of  the  grammar are not w i t h i n the competence of the mature speaker.  Selected aspects of some major works w i l l be b r i e f l y reviewed. Although t h e i r terminology d i f f e r s from one t o the other, Bever (1968, 1970, e t c . ) , Grosu (1972) and Kimball  (1973)  b a s i c a l l y agree that there e x i s t three main f a c t o r s responsible for the m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of sentences such as 3.e-h: i) ii) iii)  erroneous segmentation of the utterance short term memory span perceptual complexity of intervening m a t e r i a l i n a discontinuous utterance.  3.1.1  According to Bever, the hearer of an utterance w i l l attempt t o segment as a u n i t any sequence whose constituents correspond to primary i n t e r n a l structure r e l a t i o n s such as, f o r example, actor + a c t i o n .  M i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of sentence 3.e r e s u l t s  from the hearer's erroneous segmentation of the i n i t i a l phrase, which f i t s the basic actor + a c t i o n + object sentence p a t t e r n , i.e.  The dog  walked  t o the lamppost  actor  action  object.  - 41 -  Not only i s the past p a r t i c i p l e walked misinterpreted as a f i n i t e verb, but, because the v e r b a l form i s not marked f o r subordination, the i n i t i a l phrase i s i n c o r r e c t l y assigned main clause status.  In a s e r i e s of t e s t s , Savin (1965) concluded  that a sentence whose i n i t i a l verb was subordinate was percept u a l l y more complex than one whose i n i t i a l 'verb was p a r t of the main clause.  This," and other evidence, leads Bever t o p o s i t  perceptual s t r a t e g i e s which account f o r the erroneous i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of 3.e: "Any Noun Verb Noun sequence w i t h i n a p o t e n t i a l i n t e r n a l u n i t i n the surface structure corresponds t o a c t o r - a c t i o n object. "The f i r s t Noun Verb (Noun) sequence i s the main clause.^ unless the verb i s c l e a r l y marked f o r subordination." Grosu's explanation f o r the m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of sentence 3.e (and the i n i t i a l erroneous segmentation of 3.h) i s a m o d i f i c a t i o n of Chapin, Smith & Anderson's p r o p o s a l , which states: "In imposing an i n i t i a l s t r u c t u r a l d e s c r i p t i o n on a sentence, the subject attempts at each successive p o i n t t o c l o s e o f f a constituent at the highest l e v e l p o s s i b l e . " 33 Grosu's m o d i f i c a t i o n merely adds the clause: "however, closure i s suspended u n t i l some s i g n i f i c a n t cue i s encountered." 34 .  - 42 -  Instead of being i n t e r p r e t e d at the lower embedded sentence l e v e l , the i n i t i a l sequence of 3.e would thus be m i s i n t e r p r e t e d at the higher main clause l e v e l u n t i l the appearance of escaped, which would s i g n a l both the closure of the previous structure and, a t the same time, the sentence's erroneous segmentation. According to K i m b a l l , immediately on reception of the f i r s t acoustic s i g n a l , the l i s t e n e r begins to parse an utterance i n a 'top down' d i r e c t i o n , i . e . he w i l l begin h i s parsing structure w i t h S, then work downward to NP, VP, etc. , e.g. 3.k  The cat l i k e s f i s h .  1) The  S  /  NP  I det 2) cat  S  /  NP  A det  N  3) l i k e s  S NP  VP  A  I  det N 4)  V  fish  S NP  „^ det  Fig. I  VP N  V  ^  NP N  - 43 -  Once a phrase has been closed, i . e . when the f i n a l constituent of a node has been formed, Kimball theorizes i t i s then pushed down i n t o a s y n t a c t i c processing stage and cleared from the hearer's short term memory ( i t i s the subsequent acoustic s i g n a l which presumably denotes closure of a preceding phrase as per Grosu's m o d i f i c a t i o n above).  Once a phrase has been  processed, Kimball argues that i t i s very c o s t l y i n terms of perceptual complexity to have to r e t r i e v e i t f o r r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of i t s constituents. 1)  Sentence 3.e would be parsed as f o l l o w s :  The  S NP det' (STM)  2) dog  S NP det  3)  N  (STM)  walked NP  VP  (PU) 4) to  V  (STM)  S NP (PU)  VP (STM) V  PP  /  P  - 44 -  5) the  6)  lamppost  STM = short term memory PU  = processed u n i t Fig. I I '  At t h i s juncture the structure i s grammatically acceptable. Subsequent reception of the s i g n a l escaped i n i t i a l l y removes VP to a processed u n i t , but then causes problems f o r the hearer, f o r there i s no node which can be attached to the e x i s t i n g tree under which escaped can appear.  The hearer i s thus forced to r e t r i e v e  a l l the processed u n i t s and hold them a l l i n h i s short term memory while he completely r e s t r u c t u r e s the utterance.  Kimball's top down  parsing method thus accounts f o r m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the sentence. Although they e x p l a i n erroneous segmentation i n varying terms, Bever, Grosu and Kimball a l l agree that the hearer w i l l  - 45 -  analyse an utterance at the highest l e v e l (or most basic l e v e l ) p o s s i b l e unless or u n t i l he i s given an i n d i c a t i o n that such s t r u c t u r i n g i s i n c o r r e c t . This p r i n c i p l e would seem to i n d i c a t e that the n a t u r a l order f o r . E n g l i s h sentence s t r u c t u r e would be Main Clause + Subordinate Clause.  In that a subordinate  clause  modifies some aspect of the main clause, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that t h i s ordering corresponds to the S p e c i f i e d + S p e c i f i e r ordering generally p o s i t e d for VO languages.  I t i s noted that  when perceptual confusion of the two clauses could a r i s e ( i . e . when the subordinate clause precedes the main c l a u s e ) , the E n g l i s h subordinate clause i s always marked f o r s t a t u s , e i t h e r by a f u n c t i o n word or by nominalization, e.g. 3.1 m n o p q  That John came l a t e annoyed Susan, *John came l a t e annoyed Susan. The croupier who worked at Monte Carlo cheats at cards. *The croupier worked at Monte Carlo cheats at cards. His singing upset the cat. *He sings upset the cat.  Correct sentence parsing i s thus i n d i c a t e d on reception of the f i r s t . 35 acoustic s i g n a l : That John  S  Comp  •S NP Fig. I l l  etc.  - 46 -  The croupier who  /  S  NP A  del  N  I  s rel Fig.  IV  The E n g l i s h system of subordination thus allows f o r the most economical parsing process.  I suspect, but do not know, that  most VO languages show subordination markers i n clause i n i t i a l 36 p o s i t i o n and would thus f a l l i n t o the same economical category. By i m p l i c a t i o n , OV languages would be l e s s e f f i c i e n t than t h e i r VO counterparts, as overt subordination markers, m i r r o r i n g the VO p a t t e r n , would be clause f i n a l : 3.r.e.'g.  Basque [Gurasoak  irakurri  the parents  read  (zuten + n ==}) zuten] l i b u r a past  rel.  book  The book that the parents read 3. s  Amharic [bet - u - n house-the-acc  (ya - w - sarra =4)  ya - s a r r a - w]  pro.-the-made  nigus king  The king who made the house In a sequence [S{0)V sub. marker] OV the l i s t e n e r could i n c o r r e c t l y parse the i n i t i a l clause as the main clause u n t i l reception of the clause f i n a l subordinating marker.  While a top down parsing process  would have operated f o r the i n i t i a l clause, a bottom up a d j o i n i n g process would have to be used to form the higher S node:  - 47 -  NP Fig.  VP  V  The hearer would not, however, need to r e t r i e v e any processed u n i t s , as r e a n a l y s i s of elements w i t h i n the i n i t i a l sentence would not be necessary.  One could argue that the upward a d d i t i o n of the  main clause i s no more complex than the longer i n i t i a l downward parsing of the VO counterparts.  Indeed, i f one traces the  two  paths of movement through the t r e e , the OV v e r s i o n seems more economical: OV S NP  VP  S NP )  VP  = retracing line Fig.  VI  However, the two d i r e c t i o n s of node a d d i t i o n , the i n i t i a l misperception of the subordinate clause as a main clause and the subsequent r e s t r u c t u r i n g demanded seem to mark the OV system as the 37 l e s s preferable of the two. The need to overcome t h i s problem may  - 48 -  account f o r Steele's and Greenberg's observation that i n an OV language r e l a t i v e clauses "may precede the head noun" whereas 38 i n a VO language they "do not precede the head noun" mine).  The not uncommon post-nominal  (italics  p o s i t i o n of the r e l a t i v e  clause i n OV languages would ensure that a clause formed on the object NP i s immediately  i d e n t i f i e d as subordinate, due to the  j u x t a p o s i t i o n of three nominal elements: S  0  [S  NP  NP  NP  (0)  V]  V  Because N + R e l a t i v e constructions u s u a l l y have a clause i n i t i a l subordinating marker (see Lehmann's 'other c r i t e r i a ' , p. 19), a post-nominal  clause formed on the subject NP would also be marked  immediately f o r i t s subordinate status and thus not misinterpreted as the main clause.  Lehmann's c r i t e r i o n that R e l a t i v e + N construc-  t i o n s u s u a l l y contain no r e l a t i v e pronoun supports the claim t h a t clause f i n a l subordination markers are p e r c e p t u a l l y inadequate. Some OV languages with R e l a t i v e + N constructions avoid the l a t e a n a l y s i s of subordination by introducing a clause i n i t i a l marker: 3.t  p  9-  Hindi [Jo  dhobii  mere  which washerman  saath  my-with  aayaa] vah d h o b i i came  DaakTar  t h a t washerman doctor's kaa  bhaaii hai  brother i s The washerman who came w i t h me i s the doctor's brother.  - 49 -  Other OV languages i n d i c a t e subordination e a r l i e r i n the clause by d e l e t i o n of the equi-NP: 3.ue q,  Japanese [Yamada-san-ga Yamada-Mr.-sbj.  0'ka'tte i r u ] sa'ru keep  be + monkey pres.  The monkey which Mr. Yamada keeps 3.v  Turkish [0  sokagin asagisinda oturan] i h t i y a r adam geeen street  down  lives  old  man ' l a s t  hafta  Bldu  week  died  The o l d man who l i v e s down the s t r e e t died l a s t week. Other OV languages (e.g. Lakhota) use d i f f e r e n t case markers f o r equi-NPs i n subordinate and main clauses, while s t i l l others (e.g. Tagalog) use topic and comment markers which may, i n some way, mark out elements of l e s s e r importance.  Investigation into  i n d i r e c t markers o f subordination may subsequently show that OV languages u s u a l l y do i n d i c a t e the subordinate status of an element before the clause f i n a l p o s i t i o n i s reached. 3.1.2  Although t h e i r various explanations are couched i n d i f f e r i n g terminologies, Bever, Grosu and Kimball g e n e r a l l y agree that m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of sentence 3.g i s due p a r t i a l l y t o the  - 50 -  d i s c o n t i n u i t y of sentence elements and p a r t i a l l y to the complexity of the intervening m a t e r i a l . Bever notes that the more complex of two modifying elements w i l l , i f the choice e x i s t s , g e n e r a l l y appear i n second 39position, 3.w  i ) John walked b r i s k l y i n a more n o r t h e r l y d i r e c t i o n . ii)  3.x  e.g. i ) p r e f e r r e d to 1 1 ) :  John walked i n a more n o r t h e r l y d i r e c t i o n b r i s k l y .  i ) John walked north a t a s l i g h t l y b r i s k e r pace. ii)  John walked a t a s l i g h t l y b r i s k e r pace north.  This ordering i s presumably due to the f a c t t h a t 3.w i ) and 3.x i ) adds only one word t o the immediate memory l o a d , whereas 3.w i i ) and 3.x i i ) add a complete phrase.  Bever considers that a sentence  such as 3.g (here repeated f o r convenience): 3.g  Jane figured [that John wanted to take the cat] out.  i s misinterpreted because e i t h e r the length or the complexity of the intervening sequence may overload the l i s t e n e r ' s immediate memory. He states t h a t the perceptual complexity of such sentences i s d i r e c t l y proportionate to the complexity of the intervening s t r u c t u r e .  I n the  case o f 3.g s p e c i f i c a l l y , m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n can also occur because the l i s t e n e r expects the more complex element t o end the sentence. As John wanted to take the c a t out i s grammatically acceptable, the l i s t e n e r w i l l perceive out as part of the f i n a l complex phrase.  - 51 -  Grosu disagrees with Bever's statement that the distance between i n t e r n a l l y r e l a t e d elements i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y r e l a t e d t o perceptual complexity, arguing that i n discourse, even though pronouns may be widely separated from t h e i r antecedents, understanding can take place. does not, however, appear v a l i d .  H i s counter-argument  Whereas Bever's theory con-  cerns d i s c o n t i n u i t y w i t h i n a node and the subsequent immediate memory load, Grosu's examples o f pronoun and antecedent are based not on the distance w i t h i n nodes, but on distance between sentences.  I t i s claimed that distance between sentences does  not tax the immediate memory i n the same way as distance w i t h i n nodes does i n that the sentence as a complete node may be put i n t o long term memory, whereas no p a r t of a node may be stored u n t i l thewhole i s complete.  For t h i s reason, Grosu's counter-  examples do not prove what they claim.  Although Grosu argues  that some discontinuous readings are p o s s i b l e , he agrees with Bever that i n c e r t a i n cases  (e.g. p a r t i c l e s )  t h e i r accept-  a b i l i t y becomes l e s s i f the intervening s t r u c t u r e i s complex, and f u r t h e r believes that where p o s s i b l e a continuous reading w i l l be chosen over a discontinuous one.  A discontinuous  reading becomes unacceptable, however, i f i t can be reanalysed and misinterpreted as continuous,  (as i n sentence 3.g).  Thus i n sentence 3.y, the p a r t i c l e down w i l l be analysed as part of the f a l l e n  because of a p o s s i b l e continuous  - 52 -  reading, whereas i n 3.z m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n w i l l not occur because a r r i v e d + down does not form a continuous reading. 3.y  John pushed the l i t t l e g i r l who had f a l l e n down.  3.iz  John pushed the l i t t l e g i r l who had a r r i v e d down.  Grosu thus argues that the l i s t e n e r w i l l accept the simplest ( i . e . continuous) i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of an utterance unless there i s an i n d i c a t i o n of d i s c o n t i n u i t y .  Continuous s t r u c t u r e s therefore  appear more n a t u r a l to language than do discontinuous ones. Based on h i s argument that E n g l i s h speakers parse incoming utterances i n a r i g h t branching top down tree s t r u c t u r e , Kimball states that m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of sentence 3.g r e s u l t s from the f a c t that terminal symbols o p t i m a l l y associate to the lowest leftmost non-terminal node.  This p r i n c i p l e of Right A s s o c i a t i o n  i n e f f e c t merely'schematizes Grosu's p r i n c i p l e of 'continuous reading'.  Up to the word out, sentence 3.g would be parsed as  f o l l o w s , with the marked phrases being processed as completed u n i t s and removed from short term memory: S,  Fig. VII  V I take  NP  I  the c a t  - 53 -  The l i s t e n e r , operating on the Right A s s o c i a t i o n p r i n c i p l e , attempts to a t t a c h the p a r t i c l e out t o the lowest leftmost non-terminal node, i . e . VP of S^.  This he s u c c e s s f u l l y  accomplishes:  F i g . IX In sentence 3.z, attachment of the p a r t i c l e down to the lowest leftmost non-terminal node could not be s u c c e s s f u l l y accomplished. The l i s t e n e r would therefore be forced to reanalyse the complete utterance, which task would demand r e t r i e v a l of a l l the p r e v i o u s l y  - 54 -  processed u n i t s .  According t o K i m b a l l , such r e t r i e v a l and  reorganization i s very c o s t l y i n terms of perceptual complexity. Structures such as F i g . IX v i o l a t e the otherwise balanced top downward r i g h t branching c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h e i r sentences, t h i s very imbalance accounting f o r the perceptual complexity of the utterances. 3.1.3  The f a c t that s i n g l e centre embedded clauses (3.b) are acceptable, but t h a t m u l t i p l e embedded clauses (3.f) are frequently m i s i n t e r p r e t e d , has long provided food f o r l i n g u i s t i c thought.  While double embedded s t r u c t u r e s may merely be s p e c i a l  cases of d i s c o n t i n u i t y , other explanations f o r t h e i r m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n have been put forward. To prevent occurrence of double embedded s t r u c t u r e s , Chomsky & M i l l e r (1965) suggest a r u l e s t a t i n g that "a perceptual 40 p r i n c i p l e may not i n t e r r u p t i t s own operation more than once." Thus sentence 3.f, here repeated f o r convenience: 3.f  [The man [the g i r l N N 1 2  [the boy despised] loved] d i e d ] . N V V V 3 3 2 1  i s ungrammatical because perceptual assignment of interrupted by the same r e l a t i o n s h i p of  to  is  to V^/ which i s , i n  t u r n , i n t e r r u p t e d by the same r e l a t i o n s h i p of  to V^.  The r u l e  does not, however, e x p l a i n why one i n t e r r u p t i o n i s acceptable but two or more are not.  - 55 -  Bever accounts f o r the complexity of m u l t i p l e embedded sentences by a perceptual r u l e of double f u n c t i o n i n g . In sentence 3.f, he points out that  the g i r l performs a  double f u n c t i o n i n r e l a t i o n to the other nouns. acts as subject i n r e l a t i o n to the preceding  N,> the g i r l the man, i . e .  the g i r l loved the man, but acts as object i n r e l a t i o n to N J the boy, i . e . the boy despised the g i r l .  Bever argues t h a t  m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a r i s e s because an element i s perceived as having two separate functions on the same c l a s s i f i c a t o r y dimension.  Note t h a t Bever i m p l i c i t l y accepts Chomsky's c o n d i t i o n  on the s i m i l a r i t y of the perceptual p r i n c i p l e involved.  Other  examples o f double f u n c t i o n i n g which Bever o f f e r s a r e , unfortunately, much l e s s convincing than the subject/object example above.  As a  s i n g l e embedded sentence could not contain a double functioning element, i t appears that Bever's theory accounts f o r the m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of m u l t i p l e embedded sentences. Grosu, however, does not f e e l that Bever's double f u n c t i o n p r i n c i p l e adequately explains the complexity of m u l t i p l e centre embeddings.  He p o i n t s out that some such structures are  acceptable even though they contain a double f u n c t i o n element, e.g. 3.A'  The mountain which the g i r l the bear chased climbed towered to a height of 15,000 f e e t .  3.B-  The surgeon who the g i r l that the hoodlum raped consulted had won high honours i n medical school.  - 56 -  M u l t i p l e centre embeddings appear to be acceptable when semantic c o r r e l a t i o n s r e s t r a i n p o t e n t i a l grammatical u n i t s .  Rejecting  Bever's double f u n c t i o n explanation, Grosu favours a numerical c o n s t r a i n t on m u l t i p l e centre embeddings, a c o n s t r a i n t which would be tempered according to the r e s t r i c t i o n s imposed by the semantic c o r r e l a t i o n s . This numerical c o n s t r a i n t could e a s i l y be l i n k e d to Grosu's d i s c o n t i n u i t y argument? Kimball's explanation f o r m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of centre embedded structures i s again associated with the sentence parsing t r e e which the l i s t e n e r automatically constructs on reception of the acoustic s i g n a l .  , sentence 3.f would be  Up to the end of  parsed: S  the g i r l  rel  NE, ;•  /  the boy Fig. X  - 57 -  At t h i s p o i n t the constituents of three d i f f e r e n t sentences are being held i n short term memory, as no sentence can be considered a processed unit' u n t i l the rightmost of i t s immediate c o n s t i t u e n t s has been introduced.  Note t h a t , although a m u l t i p l e r i g h t  branching  structure contains more than two sentences, these sentences can be considered as processed u n i t s because the rightmost daughter of each S'.has been introduced/ e.g. 3.:G3  I saw the c a t that ate the f i s h that my aunt cooked. S NP  VP  F i g . XI 1  To support h i s claim that i t i s the unclosed sentence constituent which overloads the capacity of the short term memory, Kimball points out that nominalizations of m u l t i p l e centre embedded s t r u c tures are easier to comprehend than are t h e i r f u l l sentence counterp a r t s , because the former do not contain unclosed sentences, e.g.  - 58 -  3.D  [That [that [that Joe l e f t bothered Susan] surprised Max] annoyed me.]  3.E  Joe's leaving bothering Susan's s u r p r i s i n g Max annoyed me. 3.D =  3*; =  surprising  det  VP  / \ NP  I  Joe  tiV  's  V  RP  I  |  I  V  bothering Susan  I  leaving Fig. XIII  Max  - 59 -  (I must, however, admit that to me neither sentence seems very comprehensible and that 3.E i s only a very s l i g h t improvement over 3.D).  Kimball therefore b e l i e v e s that perceptual  complexity  i n m u l t i p l e embeddings i s proportionate to the number of sentences being held i n short term memory at a given time, and h i s percept u a l r e s t r i c t i o n on m u l t i p l e embeddings states that the constituents of no more than two sentences can be parsed at the same time.  This  p r i n c i p l e i s , however, inadequate i n that i t does not attempt to explain why two unclosed sentences form the perceptual boundary, nor does i t account f o r the f a c t t h a t , due to semantic c o r r e l a t i o n , three stage centre embeddings are i n some instances r e l a t i v e l y easy to understand. 3.1.4  Although explanations f o r the m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of c e r t a i n E n g l i s h sentences may d i f f e r somewhat and may not always be adequate, there appears to be enough evidence to show that perceptual s t r a t e g i e s do p l a y a part i n the formation of acceptable sentences.  As mentioned above, the consensus of opinion a r i s i n g  from the work of Bever, Grosu and Kimball i s t h a t perceptual confusion occurs because of three main causes:  erroneous segmentation  of the utterance, d i s c o n t i n u i t y of s i n g l e l e v e l c o n s t i t u e n t s , and perceptual or short term memory l i m i t a t i o n s on m u l t i p l e centre embedded s t r u c t u r e s .  - 60 -  3.2.0  The perceptual s t r a t e g i e s considered i n 3.1 above have a l l been concerned with E n g l i s h .  I f , as seems probable,  perceptual c o n s t r a i n t s operate i n one.language, I suggest that other languages may a l s o be subject to such r e s t r i c t i o n s .  While  the perceptual s t r a t e g i e s themselves w i l l d i f f e r from language to language, I suggest that the three major causes of perceptual misi n t e r p r e t a t i o n as noted i n 3.1.4 may be s i m i l a r f o r a l l languages. The need to avoid these causes may i n f l u e n c e languages i n t h e i r choice of an o v e r a l l s y n t a c t i c p a t t e r n and thus e x p l a i n the preference f o r the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c word order types noted i n Chapter I I . As noted i n Chapter I I , Vennemann's P r i n c i p l e of Natural S e r i a l i z a t i o n and the r e s u l t i n g u n i d i r e c t i o n a l operatoroperand surface sequencing t h e o r e t i c a l l y allows f o r four word order types, here repeated f o r convenience: I  VO order:  Operator + Operand  II  VO order:  Operand  I I I OOV order: IV  OV order:  + Operator sequence  Operator + Operand Operand  sequence  sequence  + Operator sequence  Orders I I and I I I are frequently found i n d i f f e r i n g language f a m i l i e s ; orders I and IV are, to the best of my knowledge, never found.  The  presence of various nominal modifiers and v e r b a l q u a l i f i e r s could t h e o r e t i c a l l y provide the f o l l o w i n g sequences f o r the four orders:  - 61 -  I  V + Caus + Neg + Q // + A r t + Adj + N  II  Q + Neg + Caus + V // +  III  + Adj + A r t  A r t + Adj + N , . // + V + Caus + Neg + Q ot>3  IV  N  + Adj + A r t // + Q + Neg + Caus + V  The f o l l o w i n g surface s t r u c t u r e trees r e f l e c t the four orders: V  NP  V V MV  Q  V  A r t Adj N  Q  Neg  / \  NP  MV  VP  V N  V V  MV  Adj A r t  V  Caus  IV =  Adj  N  Neg  III =  .  Q  N  Neg  Adj  Art  A  Q  Caus  V  /\  Neg F i g . XIV  3.2.1  V  Caus  Art  NP  V  / \  Caus  MV  I n the above surface t r e e s , the head elements of the verb and noun phrase nodes are the main verb and the noun.respect i v e l y ? without which the modifying elements would not be present. The i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between these two basic sentence&elements provides the utterance with meaning.  In I I and I I I the close  p o s i t i o n i n g of verb and object makes t h e i r i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p  - 62 -  immediately apparent.  I n order I , where several elements intervene  between the two head elements, the verb and a l l i t s q u a l i f i e r s must be retained i n short term memory u n t i l the l a s t sentence element, the noun object, i s reached i n order f o r the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p t o be c o r r e c t l y perceived.  The same argument with reverse orderings  applies t o IV. The more elements separating the verb and i t s object, the more the short term memory i s taxed, e.g. • V + Tense + Caus + Neg + Q + A r t + Adj [+ V + Tense + A r t Head  + Adj + N] + N , . ob] Head  In I I basic element i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s not considered u n t i l the verb i s encountered;  as the next element i s the noun o b j e c t , i n t e r -  r e l a t i o n s h i p i s immediately apparent and a l l preceding elements can be removed from short term memory. orderings a p p l i e s t o I I I .  The same argument with reverse  This would add a m o d i f i c a t i o n t o Kimball's  theory s t a t i n g : Not u n t i l the head element of the f o l l o w i n g major sentence constituent has been processed can the preceding node be removed from short term memory. Separation of the verb and i t s object by a.series of modifiers i s another type of d i s c o n t i n u i t y which, as noted by Bever, e t c . , i s one of the major causes of m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  Because of the enhanced  perceptual complexity caused by d i s c o n t i n u i t y of head elements of  - 63 -  major c o n s t i t u e n t s , i t seems that languages evolve a strategy which s t a t e s : The head elements of constituents immediately dominated by the same node should avoid separation by non-head elements of these c o n s t i t u e n t s . 3.2.2  As noted above, m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of sentences a l s o r e s u l t e d from erroneous segmentation of c o n s t i t u e n t s .  I t seems  l o g i c a l to assume t h a t , where they have a choice, languages w i l l choose a word order which i s l e s s l i a b l e to erroneous segmentation. P o t e n t i a l word order types I and IV juxtapose verbal and nominal modifiers.  In some languages, i d e n t i c a l markers may modify both  verb and noun: 3.Fe„g..  Hindi Kee  os  Q  the  munde ne boy  kute  nu  dog  maria kick+past  Did the boy k i c k the dog? 3.G  (Kee os ==¥) K i s munde NP  ne  Q-the boy  kute  nu maria  dog  kick+past  Which boy kicked the dog? I f a language has some i d e n t i c a l nominal and v e r b a l modifiers and also juxtaposes nominal and verbal modifiers as i n orders I and IV, erroneous segmentation could e a s i l y occur:  In order IV, f o r  example, the same s t r i n g can have two i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s :  - 64 -  [N , . + Adj + A r t + Q] [Caus + V] or [N  + Adj + A r t ] [Q + Caus + V]  According to Kimball and Grosu, the question marker i n the above example would be segmented to the noun phrase, as t h i s constituent i s not closed o f f u n t i l an overt verb phrase marker i s encountered. In such a language, unless an overt marker were introduced, there would be no way of forming a sentence w i t h the question attached to the verb, i . e . a yes/no question.  The same argument can be put  forward f o r the Negative c o n s t i t u e n t , which i n the surface s t r u c t u r e could t h e o r e t i c a l l y modify e i t h e r the noun phrase or the verb phrase. Such m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n r e s u l t s from erroneous segmentation, a l b e i t of a d i f f e r e n t type from t h a t considered i n 3.1.1 above.  Languages  which order s e n t e n t i a l and nominal m o d i f i e r s on the outer side of the verb-object complex would never provide the environment f o r such ambiguity to a r i s e .  Thus a second reason f o r languages to choose the  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c orders of I I and I I I may be the d e s i r e to avoid p o s s i b l e erroneous segmentation which could a r i s e from orders I and IV. 3.2.3  The d e s i r e not to encumber the capacity of the speaker's perceptual apparatus unnecessarily may provide another reason f o r the choice of orders I I and I I I over I and IV r e s p e c t i v e l y .  In order I I  {the reverse orders apply to I I I ) , the d i v i s i o n between the verb phrase and the noun phrase i s marked by two p o s s i b l e sequences:  - 65 -  [X  JAdverbr  +  [N Y]  The speaker's perceptual memory need, therefore, store only two s i g n a l s of major constituent boundaries. I n order I (the reverse orders apply to TV") the boundary between the verb phrase and the noun phrase can be marked by several sequences, i . e . any v e r b a l q u a l i f i e r or the verb i t s e l f plus any nominal modifier or the noun i t s e l f . [X  V |] VP Neg Q Tense Aux Potential Causative etc. J  +  The p o s s i b l e sequences include: [  r  Y] N NP Article Demonstrative Number Adjective Comparative Preposition [V X] r e l a t i v e clause etc.  This unfinished l i s t of modifiers and q u a l i f i e r s alone provides f i f t y - s i x p o s s i b l e sequences which the speaker's perceptual memory must r e t a i n i n order t o i d e n t i f y c o r r e c t l y the boundaries between major c o n s t i t u e n t s .  As noted above, the capacity o f the  short term memory appears t o play a part i n determining the occurrence and non-occurrence of c e r t a i n grammatical constructions. I would suggest that what I c a l l the speaker s basic perceptual 1  memory also plays a part i n determining s h a l l not appear.  which s t r u c t u r e s s h a l l or  Because of the much greater burden on perceptual  memory demanded by the d i v i s i o n s i g n a l l i n g devices of orders I and IV, I f e e l that orders I I and I I I are chosen as the optimal s y n t a c t i c systems.  - 66 -  3.2.4  I t can also be argued that orders I I and I I I are chosen over I and IV because they produce p e r c e p t u a l l y more complex structures than do the former.  In orders I and IV  r e l a t i v e clauses formed on the noun object i n v a r i a b l y produce centre embedded clauses: I  [V] [ [V [VO] 0 ] 0 ]  =  V+V  + V + O + O + 0  IV  [0 [0 [OV] V ] ] [ V ]  =  0 + 0 + 0+ V+ V+ V  The I I and I I I counterparts, on the other hand, produce r i g h t and l e f t branching structures r e s p e c t i v e l y : II  [V] [0 [VO [VO] ]]  =  V + 0 + V + 0 + V + 0  III  [ [ [OV] OV] 0] [V]  =  o + V + 0 + V + 0 + V  As noted above, the perceptual complexity and r e s u l t i n g m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of centre embedded structures has been v a r i o u s l y accounted for by Chomsky, Bever, Grosu and K i m b a l l . cause comprehension d i f f i c u l t i e s  Whether such structures  because of d i s c o n t i n u i t y , double-  functioning or because of the number of incomplete sentences held i n short term memory i s immaterial to t h i s argument.  The f a c t remains  that such structures are misinterpreted and i n c o r r e c t l y analysed as compound constructions.  I f a language has the choice between an  order which produces centre embedded r e l a t i v e clauses and one which does not, i t seems l o g i c a l t h a t , on ease of perception grounds, the non-centre embedding order w i l l be selected.  Thus orders I I and I I I  with perceptually l e s s complex r e l a t i v e clause ordering w i l l be chosen over I and IV r e s p e c t i v e l y .  - 67 -  3.3  The four reasons given above f o r the preferred orders of I I and i n thus complete Vennemann's and Lehmann's explanations of word order types.  Lehmann's statement that  languages h e s i t a t e to separate verb and object i s merely an observation of the data.  Vennemann's statement that VX l a n -  guages tend to use operand + operator sequencing, while XV languages tend to use operator + operand order i s also merely an observation of the data.  Because of the perceptual problems  considered above, the reasons why languages h e s i t a t e to separate t h e i r major elements and why they choose c e r t a i n u n i d i r e c t i o n a l sequencings may now be a l i t t l e c l e a r e r .  CHAPTER IV THEORIES OF LANGUAGE CHANGE AND EVIDENCE OF OLDER ORDERS  Languages are i n a constant s t a t e of f l u x , w i t h changes occurring i n a l l t h e i r components through time. the  From  t y p o l o g i c a l viewpoint, t h i s o f t e n means t h a t languages w i l l  move from one type to another.  The various stages of develop-  ment which languages pass through i n changing type can be ascertained by comparing e a r l i e r language forms to l a t e r ones. Why and how s p e c i f i c languages change i s , however, l o s t t o h i s t o r y , and a l l attempts to account f o r change must be speculat i v e t o a greater or l e s s e r degree.  Various t h e o r i e s of evidence  of e a r l i e r language stages and of language change have been put forward over the past f i f t y years. Although changes i n the s y n t a c t i c component of l a n guage have long been noted, Edward Sapir was the f i r s t l i n g u i s t to suggest that some of these might be r e l a t e d as p a r t of an o v e r a l l systematic change operating w i t h i n a . s p e c i f i c language. Sapir claims that although l i n g u i s t i c changes o f t e n appear as random phenomena, the general l i n g u i s t i c d r i f t ( S a p i r s term) 1  - 69 -  of a language r e t a i n s only those changes which seem to be part of an o v e r a l l p a t t e r n and which seem to be acting i n concert t o a l t e r the language i n a s i n g l e d i r e c t i o n toward a new or modified type.  Although aware of d r i f t , Sapir i s unsure of the basic  motivations which c o n t r o l i t , commenting: " l i n g u i s t i c features that are e a s i l y thinkable apart from each other, that seem to have no necessary connect i o n i n theory, have nevertheless a tendency to c l u s t e r or f o l l o w together i n the wake of some deep c o n t r o l l i n g impulse that dominates t h e i r d r i f t ... we are at present very f a r from being able to d e f i n e j u s t what these fundamental form i n t u i t i o n s are." 41 To some degree, Sapir can i d e n t i f y t h i s d r i f t i n terms of h i s t y p o l o g i c a l system. (see  Working w i t h i n h i s t r i p a r t i t e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  1.6) and using o l d and modern stages of s p e c i f i c languages  for h i s data, Sapir makes some s i g n i f i c a n t f i n d i n g s regarding drift.  Of the three dimensions of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , the degree of  synthesis ( a n a l y t i c - polysynthetic) seems to be most susceptible to change;  f a r l e s s r e a d i l y changed are modifying techniques  ( i s o l a t i n g - a g g l u t i n a t i n g - symbolic);  conceptual structures  appear most r e s i s t a n t to change and, even when undergoing modificat i o n , seem to be u n i d i r e c t i o n a l l y r e s t r i c t e d , moving from the more complex to the l e s s complex forms ( i . e . from Complex Pure Relat i o n a l to Simple Pure R e l a t i o n a l or from Complex Mixed R e l a t i o n a l to Simple Mixed R e l a t i o n a l ) .  Because he f e e l s i t reasonable to  - 70 -  suppose that the l e s s important language c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are most vulnerable to change, Sapir concludes that the conceptual l e v e l , as i t i s preserved i n t a c t longest, i s the most fundamental of h i s three dimensions of language. One aspect of Sapir's conclusions i s , however, d i s t u r b i n g . , I f , i n the conceptual c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , languages move u n i d i r e c t i o n a l l y toward the i n v a r i a b l e one concept word, one must assume t h a t any language undergoing t h i s d r i f t e x h i b i t s conceptually more complex words i n i t s e a r l i e r stages, and t h a t the older the stage, the more complex the word.  To conceive of  languages o r i g i n a t i n g i n a conceptually complex form and becoming successively more simplex through time i s hardly convincing. Such an assumption would suppose that a large proportion of morphemes operating i n the language o r i g i n a t e d i n the bound stage, since to p o s i t them a r i s i n g from autonomous roots (which l a t e r became bound) would reverse the u n i d i r e c t i o n a l movement which Sapir claims to e x i s t .  Talmy Givon (see 4.2 below), working  with Niger Congo languages, has r e c e n t l y shown that many p r e s e n t l y bound morphemes h i s t o r i c a l l y o r i g i n a t e d as free forms, which he adduces as support f o r the theory long ago advocated by Bopp f o r Indo-European t h a t a l l bound a f f i x e s a r i s e from the compounding of free forms.  This would suggest that a language depending h e a v i l y  - 71 -  on d e r i v a t i o n a l a f f i x e s has moved i n a conceptually more complex d i r e c t i o n , i . e . from S:unple|^^^jj R e l a t i o n a l to Complex J^jj^jed^ R e l a t i o n a l , thus throwing doubt on Sapir's c l a i m o f u n i d i r e c t i o n al ity. The claim of u n i d i r e c t i o n a l i t y i s f u r t h e r contradicted i n the Finno-Ugric, languages i n which, Hakulinen (1961) p o i n t s out, the number of cases has increased rather than decreased - a development opposite to t h a t of"Indo-European.  Whereas only f i v e cases are  postulated f o r Proto-Finno-Ugric, the modern daughter languages show a range of from s i x to fourteen.  Hakulinen concludes:  "There i s therefore no support i n F i n n i s h and i t s r e l a t e d languages f o r the theory that the development of a l l l a n guages generally tends towards greater a n a l y s i s i n s t r u c ture." 42. Poppe (1965) c i t e s the A l t a i c languages as examples of the movement from a n a l y t i c to synthetic.  I t appears then that both language  groups show the development of a morphology from f r e e r s y n t a c t i c constructions, a development i n d i r e c t opposition to Sapir's claim of u n i d i r e c t i o n a l i t y . 4.2  Talmy Givon's work on s y n t a c t i c change i s b a s i c a l l y concerned with how a synchronic morphological d e s c r i p t i o n of a language can o f f e r evidence of e a r l i e r s y n t a c t i c orders.  Implicit  i n h i s w r i t i n g i s h i s acceptance of Sapir's a f f i x i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s and Greenberg/Lehmann's word order typology. As noted above, Givon  - 72 -  claims that a f f i x a l morphemes develop from once f r e e forms which have since become bound.  The s y n t a c t i c r u l e s which o r i g i n a l l y  c o n t r o l l e d the ordering of the f r e e morphemes become p e t r i f i e d as l e x i c a l i z a t i o n r u l e s when the f r e e morphemes become fused with another stem - i . e . become d e r i v a t i o n a l a f f i x e s .  Earlier  s y n t a c t i c stages of the language may thus be reconstructed on the evidence of the bound morphemes. Givon, paraphrasing  Bopp 43  and Brugmann, claims: "Today's morphology i s yesterday's syntax." ;:in_time, he speculates, the bound morphemes become so fused with the word root that they eventually lose t h e i r d e r i v a t i o n a l status and are analysed as part of the semantic domain of the root word. Givon's theory of the morphological  c y c l i c a l development of l a n -  guage types (which subsumes the a n a l y t i c d r i f t noted by Sapir) can be summarized as f o l l o w s : Stage 1 Stage 2  I s o l a t i n g - every morpheme free A g g l u t i n a t i v e - some bound morphemes functioning as d e r i v a t i o n a l a f f i x e s or pre/postpositions  Syntactic r u l e s Old s y n t a c t i c r u l e s become lexical rules. New s y n t a c t i c rules  Stage 3  I n f l e c t i o n a l - bound morphemes fused with stem, so o r i g i n a l free form no longer recognizable  Ditto  Stage 4  A n a l y t i c and i s o l a t i n g - i f bound morphemes do not become unstressed and drop, they become fused with stem and lose d e r i v a t i o n a l s t a t u s , so analysed as part of the semantic structure of the stem. (= Stage 1)  Syntactic r u l e s  - 73 -  A s i m i l a r l i n g u i s t i c c y c l e , postulated by many scholars of Greek, L a t i n , and S a n s k r i t , was questioned by Jespersen (1922) because, he claimed, the complete c y c l e was never evidenced w i t h i n one s p e c i f i c language.  However, Hodge (1970) has r e c e n t l y argued  that the complete c y c l e can be seen i n the development of Egyptian and, to a 'lesser extent, i n Chinese.  Hodge thus considers i t a  reasonable hypothesis that the above l i n g u i s t i c c y c l e i s u n i v e r s a l . Commenting on the various morphological typologies put forward over the years (see Chapter I ) , Hodge remarks that these may merely r e f l e c t "the d e s c r i p t i o n of the stage of development v i s a v i s the c y c l e " and not be i n d i c a t i v e of "the basis f o r more fundamental dichotomies.'.' From the morphological evidence f o r e a r l i e r language orders, Givon shows t h a t s y n t a c t i c ordering does change d i a c h r o n i c a l l y , although he o f f e r s no explanation of the i n t e r n a l or e x t e r n a l causes t r i g g e r i n g such change.  Unlike Vennemann, who works mostly  on a broad t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l (see 4.4.r below) , Givon presents data from several languages to support h i s l e s s sweeping claims. Within the verb phrase, Givon claims that verb-deriving a f f i x e s , tense and modality markers a r i s e from main verbs which once dominated s e n t e n t i a l complements.  The s t r u c t u r e then becomes  a s e r i a l i z e d verb construction by p r e d i c a t e r a i s i n g ;  - 74 -  Gwari 4.a Wo  l o * tnu-tnu  he  work working  zo  lo  f i n i s h go  He i s f i n i s h i n g work * l o = object pronoun formed from verb  l o tnu-tnu zo  lo  tnu-tnu F i g . XV  The Gwari example i n d i c a t e s that elements such as aspect may have o r i g i n a t e d from once f u l l verbs (cf. E n g l i s h I w i l l go, I'm going to work harder), and may, i n a synchronic morphology, i n d i c a t e e a r l i e r s y n t a c t i c ordering.  An example of a d e r i v a t i v e  construction i s found i n the French causative s u f f i x , i r : 4.b  blanch-ir white-make  ir  Fig.  XVI  lo  - 75 -  The modern V + Comp order of the French verb phrase would not generate the c o r r e c t verb form a f t e r predicate r a i s i n g . I f the verb form arose from a Comp + Verb structure,  however,  predicate r a i s i n g would produce the desired r e s u l t : VP  ==">  VP  blanche F i g . XVII The causative s u f f i x i n d i c a t e s an e a r l i e r Comp + Verb sequence f o r the verb phrase.  For French, the Comp + Verb sequence i s  attested i n C l a s s i c a l L a t i n .  I n an SVO language, a corresponding  d e r i v a t i o n a l p r e f i x i s u n l i k e l y t o occur because of the i n t e r v e n t i o n of the subject NP of the lower sentence between the two verbs (see F i g . XVI above). In..SVO languages, therefore, a f r e e 1  morpheme i s u s u a l l y found.  I n French, the l a t e r r i s e of the p e r i -  p h r a s t i c tense system from a p r e v i o u s l y purely s u f f i x e d i n f l e c t i o n a l system i s a r e s u l t o f the change from a Comp + Verb to a Verb + Comp syntactic  order:  - 76 -  Comp + Verb stage - passe simple 4.c  je I  chant - a i sing  + past  NP  I  j e  =  I sang  VP NP  NP  / \  je  'V  S ai / ^ s ^ «habeo) NP VP NP  VP NP  V  I  chantai  V chant Fig. X V i l l f  /  4'5  Verb + Comp stage - passe compose 4.d Ix sang  a i chante  ai (< habeo) V  NP  chante (<canta£o) F i g . XIX  - 77 -  The verb phrase may f u r n i s h further evidence of previous s y n t a c t i c orders through the p o s i t i o n i n g of independent pronominal objects and of pronominal subject and object c l i t i c s t o the verb.  The older L a t i n OV order i s s t i l l  r e f l e c t e d i n the p o s i t i o n i n g of Modern French object pronouns: 4.e  Jean l a l u i a donnee. S  0  10  V  = John gave i t to him. P l e o n a s t i c subject and object c l i t i c pronouns w i l l appear on the • 46 same side of the verb as the f u l l noun forms, claims Givon. As these once independent pronouns become bound t o the verb, they freeze i n the o l d s y n t a c t i c order, thus r e s i s t i n g any change which the independent forms may l a t e r make.  Amharie,  argued by Bach t o have o r i g i n a t e d from a VO order, s t i l l r e f l e c t s t h i s e a r l i e r syntax i n the subject and object c l i t i c s present i n i t s modern S0V order: 4.f  Amharie 47 [ya  sabbar-ku-t]  [that b r o k e - I - i t ]  wambar chair  = the c h a i r t h a t I broke. In Stage 2 of the proposed language c y c l e (see p. 72), the subject c l i t i c may r e t a i n enough independence to l a t e r f o l l o w the new s y n t a c t i c p o s i t i o n of i t s f u l l noun counterpart.  I f , however, the  - 78 -  c l i t i c enters Stage 3 and loses i t s separate i d e n t i t y , i t w i l l become an i n f l e c t i o n incapable of separation from the verb stem. Givon thus hypothesizes that subject-verb number agreement i n f l e c t i o n s a l s o o f f e r evidence of e a r l i e r s y n t a c t i c orders, a subject + predicate language having preverbal subject agreement i n f l e c t i o n s , and a verb + subject order having subject agreement i n f l e c t i o n s .  postverbal  This claim would appear to have  some support i n the Verb + Pronoun o r i g i n which has been suggested a t various times f o r the number agreement i n f l e c t e d Indo-European verb forms. The ordering of noun phrase elements may also i n d i c a t e previous s y n t a c t i c stages of a language.  Givon, as  do others before him, b e l i e v e s t h a t g e n i t i v a l and pre/postp o s i t i o n a l constructions o r i g i n a l l y a r i s e from Noun + Noun structures.  In the case of p r e / p o s t p o s i t i o n s , the head noun of  the phrase has become so reduced semantically that i t i s no longer considered a f u l l free l e x i c a l u n i t , but becomes bound to an accompanying noun.  OV languages, where nominal modifiers  precede t h e i r head noun, w i l l thus produce p o s t p o s i t i o n s , while VO languages w i l l produce p r e p o s i t i o n s : OV  NP N  (modifier)  ==>  N  N  (head) F i g . XX  Postposition  - 79 -  VO  NP N  (head)  =="> N  (modifier)  p  .  g >  ^  In many cases, argues Givo^n, the o r i g i n a l NP producing the pre/p o s t p o s i t i o n may have i t s e l f been a g e n i t i v e construction.  He  c i t e s the r i s e of the l a t e r English p r e p o s i t i o n a l phrases, where he f e e l s a s t r u c t u r a l r e a n a l y s i s has taken place: 4.g  on top of the house on [the top [of the house]] (head) (gen.) =4  [on the top of [the house]]  ==^  [on top of] [the house] (prep.) (head)  The g e n i t i v a l o r i g i n of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p r e p o s i t i o n i s supported by the s t i l l e x i s t i n g forms housetop, rooftop, tabletop, e t c . Other p r e p o s i t i o n a l o r i g i n s are not so transparent.  This  phrasal  r e a n a l y s i s implies that f u l l noun phrase elements such as at the bottom of the heap should also be analysed as phrasal prepositions + NP: 4.h  [at the bottom of] [the heap] (prep.)  (head)  since a d i f f e r e n t a n a l y s i s f o r the two expressions would appear contrary t o i n t u i t i o n .  Taking the argument f u r t h e r , the question  then a r i s e s as to whether s i m i l a r expressions should also be analysed p h r a s a l l y , f o r example:  - 80 -  4.i  a t the beginning  of the week  j  i n the middle of the garden  k  by the side of the c h a i r  1  on the f i r s t of March  There seems l i t t l e evidence to i n d i c a t e phrasal analyses f o r these f u l l NP expressions.  While Givon may be c o r r e c t i n h i s  phrasal a n a l y s i s of on top of, a more e x p l i c i t account of where r e a n a l y s i s takes place i n the continuum of [NP][NP] would perhaps c l a r i f y h i s argument.  [Prep][NP]  The synchronic a n a l y s i s ,  however, does not detract from the older ordering suggested by prepositions and p o s t p o s i t i o n s .  Thus the presence of p o s t p o s i -  t i o n s or Genitive + Noun constructions i n a VO language would i n d i c a t e an OV s y n t a c t i c order a t some e a r l i e r stage.  The con-  verse would apply t o prepositions and Noun + Genitive constructi o n s appearing i n an OV language. Both Lehmann and Givon claim that compound words i n d i c a t e e a r l i e r s y n t a c t i c orderings.  Object + Verb compounds  i n E n g l i s h , a VO language, are seen to r e f l e c t an older OV order, although the root words themselves need not n e c e s s a r i l y have been i n the language during the older period: 4.m  dogcatcher d r a f t evasion  • ^== ^=  X dogs catches  = X catches dogs  X the d r a f t evades = X evades the d r a f t .  - 81 -  Although neither Lehmann nor Givon presents data from nonGermanic languages to support t h i s hypothesis, the f a c t that French and Spanish, more consistent VO languages, compound i n the same order as t h e i r basic sentence suggests t h a t the claim may be v a l i d : 4. n  French la  porte-monnaie carry  money  - purse l e tire-bouchon pull  cork  = corkscrew 1*essuie-mains wipe  hands  = handtowel  Spanish e l mondadientes p i c k teeth = toothpick e l metomentodo put me i n a l l = busybody e l sabelotodo know i t a l l = know-it-all  As E n g l i s h is* a VO language, one would expect i t to be moving toward t h i s VO compounding order.  Although i t does have some  VO compounds (e.g. scarecrow, c u t t h r o a t ) , they are i n a m i n o r i t y , and t h i s order does not y e t appear to be productive.  I n the  movement of a language from one consistent type to another, theref o r e , i t would appear that the compounding order i s one of the l a s t elements to move.  - 82 -  Although Givon adds only subject agreement i n f l e c t i o n and pronominal c l i t i c order t o Lehmann's l i s t of c r i t e r i a f o r determining language type, h i s explanation as to how the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c structures a r i s e supplements Lehmann's work. 4.3.0  In a d d i t i o n to providing s y n t a c t i c i n s i g h t s into .language types on a synchronic l e v e l , Lehmann's s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e of language can a l s o be used t o provide t e n t a t i v e reconstruction of older language stages and to p r e d i c t future developments.  B e l i e v i n g that languages p r e f e r the balanced  s y n t a c t i c systems of VO and OV types, Lehmann sees word order change as c o r r e l a t i n g with the frequently observed tendency of languages to preserve these balanced states.  The impetus  for change, which Lehmann considers to be e x t e r n a l l y motivated, comes when the fundamental sentence element, the verb, reverses i t s l i n e a r sequence with i t s object: i.e.  or  X + V + 0 + Y 1  2  3  1  3  2  ;  4  ==*  4  4'  X + 0. + V + Y 1  2  3  1 2  3  4  ==*  4<:  4  Since languages appear to have low t o l e r a t i o n of imbalanced systems, subsequent movement of the minor sentence elements w i l l occur to conform to the new base p a t t e r n set by the verb and i t s  - 83 -  object.  However, Lehmann makes no p r e d i c t i o n s as to the sequence  of the l a t e r reorderings —  i . e . whether verbal q u a l i f i e r s move  before nominal m o d i f i e r s , or v i c e versa.  He thus believes that  evidence of older ordering stages can be obtained from an imbalanced s y n t a c t i c system.  For example, a language with the  ordering: Q + V + A r t + Adj + N^.. would be c l a s s i f i e d as an o l d OV language which has undergone verb movement and i s presently i n the process of reordering minor elements-to conform to the new system, the present verbobject sequence always i n d i c a t i n g the d i r e c t i o n i n which the language i s moving.  In t h i s h y p o t h e t i c a l example, the verbal  q u a l i f i e r has already moved, but the nominal m o d i f i e r s , not y e t having undergone change, s t i l l represent the o l d p a t t e r n . Lehmann i s , however, not e x p l i c i t as to the cause of the o r i g i n a l s y n t a c t i c movement — reversal.  i . e . the verb-object  I f a language o r i g i n a l l y had an o p t i m a l l y balanced  s y n t a c t i c p a t t e r n , then an i n t e r n a l impetus i s u n l i k e l y (but see 4.5 below).  Under Lehmann's system, the i n i t i a l impetus f o r  change would have to be e x t e r n a l , r e s u l t i n g from contact with and a s s i m i l a t i o n to the ordering systems of other language types. Indeed, i n h i s a r t i c l e s , Lehmann o f t e n suggests s p e c i f i c external contacts t o account f o r various language changes.  - 84 -  4.3.1  From the data presented i n h i s various a r t i c l e s , Lehmann's claim that the basic verb-object sequence i s f i r s t to undergo change i s not w e l l documented and i s thus open to discussion.  One could argue, as does Sapir (4.1 above) that  the most basic elements i n language are, i n f a c t , the most stable and therefore the l a s t to undergo change, i n which case, the verb and object would be the l a s t elements to move.  It is  p o s s i b l e that external influences might f i r s t cause change i n the more vulnerable minor sequences before a f f e c t i n g the major sentence elements.  Indeed, s p e c i f i c language data does b e l i e  Lehmann's claim that word order change always o r i g i n a t e s with verb movement.  Persian has the verb i n clause f i n a l p o s i t i o n ,  yet shows a l l other c l a s s i f i c a t o r y c r i t e r i a i n a VO ordering. According to Lehmann, t h i s would i n d i c a t e that Persian was r e c e n t l y a VO language whose verb has now moved i n t o clause f i n a l position.  Following the new OV p a t t e r n , the remaining VO  criteria  i n the noun and verb phrases would s h o r t l y be expected to change 48 to an OV order.  I t i s , however, commonly accepted  that e a r l i e r  stages of Persian ( i . e . Proto-Indo-European) showed the verb i n clause f i n a l p o s i t i o n and demonstrated OV c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n the noun phrase.  The VO c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Persian noun phrase  cannot, therefore, be explained under Lehmann's theory, as i t appears they changed order independent of the verb-object p a t t e r n  - 85 -  (Semitic, probably A r a b i c , has been c i t e d as the most l i k e l y source of i n f l u e n c e ) . Persian thus i n d i c a t e s that minor sentence elements may undergo change before the  verb-object  sequence. Evidence of older language stages based on d i s crepancies between the verb-object and noun phrase orderings may not, therefore, be so r e a d i l y analysed.  The  Persian  example appears to support Sapir's claim that the more b a s i c elements of language are the most r e s i s t a n t to and thus the l a s t a f f e c t e d by change. 4.4  In contrast to Sapir's and Lehmann's rather t h e o r e t i c a l and sparsely documented approach to language change, Sandra Thompson and Charles L i use very s p e c i f i c data to substantiate t h e i r claims regarding diachronic language development.  Working  mainly with Chinese, they present good arguments to show by what 49 paths Mandarin Chinese changed i t s word order type. Archaic Chinese i s an SVO  language with consistent  OV q u a l i t i e s i n the noun phrase and a preverbal object pronoun. This i n c o n s i s t e n t patterning leads L i and Thompson to speculate that pre-Archaic Chinese was an SOV language which l a t e r changed to a VO order i n the verb phrase.  Archaic Chinese to Modern  Chinese i s evidencing a reverse movement toward an SOV g i v i n g an o v e r a l l movement as f o l l o w s :  type,  - 86 -  Pre-Archaic Chinese  Archaic Chinese  SOV  SVO  OV type  p a r t i a l VO type  Modern Chinese ==»  SOV p a r t i a l OV type  L i and Thompson claim there are several paths by which word order may change and produce evidence to show that some modern Chinese case markers and prepositions are derived from once f u l l verbs, which process r e s u l t s i n a new word order sequence: i)  S + V + 0 [+V]  ==*  S + case marker + 0 + V  ii)  S + V + O [+V]  ==*  S + PP (==Prep + 0) + V  In i ) and i i ) an SOV order i s thus effected through reduction of the verb to a bound morpheme status. Whereas Lehmann and Vennemann assume that word order change r e s u l t s from a r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of major sentence constituents w i t h i n the simple sentence, L i and Thompson claim i t r e s u l t s not from reordering w i t h i n the simple sentence but from r e a n a l y s i s of sentence constituents from primary to secondary status w i t h i n the complex sentence.  Further support  for word order change o r i g i n a t i n g i n complex sentences comes from Givon and Hyman's^ work on Bantu, Mande and Kwa, i n which s y n t a c t i c change appears to have occurred through verb c o l l a p s i n g i n s e r i a l i z e d verb constructions: iii)  S [+V] + 0 + V  ===> S + V + 0 + case marker  - 87 -  I t should, however, be noted that word order change r e s u l t i n g from r e a n a l y s i s of elements as primary o r secondary does not occur only i n complex sentences.  The development of  the E n g l i s h , French and German post-verbal negatives r e s u l t e d from r e a n a l y s i s of elements w i t h i n the simple sentence: 4.o  Old E n g l i s h Nu i c ne eom wierpe papt i c beo pinusunu nemned ...  4.p  S Neg. V primary Middle English They ne spared not her throtes. S  4.q  51  Neg.  V  Neg.  52  0  Modern E n g l i s h The t r e e s are not i n blossom y e t . S  V  Neg. primary  X  What appears i n the surface sentence to represent a reordering of elements i n f a c t r e s u l t s from a gradual semantic r e a n a l y s i s of two r e l a t e d c o n s t i t u e n t s , one of which subsequently reduces or drops. As a r e s u l t of t h e i r observations, L i and Thompson argue t h a t the new word order r e s u l t i n g from spe'cific reanalyses w i l l probably e x i s t side by side with the o r i g i n a l order, thus making word order change a gradual and pervasive process r a t h e r  - 88 -  53 than an "abrupt and traumatic one" which, they claim, a d i r e c t reordering of major constituents w i t h i n the simple sentence would be.  L i and Thompson c r i t i c i z e Vennemann's language cycle schema  f o r , among other things, not providing f o r the d i r e c t SVO  SOV  change which t h e i r evidence shows Chinese to have undergone (Vennemann p o s i t s an SVO ==> Free Word Order ==> SOV c y c l e i n "Explanation.in Syntax."  This cycle was l a t e r revised t o i n c o r -  porate an SVO ==> SOV move —  see 4.5 below).  A noteworthy aspect o f L i and Thompson's data i s that they i n d i c a t e prepositions and case markers may a r i s e from once f u l l verbs.  Whereas Vennemann and Givon see prepositions and  case markers o r i g i n a t i n g from the head noun of an NP and, on t h i s b a s i s , reconstruct an e a r l i e r s y n t a c t i c order, L i and Thompson's verbal p r e p o s i t i o n and case marker o r i g i n w i l l allow a d i f f e r e n t reconstruction :• P r e p o s i t i o n derived from head noun P r e p o s i t i o n + Noun  ^==  Noun  +  (head)  Noun (modifier)  Reconstruct VO order P r e p o s i t i o n derived from verb P r e p o s i t i o n + Noun ^==  S  +  V  +  0  [+V]  Reconstruct VO order S V  [+V] + 0  + V  Reconstruct OV order J  - 89 -  Case marker derived from head noun Noun + Case Marker  Noun (modifier)  +  Noun (head)  Reconstruct OV order Case marker derived from verb Noun + Case Marker 4==  r  S + V + O [+V] Reconstruct VO order S [+V] + 0 + V Reconstruct OV order  I t thus appears t h a t , unless p r e p o s i t i o n a l and case marker morphemes c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e whether they are of nominal or v e r b a l o r i g i n , they may be much l e s s i n d i c a t i v e of e a r l i e r s y n t a c t i c orders than has p r e v i o u s l y been suggested. 4.5.0  Returning to the t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l , Vennemann claims that h i s p r i n c i p l e of n a t u r a l constituent s t r u c t u r e and u n i d i r e c t i o n a l s e r i a l i z a t i o n on which h i s typology i s based can p r e d i c t future s y n t a c t i c developments, i n that a language not having a u n i d i r e c t i o n a l operator-operand sequence w i l l move toward a c o n s i s t e n t sequence, probably that exemplified by the verb and i t s complement.  Presumably, Vennemann s t y p o l o g i c a l explanation 1  would a l s o p o s i t older language stages. Agreeing w i t h Lehmann that the verb i s the most fundamental sentence element, Vennemann states that verb s h i f t i s the basic cause of a l l s y n t a c t i c type changes.  I f the verb moves to form a new operator-operand  - 90 -  sequence with i t s most important operator, the complement, the p r e d i c t i o n i s that a l l other operator-operand sequences w i l l f o l l o w s u i t to conform t o the p r i n c i p l e of n a t u r a l serialization.  Thus a language showing i n c o n s i s t e n t s e r i a l i z a -  t i o n i s i n a t r a n s i t i o n a l stage from one s e r i a l i z a t i o n to another, the new order being shown i n the s e r i a l i z a t i o n of the verb and i t s complement, and the older order being r e f l e c t e d 54 i n i n c o n s i s t e n t operator-operand sequences.  Vennemann a l s o  claims that the reordering of the noun phrase lags behind that of the verb phrase.  He o f f e r s no data i n support of t h i s s t a t e -  ment however, and i t appears to be contradicted by the Persian example (see p. 84). Theorizing that s y n t a c t i c change can be i n t e r n a l l y motivated w i t h i n language, Vennemann o f f e r s a more e x p l i c i t reason f o r the o r i g i n a l basic verb movement than does Lehmann. Vennemann claims that the order of basic elements SXV i s the most n a t u r a l f o r language.  On the grounds t h a t , i n unaffected  speech, the subject case i n d i c a t e s the topic of a sentence and the object case the comment, Vennemann believes the subject w i l l n a t u r a l l y precede i t s object.  This claim i s supported by Greenberg  (1966) and Keenan, who, i n h i s paper "A U n i v e r s a l D e f i n i t i o n of 55 Subject", states "subjects normally precede the other major NPs".  - 91 -  According  t o Vennemann, a marked o r d e r would show the  t o p i c a l i z e d element i n the o b j e c t c a s e . as "phenomena ... a l r e a d y  He d e f i n e s  "topic"  established w i t h i n the consciousness  56 of the speakers,"  ( i . e . o l d information).  Keenan  lends  support t o t h i s a n a l y s i s t o o by s t a t i n g t h a t s u b j e c t NPs a r e n o r m a l l y presupposed r e f e r e n t i a l and "normally express i n f o r m a 57 t i o n known to speaker and h e a r e r . " He f u r t h e r contends t h a t " i f a language has a s p e c i a l t o p i c o r o l d i n f o r m a t i o n marker, 58 i t w i l l n a t u r a l l y occur on s u b j e c t s . "  Citing  Behagel's  second law t h a t sentence elements which take up  preceding  m a t e r i a l n a t u r a l l y come b e f o r e  t h o s e which do n o t , Vennemann  argues f o r t h e u n i v e r s a l r u l e : ^TopicJ ^Comment^  [Topic] + [Comment]  T h i s argument i s i n d e p e n d e n t l y s t a t e d by Chafe  (1971) who  t h a t what comes from t h e speaker's deep memory  ( i . e . o l d informa-  t i o n ) i s found i n sentence i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n .  suggests  I n languages w i t h  which he i s f a m i l i a r ( i . e . E n g l i s h and German), Vennemann .states t h a t , a l t h o u g h both v e r b and o b j e c t form t h e sentence comment, i t i s t h e o b j e c t which r e c e i v e s t h e i n t o n a t i o n peak, w i t h the v e r b a l element f u n c t i o n i n g t o show the p a r t i c u l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p between s u b j e c t and o b j e c t .  Because o f the s p e c i a l topic-comment  rela-  t i o n s h i p e x i s t i n g between s u b j e c t and o b j e c t , Vennemann expects these elements t o be j u x t a p o s e d w i t h i n t h e sentence, and thus sees  - 92 -  the verb as standing outside the i n t r i n s i c S-0 complex, i . e . |V] {s-Cjj.  Whereas the SXV order r e t a i n s topic + comment  sequencing f o r a l l constructions, the VSX order uses i t only : f o r t r a n s i t i v e verb s t r u c t u r e s , reversing i t i n t i n t r a n s i t i v e verb constructions where the verb alone forms the comment: V  +  ? V  S  +  0  topic +  comment  S  •  .  comment topic An SVX order i s l e s s than i d e a l on two counts.  F i r s t l y , the  i n t r i n s i c topic-comment or subject-object complex i s broken by the verb.  Secondly, i f an SVX language f o l l o w s the not unusual  p r a c t i c e of constructing sentence operands  (modality, tense,  aspect, etc.) as v e r b a l operands, the p r o p o s i t i o n a l nexus of i t s sentence w i l l be i n t e r r u p t e d : S  'propo-  +  Modality  +  V  +  *' " vl ft ^ s i t i o n a l  X nexus  '  sentence operand For these reasons, Vennemann considers the SXV order, where t o p i c always precedes comment, and where the p r o p o s i t i o n a l nexus i s never broken, to be the optimal s y n t a c t i c type.  In making t h i s  hypothesis, however, Vennemann disagrees with Greenberg,  who  suggests that the dominant order i s f o r the verb to precede the  - 93 -  object.  Steele i n t e r p r e t s Greenberg's observations and other  evidence (e.g. Tranel 1972) as i n d i c a t i n g that "importance 59 attaches to the preceding as opposed to the f o l l o w i n g , "  and  uses t h i s p r i n c i p l e to p a r t i a l l y e x p l a i n the o v e r a l l importance which she f e e l s belongs to sentence i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n (see p.26). Vennemann's statement t h a t s t r e s s u s u a l l y f a l l s on the  object NP i s not s u f f i c i e n t l y accurate. Stress i n E n g l i s h  u s u a l l y f a l l s i n sentence f i n a l p o s i t i o n ;  i n Japanese i t u s u a l l y  f a l l s on the f i r s t post-topic element (see p.35).  A more accurate  representation of s t r e s s placement would s t a t e that s t r e s s f a l l s on the f i n a l or f i r s t elements of the comment i n VX and XV l a n guages r e s p e c t i v e l y .  In both language types s t r e s s f a l l s on the "  comment element f u r t h e s t from the verb.  This appears t o i n d i c a t e  that the verb i s of secondary importance i n the comment and t h a t , despite i t s primacy i n the f u n c t i o n a l structure of the sentence, i t s purpose i n the topic-comment dimension may indeed be to l i n k the 4.5.1.0  oldest and newest pieces of information w i t h i n the sentence. Vennemann's proposed c y c l e of language change,  explained i n more d e t a i l below, o r i g i n a t e s and f i n i s h e s with h i s optimal SXV type.  An SXV language l o s i n g i t s i n f l e c t i o n a l markers  may, v i a a Topic + V + X (TVX) stage, become only SVX. A f t e r the new operator-operand sequence has readjusted i t s e l f , new i n f l e c t i o n s may i n time form i n preverbal and prenominal p o s i t i o n s ,  - 94 -  allowing the language t o r e v e r t t o the o p t i m a l l y f u n c t i o n a l SXV order.  A l t e r n a t i v e l y , an SVX language may become VSX (by  a process described i n 4.5.1.2 below).  The VSX type may again  b u i l d up a new set of p r e f i x a l i n f l e c t i o n s which allows i t t o move back to the SXV order, or i t may, through a marked s t y l i s t i c p a t t e r n , revert t o the SVX type.  The various p o t e n t i a l  movements can be schematized as f o l l o w s :  SVX^ i.e.  TVX SXV TVX SVX VSX  Vennemann states that although the subject case i s the preferred one f o r a t o p i c a l i z e d sentence element, the object case may a l s o be used f o r t o p i c a l i z a t i o n (and the associated NP f r o n t e d ) , r e s u l t i n g i n the f o l l o w i n g marked orders: SXV Unmarked  NP  Marked  NP  s o  NP NP  SVX. o s  V  NP  V  NP  s o  VSX  V NP NP  s  o  V  V NP NP  o  s  NP  V NP  o s  - 95 -  Of the three marked orders, only i n the SXV stage does the NP-V sequence stay the same as the unmarked order: SXV  SVX  VSX  Unmarked  NP NP V  NP V NP  V NP NP  Marked  NP NP V  NP NP V  NP V NP  I f an SXV language i s to prevent perceptual ambiguity a r i s i n g from the use of a marked order, reasons Vennemann, i t must regain a "uniform and conspicuous" system of case d i s t i n c t i o n o r , a l t e r n a t i v e l y , a d i s t i n c t i o n f o r i n d i c a t i n g marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n . This claim i s supported by Greenberg's U n i v e r s a l 41, which s t a t e s : I f , i n a language, the verb follows both the nominal subject and the nominal object as the dominant order, ^ the language almost always has a case system.  Q  However, continues Vennemann, phonological change i n language i s constantly operative and i n time erodes unstressed elements, thus causing l o s s of d i s t i n c t i v e case markers.  Loss of case d i s t i n c -  t i o n i n an SXV language leads to ambiguity between marked and unmarked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n , thereby rendering the s y n t a c t i c system inadequate.  To prevent ambiguity and t o solve the t o p i c a l i z a t i o n  problem, the verb, which, Vennemann c l a i m s , i s the only element unable to undergo t o p i c a l i z a t i o n , moves to separate the t o p i c from the comment.  This movement takes place f i r s t i n t r a n s i t i v e  verb structures and l a t e r i n i n t r a n s i t i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n s , as the  - 96 -  l a t t e r contain no d i r e c t object whose marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n could cause ambiguity. For example, an SOV t r a n s i t i v e marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n order: NP  +  NP  +  V  could be m i s i n t e r p r e t e d , whereas an i n t r a n s i t i v e s t r u c t u r e : NP  +  Adverb  wou'ld cause no problem.  + V  So develops a Topic + V + X ordering  evidenced, states Vennemann, i n languages such as Old E n g l i s h , French, Old German, e t c . , i n which e i t h e r subject or pronominal forms ( t o p i c a l i z e d by d e f i n i t i o n ) or both may precede the verb: 4-rr  Her com Swegen mid h i s f l o t a n to Nordwic.  61  4.s  Pa gelamp h i t swa pae't hie...  62  4.t  Se papa hine hSht Petrus.  63  4.u  Jean l a l u i a i donne*e.  4.v  J'y en a i vu.  Modern Czech has two basic verb p o s i t i o n s , one f o l l o w i n g the f i r s t t o p i c a l i z e d element of a sentence, and the other f o l l o w i n g a l l t o p i c a l i z e d elements, i . e . either  T  +  V  +  X  or  T  +  V  +  X  During the TVX stage, claims Vennemann, several c h a r a c t e r i s t i c elements appear, among which are included the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e and the passive voice.  Both a r i s e to f i l l the  - 97 -  need f o r a topic marker:  the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e s i g n a l s a p r e v i o u s l y  mentioned element, while the passive allows object t o p i c a l i z a t i o n through a d i s t i n c t i v e verb form and agent marking. Another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  of TVX languages i s the brace  c o n s t r u c t i o n , which occurs when one element has s h i f t e d  position  before i t s associated c o n s t i t u e n t , e.g. 4.w  German - subordinate clause showing c o n s i s t e n t SXV order i."  dass (Maria) mich gesehen hat. 3  4.x  M  2  1  dass (Hans) gestern angerufen hat. 3  2  1  - main clause showing brace c o n s t r u c t i o n 4.w'  (Maria) hat mich gesehen 1  4.x'  3  2  (Hans) hat gestern 1  3  angerufen. 2  The subordinate clause shows a normal SXV order.  The main clause  shows mich and gestern braced by the f i n i t e verb and i t s p a r t i c i p l e , i n d i c a t i n g movement of the f i n i t e verb, but as yet no movement of i t s associated p a r t i c i p l e or of the other XV orderings.  The reason  main clauses contain bracing constructions whereas subordinate clauses do not, claims Vennemann, i s that t o p i c a l i z a t i o n i s more important i n the former.  Thus the main clause w i l l respond to the  - 98 -  t o p i c a l i z a t i o n ambiguity problem before the subordinate clause. This argument i s i n accordance with Ross's penthouse p r i n c i p l e (1973) which states that higher sentences undergo change before embedded ones.  A f u r t h e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of TVX languages and  another example of the brace construction i s the A d j e c t i v e + Comparative + Standard order found i n such phrases as: 4.y  t a l l + er Adj.  than  John  Comp.  Standard  The normal XV and VX orders are r e s p e c t i v e l y : 4.y'  Standard  +  than grass  Adjective  +  Comparative  green  er  and 4.y"  Comparative  + Adjective  more  green  +  Standard than grass  The A d j e c t i v e + Comparative + Standard order i n d i c a t e s that the Standard element has moved from an XV to a VX order before i t s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d c o n s t i t u e n t s , A d j e c t i v e and Comparative, thus leaving a brace construction: Standard  +  Adjective  + Comparative  1  2  2  J3  2  3  1  - 99 -  In time, the VX movement around the Comparative p i v o t w i l l presumably be completed: Adjective  +  Comparative  +  Standard  2  3  1  ==>  J3  3  2  1  A t h i r d example of a brace c o n s t r u c t i o n i s found i n the bracing negation of Middle English and Modern French.  In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r  example, Vennemann gives an explanation f o r the:,observations made by L i and Thompson regarding the s h i f t of sentence elements from primary to secondary importance and vice-versa (see pp. 86/7), 4.z  Middle English For  I ne kan nat fynde/A man, though bat I walked i n t o Ynde. 64  French 4.A  Je i i ' a i r i e n d i t .  Because of the change i n sentence accent (see below), the preverbal negative element loses i t s s t r e s s and has to be r e i n f o r c e d by a postverbal emphatic p a r t i c l e (nat, r i e n ) . the  The semantic power of  weakened preverbal negative i s gradually t r a n s f e r r e d to the  stressed postverbal emphatic element which i s subsequently reanalysed as a negative element.  This t r a n s f e r i s r e i n f o r c e d by the contemporary  move toward a VX order of the Adverb + Verb sequence, which becomes Verb + Adverb (see p. 26).  I f the negative i s analysed not as a  sentence a d v e r b i a l , but as a verb a d v e r b i a l , i t w i l l be influenced by the general operand + operator movement a f f e c t i n g the e n t i r e  - 100 -  language.  A bracing negation i s thus seen by Vennemann as  i n d i c a t i n g an SXV ==^ TVX movement occurring w i t h i n a language. During the TVX p e r i o d , the language reduces from an a g g l u t i n a t i v e through an i n f l e c t i o n a l to an i s o l a t i n g type due t o the increasing redundancy of the remaining markers.  suffixal  This explains Lehmann's observation that VO and OV  languages tend to be i n f l e c t i o n a l and a g g l u t i n a t i v e r e s p e c t i v e l y . The l a s t of Vennemann's TVX c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s to be noted here i s sentence accent.  Due t o the f a c t that an operator-  operand sequence i s i n e f f e c t a new information-old information structure and that a new information element g e n e r a l l y c a r r i e s the focus, an XV operator + operand language w i l l show an accent u a l p a t t e r n of *""*** , whereas a VX operand + operator language w i l l show a  s  ^ pattern.  During the TVX period of change,  claims Vennemann, languages w i l l demonstrate both patterns, as evidenced by E n g l i s h : 4.B  The man catches dogs.  (VX)  the dogcatcher  (XV)  65  From the TVX stage, continues Vennemann, a language w i l l develop i n t o an SVX type.  As a sentence u s u a l l y contains  only one t o p i c a l i z e d element, and as the subject case i s u s u a l l y chosen to represent the t o p i c , new language learners confronted with the common T (=S) + V + X p a t t e r n w i l l reanalyse i t as SVX. A new f u n c t i o n a l a n a l y s i s i s thus reached.  101 -  4.5.1.1  To t h i s p o i n t several c r i t i c i s m s can be made of Vennemann's theory of SXV =4 SVX change. F i r s t l y , Vennemann does not define the terms subj e c t and o b j e c t . ^  While i n i t i a l l y he appears to use surface  case markings as h i s d e f i n i n g c r i t e r i a as, f o r example, when he r e f e r s to the subject 'case'aas the one most commonly chosen by a t o p i c a l i z e d element, he l a t e r appears to be d e f i n i n g subject (agent?) and object as deep s t r u c t u r e elements as, f o r example, when he comments that p a s s i v i z a t i o n allows t o p i c a l i z a t i o n of the object f o r , although p a s s i v i z a t i o n c e r t a i n l y t o p i c a l i z e s a deep structure object, i t brings i t out on the surface w i t h subject case markings, i n e f f e c t preserving the S + V ordering.  This  lack of consistency i n the use of very v i t a l terminology cons t i t u t e s a serious flaw i n Vennemann's argument. Secondly, having stated that a VSX language has a V + (S-0) order, where S = t o p i c and 0 = comment, and having theorized that the verb can never i t s e l f be t o p i c a l i z e d , thus i n d i c a t i n g t h a t the language has a V + t o p i c + comment [-topic] order, Vennemann then proceeds to show marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n as N P V + N P . q  G  I f t o p i c p o s i t i o n i s post-verbal i n the VSX  type, as i t surely must be according to Vennemann's a n a l y s i s , there can be no j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r moving the t o p i c a l i z e d object to preverbal p o s i t i o n .  The t o p i c a l i z e d object would presumably  be moved i n t o the post-verbal t o p i c p o s i t i o n , i n which case the language would be as ambiguous as i t s poorly i n f l e c t e d SXV  - 102 -  counterpart.  According to Greenberg's u n i v e r s a l s , VSX types  do have a l t e r n a t e SVX orders.  However, whether t h i s order  i n d i c a t e s a focus c o n s t r u c t i o n or whether i t i n d i c a t e s marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n I do not know.  I f i t i s a marked topic construc-  t i o n , i t would i n d i c a t e that topic holds sentence i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n , thus disproving Vennemann's claim t h a t the verb i s always [-topicl (cf. unmarked VSX c o n s t r u c t i o n s ) .  I f , on the  other hand, the sentence i n i t i a l NP represents a focus construct i o n , and the marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n p o s i t i o n remains p o s t v e r b a l , then one would expect a VSX language to have a "conspicuous and uniform" system of case markers i n order to prevent ambiguity. There i s no Greenberg u n i v e r s a l to support t h i s expectation. Accordingly, one must assume that the sentence i n i t i a l NP i n a VSX type represents marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n and must also assume that the verb i n a normal VSX structure represents p a r t of the sentence t o p i c .  Marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n would then allow the  object case to be moved i n t o sentence i n i t i a l t o p i c p p o s i t i o n . In accounting f o r m o t i v a t i o n of the SXV  TVX  movement, Vennemann has assumed (as have many others before him) that sound change - i n t h i s case the erosion of i n f l e c t i o n s causes and therefore occurs before s y n t a c t i c change.  Although  i t i s h i g h l y questionable, Vennemann gives no data to support t h i s claim.  I f the case system of a language i s a v i a b l e e n t i t y ,  - 103 -  f u n c t i o n a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t morphemes would be very r e s i s t a n t t o coalescence or e r o s i o n , as they are e s s e n t i a l components i n the 6*7 operation of the s y n t a c t i c system.  Sapir-Swrites":  "I b e l i e v e that such i n f l u e n c e s [of the morphosyntactic s t r u c t u r e of a language on i t s phonetic development and vice-versa] may be demonstrated and that they deserve f a r more c a r e f u l study than they have r e c e i v e d . I f speech sounds e x i s t merely because they are the symbolic c a r r i e r s of s i g n i f i c a n t concepts and groupings of concepts, why may not a stronger d r i f t or a permanent feature i n the percept u a l sphere exercise a f u r t h e r i n g or r e t a r d i n g i n f l u e n c e on the phonetic d r i f t ? " 68 I f , however, sound change does indeed begin t o threaten the s y n t a c t i c system, the language can e a s i l y rescue i t s system by, for example, paradigmatic borrowings, development of subject and object c l i t i c s , or c l i t i c s which i n d i c a t e marked object t o p i c a l i zation.  A language i s l e s s l i k e l y to reorder i t s basic l i n e a r  sequence t o adjust t o the l o s s .  Phonological change i s a doubt-  f u l cause of major s y n t a c t i c change i n my o p i n i o n . On the other hand, i n f l e c t i o n a l coalescence and erosion can e a s i l y r e s u l t a f t e r the occurrence of l i n e a r sequence change.  Once surface subject  and object are i n d i c a t e d by t h e i r r e l a t i v e p o s i t i o n s t o the verb, case markers become redundant and thus h i g h l y s u s c e p t i b l e t o erosion.  Phonological l e v e l l i n g of case systems i s more l i k e l y  to be a r e s u l t o f , r a t h e r than a causal f a c t o r o f , s y n t a c t i c change.  - 104 -  Vennemann states that the l o s s of f i n a l s y l l a b l e s i n Germanic languages i s "a consequence of the word i n i t i a l s t r e s s 69 accent of these languages."  Although L a t i n and French a s s i g n  primary stress (or length) to the penult or antepenult, they d i d not undergo i n i t i a l s y l l a b l e reduction, as would be expected from a reverse a p p l i c a t i o n of Vennemann s argument f o r German f i n a l 1  syllable loss.  French and L a t i n i n f a c t p a r a l l e l e d the German  f i n a l syllable loss.  Stress placement does not, therefore, seem  to be the major conditioning factor f o r t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s y l l a b l e reduction.  I n f a c t , German, d e s p i t e i t s i n i t i a l s y l l a b l e s t r e s s ,  r e t a i n s some case endings, whereas French r e t a i n s none: 4.C German French der den des dem  Mann Mann Mannes Manne  Sg.  Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat.  le le le le  die die der den  Manner Manner Manner Mannern  PI.  Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat.  les les les les  paysan paysan paysan paysan paysans paysans paysans paysans  In a d d i t i o n , i f i n i t i a l s y l l a b l e s t r e s s were responsible f o r the l o s s of Germanic case endings, one would expect a l l cases to be affected.  As i t i s , only the subject and object cases have  coalesced, l e a v i n g the other oblique cases i n f l e c t i o n a l l y marked (see  also below).  - 105 -  In h i s s t a t i s t i c a l study of s y n t a c t i c constructions from the Old E n g l i s h t o the Modern E n g l i s h p e r i o d , F r i e s (1940) states that: " i n a count covering more than 2,000 instances, l e s s than 10% of Old E n g l i s h forms [NPs i n c l u d i n g a r t i c l e and adjective] which are s y n t h e t i c a l l y nominative and accusative lack the d i s t i n c t i v e case endings, " [to 70 d i s t i n g u i s h them from each other,;. not from other cases]. According t o Vennemann, Old E n g l i s h i s s y n t a c t i c a l l y TVX, e x h i b i t i n g main clause verb i n post t o p i c p o s i t i o n and having several of the posited TVX c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  Vennemann claims that "even l e s s than  10%" of p o t e n t i a l l y ambiguous sentences i s s u f f i c i e n t impetus f o r a language t o change i t s verb p o s i t i o n . i t very hard to agree.  With t h i s statement I f i n d  M i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a r i s i n g from the l e s s  than 10% f i g u r e of subject and object coalescence would be r e s t r i c ted to sentences showing marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n order, as normally t o p i c a l i z e d SVX sentences would be interpreted according to the perceptual strategy developed from the commonest order NP V NP = Subject Verb Object.  M i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n would be further r e s t r i c t e d  to those sentences which allowed e i t h e r subject or object to be semantically perceived as subject.  In a d d i t i o n , number i n f l e c t i o n  on the verb would frequently i d e n t i f y the subject NP.  Misinter-  p r e t a t i o n would thus be reduced to a f i g u r e w e l l below F r i e s ' " l e s s than 10%". I question whether such a small percentage of p o t e n t i a l m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s would be s u f f i c i e n t impetus f o r a language to reorder i t s basic s y n t a c t i c p a t t e r n .  - 106 -  Syntactic and phonological change i s not s u f f i c i e n t l y documented i n the Indo-European languages to state whether the l o s s of i n f l e c t i o n s or verb movement took place f i r s t .  R. Lakoff  (1972) w r i t e s : "Did the l o s s of d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s i n endings force the Romans to .abandon t h e i r beloved case system? Or conversely, d i d the d e c l i n e and f a l l of the case system and consequent growth of p r e p o s i t i o n s enable the decadent Romans to slough o f f the endings? ... C l e a r l y neither was caused by the other." 71 Although some SVX Indo-European languages s t i l l r e t a i n subject and object case d i s t i n c t i o n s , many no longer mark these functions by case.  I t i s , however, i n t e r e s t i n g to note that i n several l a n -  guages which r e t a i n p a r t i a l case marking systems, i t i s the subject and object markers which have coalesced and the l e s s common case markers which have been r e t a i n e d : 4.D  Old E n g l i s h - noun c l a s s Sg. Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat.  eorl eorl eorles eorle  longung longunge longunge longunge  scip scip scipes scipe  PI. Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat.  eorlas eorlas eorla eorlum  longunga longunga longunga longungum  scipu scipu scipa scipum  die + N die der der  das + N das des dem  German Sg. Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat.  der den des dem  + + + +  N N  N + es N + e  - 107 -  PI. Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat.  die die der den  Serbo-Croatian Sg. Nom. Moc Acc. Gen. Dat. Ins. Loc.  prozor prozor'e prozor prozora prozoru prozorom prozoru  This evidence can be i n t e r p r e t e d i n two ways: I  I t could be argued that i n the SXV stage, subject and object markers were more vulnerable to coalescence or erosion due to t h e i r more frequent usage.  To avoid ambiguity a f t e r the d i s -  t i n c t i v e f u n c t i o n a l endings were l o s t , reordering of verb and object occurred.  The l e s s commonly used f u n c t i o n a l endings  were retained. I I The counterargument to I i s that a f t e r the verb moved between subject and object, these two p a r t i c u l a r f u n c t i o n a l markers became redundant and e a s i l y succumbed to phonological erosion or coalescence.  Because the functions of the other oblique  cases had not been a f f e c t e d by verb movement, these cases retained t h e i r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g markers as they were s t i l l e s s e n t i a l to the operation of the s y n t a c t i c system.  - 108 -  Of t h e two p o s s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f SVO case evidence, I seems the weaker.  F i r s t l y , more f r e q u e n t l y used forms  (in this  case  the nominative and a c c u s a t i v e forms o f t h e noun) a r e u s u a l l y l e s s v u l n e r a b l e t o change and a r e a b l e t o s u r v i v e i n t a c t l o n g e r than a r e t h e i r l e s s f r e q u e n t l y used c o u n t e r p a r t s .  Even i f t h i s  were n o t t h e c a s e , t h e argument f o r t h e r e t e n t i o n o f case markers because  o f t h e i r l e s s f r e q u e n t usage would n o t be s t r o n g , f o r l e s s  f r e q u e n t l y o c c u r r i n g forms r a r e l y r e s i s t a change o c c u r r i n g i n t h e commoner forms.  I f t h e more f r e q u e n t l y used c a s e s reduced t o a  common form because o f p h o n e t i c change, I t h i n k i t u n l i k e l y  that  the l e s s f r e q u e n t c a s e s would n o t f o l l o w s u i t and succumb t o t h e same change. and  I t h e r e f o r e c o n s i d e r argument I I t o be t h e s t r o n g e r  see i t as evidence f o r s y n t a c t i c r e o r d e r i n g b e f o r e , and perhaps  h a s t e n i n g , p h o n o l o g i c a l change. F o l l o w i n g h i s p r o b a b l y erroneous assumption r e g a r d i n g the r e a s o n f o r s y n t a c t i c r e o r d e r i n g , Vennemann c l a i m s t h a t SVX languages d e v e l o p v i a TVX from SXV types whose eroded case systems i n s u f f i c i e n t l y d i s t i n g u i s h between s u b j e c t and o b j e c t . e x p l a n a t i o n i s inadequate, f o r many languages t o SVX w i t h o u t l o s i n g these case 4.E  This  change from SXV  markers:  Icelandic Strong noun c l a s s Sg. Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat.  hestur hest hests hesti  Weak noun c l a s s timi trma tima trma  - 109 -  P i . Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat.  timar tima tima timum  hestar hesta hesta hestum  72  Czech Sg. Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat. Loc. Ins.  ten toho toho tomu torn tim  PI. Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat. Loc. Ins.  ti ty tech tern tech temi  Old French Sg. Nom. Acc.  reis rei  Russian, Sg. Nom. Acc.  eecTPa. cecTPy^  Gen.  c e C T P H  Dat.  cecTpe'  73 Hyman , c i t i n g the Niger Congo languages as examples, also notes that "many SXV languages which have never had case markings have changed to SVX."  Vennemann's explanation f o r the SXV ===> SVX move-  ment thus seems i n s u f f i c i e n t l y i n v e s t i g a t e d . A t h i r d c r i t i c i s m of Vennemann's theory i s that i t has languages f l u c t u a t e between dimensions of ordering. shows ordering by grammatical f u n c t i o n ;  The SXV stage  the TVX stage reforms  i t s e l f i n t o a semantic topic-comment system;  the SVX stage again  - 110 -  r e s t r u c t u r e s the system, r e v e r t i n g to the o r i g i n a l f u n c t i o n a l model.  I t i s true that Vennemann states the topic-comment  d i v i s i o n e x i s t s i n the SXV stage, but the language d i d not order s y n t a c t i c a l l y according t o t h i s d i v i s i o n and no evidence i s presented to show that the t r a n s i t i o n a l intermediate  stage  underwent the perceptual remodelling of sentence elements i n t o new categories before r e v e r t i n g t o i t s o r i g i n a l d i v i s i o n s . While I am not claiming that the topic-comment d i v i s i o n i s i n v a l i d - on the contrary, I think i t i s a valuable i n s i g h t I f e e l that i t s emergence i n the posited TVX stage as the dominant or the only c o n t r o l l i n g force i s not j u s t i f i e d . Furthermore, Vennemann does not seem to r e a l i z e t h a t , according t o his theory, marked object t o p i c a l i z a t i o n during the TVX stage would be j u s t as ambiguous as during the inadequately i n f l e c t e d SXV stage.  A TVX language has the  following t o p i c a l i z a t i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s : T Unmarked  NP  Marked  NP  s o  V  X  V  NP  V  NP  o s  The marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n p a t t e r n i s i d e n t i c a l to the unmarked form, i . e . NP V NP.  Unless the NPs were adequately marked f o r  t h e i r respective s y n t a c t i c f u n c t i o n s , ambiguity would occur as frequently as i n the SXV stage.  Indeed, the very reason Vennemann  - Ill-  gives f o r the verb t o change p o s i t i o n i n the SXV ==> TVX movement i s inadequate.  In the SXV stage, l o s s of case markings caused  confusion between the respective functions of the subject and object —  never d i d i t cause confusion between the t o p i c and the  comment f o r , according to Vennemann, the t o p i c always remained i n f i r s t position.  Even assuming phonological change was the impetus  for change, the verb must have moved, not to d i s t i n g u i s h the p o s i tions of the t o p i c and comment, about which there was never any doubt, but t o d i s t i n g u i s h between the functions played by the two NPs.  Even languages that have been analysed w i t h more c e r t a i n t y  as topic-comment types (e.g. Tagalog, Japanese) show d e f i n i t e functional relationships: 4.F  Japanese Shonen-ga  inu-o  boy+sbj. dog+obj  kerimashita. kick+past  = The boy kicked the dog. 4.G  [watashi-ga  sakujitsu  atta]  I + s b j . yesterday  saw  rojin-wa o l d man+topic  eigo-o  oshiemasu.  English+obj. teaches  = The o l d man I saw yesterday teaches E n g l i s h . Czech, according to Vennemann a prime example of a TVX language, marks subject and object i n i t s s t i l l extensive case system.  Indeed,  were these r e l a t i o n s h i p s not s p e c i f i e d , the meaning of the utterance could not be e l i c i t e d .  Such grammatical r e l a t i o n s h i p s must be i n d i -  cated e i t h e r by case endings or by s t r i c t word order.  By d e f i n i t i o n ,  Vennemann's TVX stage r e j e c t s both types of f u n c t i o n a l s i g n a l l i n g and i s thus not a v i a b l e e n t i t y .  - 112 -  At one point i n h i s argument, Vennemann attempts to redeem t h i s oversight by claiming that during the TVX stage demonstrative pronouns which, he s t a t e s , r e t a i n t h e i r case markers longer than do f u l l nouns, are i n c r e a s i n g l y used with the t o p i c a l i z e d noun to mark that noun's grammatical f u n c t i o n . The d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e , a marker of t o p i c a l i t y , i s thus created. This hypothesis i s , however, hardly convincing.  F i r s t l y , the  demonstrative pronouns which developed i n t o a r t i c l e s i n Old E n g l i s h and Old French were only s l i g h t l y better marked f o r case than were t h e i r f u l l noun counterparts: 4.H  Old E n g l i s h Demonstratives  Sg. Nom. Acc.  M se/pes pone/pisne  PI. Nom.  Weak Nouns  Strong Nouns F  N  M  seo/peos pa/pas  paet/pis pict/pis  eorl eorl  longung longunge  scip scip  cnapa cnapan  eorlas eorlas  longunga longunga  scipu scipu  cnapan cnapan  pa/pas pa/pas Old French Demonstratives M  Nouns M  Sg. Nom. Acc.  Ii lo  la la  murs mur  fille fille  PI. Nom. Acc.  Ii les  les les  mur murs  filles filles  - 113 -  Consequently, there would have been l i t t l e , i f any, advantage i n using the demonstrative pronouns were t h e i r main purpose to mark function.  Secondly, i f the demonstrative pronouns were  introduced i n t o common usage t o mark f u n c t i o n , one wonders why the language d i d not use them t o mark f u n c t i o n i n the poorly i n f l e c t e d SXV stage, instead of s h i f t i n g the order of i t s basic sentence elements.  I t seems strange to argue that  the language changes i t s word order i n order to overcome the loss of f u n c t i o n a l markers, then s t a r t s to use the very funct i o n a l markers which have always been a v a i l a b l e to i t , thus rendering superfluous the change from SXV to TVX.  I therefore  f i n d i t hard t o c o r r e l a t e the r i s e of the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e w i t h the need f o r f u n c t i o n a l disambiguity. 4.5.1.2  Having accounted f o r the SXV ==^ SVX movement, Vennemann continues h i s theory of language change by claiming that from an SVX order, a language may f u r t h e r develop i n t o a VSX type.  I f t h i s hypothesis i s c o r r e c t , one would expect to  f i n d more XV c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n an SVX language than i n a VSX one, as the i n i t i a l verb movement would have had more time to influence the operator-operand sequencing i n the l a t t e r . Greenberg's language sampling data supports t h i s expectation:  - 114 -  Postpositions A d j e c t i v e + Noun Stand. + Adj. Suffixing  VSX  SVX  SXV  0 0 0 0  3 5 1  11 5 9  2  10  74  Note that an SVX type having some XV c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s could not be considered a t r a n s i t i o n a l stage from VSX  SXV because i n  the SVX stage the VX sequence i s s t i l l present and could not account f o r the occurrence of any XV c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  Venne-  mann speculates the SVX ==* VSX movement takes place due t o the pronominalization of the subject i n t o p i c p o s i t i o n , i . e . S + V + X ==^ Pro + V + X.  Vennemann states t h a t during the  Pro + V + X stage, the emphatic subject may be repeated postv e r b a l l y , r e s u l t i n g i n a Pro + V + S + X order: 4.1  He came, my brother, to the party.  Repeated pronominalization of the subject i n t o p i c p o s i t i o n may, Vennemann claims, eventually r e s u l t i n the preverbal subject pronoun becoming p r o c l i t i c to the verb.  The SVX ==> VSX movement  thus goes through three stages: i)  S + V+ X  ===>  ii)  ==*  iii)  ==J  S +V + X [+pro] S + V + S + X [+pro] [-pro] Inflection+V + S + 0  - 115 -  Stage i i i } i n t h i s sequence, showing the preverbal subject agree75 ment i n f l e c t i o n , i s evidenced i n most VSX 4.J  Topotha a  -  Agt. = 4.K  languages:  ayong  go  I  I am going  e  -  Agt. =  lozi  lozi  inges  go  he  He i s going Admittedly, Vennemann only speculates on the r i s e of  the VSX structure but, even so, h i s explanation i s hardly convincing.  His example:  He came, my brother, may  sound reasonable  for sentences containing l e s s than a one place verb, but i n sentences containing more than a one place verb, ambiguity could e a s i l y occur: 4.L  He gave my brother a smile. brother = subject or object?  4.M  She fought my s i s t e r the policewoman. s i s t e r = subject or object?  Only i f subject and object were adequately marked f o r f u n c t i o n would ambiguity be avoided - i . e . the language must have an operative i n f l e c t i o n a l system.  Vennemann, however, has already  stated that SVX languages develop from the SXV stage p r e c i s e l y  - 116 -  because they do not have an adequate i n f l e c t i o n a l system. To accept the SVX =4 VSX movement, one would have to argue that the SVX stage had been i n existence long enough f o r the operator-operand  sequence to reverse d i r e c t i o n and form new  c l i t i c s (from p r e p o s i t i o n s , head nouns, etc.) which would provide s u f f i c i e n t i n f l e c t i o n to avoid ambiguity.  According  to Vennemann's general cycle of language change, however (see p. 94), i f the SVX stage recreates s u f f i c i e n t new i n f l e c t i o n a l markers, i t w i l l r e v e r t d i r e c t l y t o the SXV p a t t e r n , as t h i s i s the optimal order toward which a l l languages s t r i v e .  Although  the data supports' Vennemann's hypothesized SXV ==> SVX ==> VSX movement, h i s explanation f o r the SVX  VSX movement does not  appear to f i t with the r e s t of h i s theory. Continuing h i s argument on the sequence of language change, Vennemann claims that i f an Inf.+V + S + X language does not q u i c k l y change to an SXV type, sound change w i l l erode the i n i t i a l subject agreement i n f l e c t i o n to 0VSX. As a r e s u l t , the postverbal f u l l subject p o s i t i o n w i l l be extended to include pronominal forms, f i r s t l y f o r emphatic subjects and subsequently f o r a l l subjects, c r e a t i n g an o b l i g a t o r y p a t t e r n , V + Pro + (S) + Through emphatic subject r e p e t i t i o n  i n preverbal p o s i t i o n , a  subsequent move to SVX may then occur, providing the f o l l o w i n g  - 117 -  sequence of change: i)  Inf .+V + S + X  ii)  ==» V + S + X C+pro] ===> S  + V + S •! + X  [-pro] iii)  [pro]  ==* S + V+inf. + X  This l a s t movement i s supported to some extent by an example from Kapampangan, which shows a VSX order i n the unmarked form, but an SVX order when the subject occurs i n an unbound form: 4.N  sisipan-ku-me kick  (unmarked)  I you  = I am k i c k i n g you 4.0  aku sisipan-ku-me I  kick  (marked)  I you  = I am k i c k i n g you 4.P  *sisipan-ku-me aku  76  In that Vennemann claims subject agreement i n f l e c t i o n to be a reduction of a once f u l l pronoun form i n d i c a t i n g an e a r l i e r s y n t a c t i c order, he agrees with Givo'n's hypothesis  (see p. 78), but  whereas Givd'n sees subject agreement i n f l e c t i o n as a pronominal r e p e t i t i o n of the f u l l subject, Vennemann theorizes t h a t these i n f l e c t i o n s i n d i c a t e the•-erstwhile p o s i t i o n of the f u l l subject i t s e l f , and can therefore appear only i n a language which has undergone subject movement.  Thus, where Givon could accept a preverbal  - 118 -  subject agreement i n f l e c t i o n i n an o r i g i n a l SXV language, 77 Vennemann would p o s i t no agreement i n f l e c t i o n .  The l a t t e r ' s  theory i s a l s o open to question i n that i t i s the l e s s common emphatic subject structure which influences the more common unemphatic subject t o a l t e r p o s i t i o n , an a n a l o g i c a l process which I f i n d hard t o accept. Vennemann makes no attempt t o account f o r the common occurrence of object c l i t i c s i n non-Indo-European languages: 4.Q  Upper Chehalis (Salishan) (c{jni wi) ? i t iap—an  t a t pe* s i p i  78  *  he  cop. asp. k i l l - h i m the k i t t e n s  = He k i l l e d the k i t t e n s . 4.R  7i t  ?ax-3n  asp.  see-him thou the he  c?§ t i t c a n i  = You see him. *gender i s unmarked nor  does he e x p l a i n the cycle which allows subject c l i t i c s t o  appear on the same side of the verb as the f u l l subject. Following Givon's argument, Vennemann b e l i e v e s t h a t nominal case markers a r i s e from o l d head nouns, with an XV l a n guage type producing postnominal markers (#= N[mod] + N[head]) and a VX language type producing prenominal markers «==N [head] + N[mod. ] ) .  - 119 -  Vennemann thus claims that older language stages can be i d e n t i f i e d from the evidence of nominal case markings and verbal number agreements.  I f these c l i t i c s are s t i l l r e a d i l y  i d e n t i f i a b l e as former independent elements, Vennemann considers the language a 'young' representative of i t s type, having only r e c e n t l y developed from a former stage;  i f the c l i t i c s are  not e a s i l y recognizable, the language represents an ' o l d ' member of i t s type.  Vennemann thus claims that the o r i g i n and r e l a t i v e  age of a language type can be deduced from i t s synchronic morphology.  His t a b l e s f o r h i s t o r i c a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n are repro-  duced below: Key:  T +  W P  Type:  = = = = =  present and pronominal o r i g i n transparent present absent worn i n f l e c t i o n pronominal o r i g i n of i n f l e c t i o n betrayed very young  young  old  very old'  Verb-initial  T  +  +  -  Verb-final  +  -  T  +  SVO  very young VSO  young VSO  VSO  S-V Agreement Inflection Previous type  Table 1  old VSO  very young  Type: SOV S-V Agreement Inflection  Verb-initial  Case Marking  Noun-initial  .+  young  old  very old  +  +  +  Verb-final . T  -  Noun-final young VSO or SVO  Previous type  -  +  very young SOV  T  +  young SOV  old SOV  very young  young  old  very old  * +  +  +  +  T  +  1  -  -  T  +  young SOV  old SOV  old VSO  very young SOV  young  old  +  W  P  +  +  Table 2  Type: SVO S-V Agreement Inflection Case Marking  Verb-final  young  old  young  +  W  P  Verb-initial Noun-final  +  Noun-initial Previous type  SOV  v  young or o l d  + +  +  young SVO  old VSO  SOV  young SVO  young VSO or SVO respectively  Table 3 Vennemann's key does not explain the d i f f e r e n c e between '-' (absent) and a blank space.  - 121 -  The above tables presumably show the immediately preceding stage f o r only those languages which have changed type, f o r Vennemann gives a l l SXV languages subject-verb agreement i n f l e c t i o n , i n d i c a t i n g by h i s previous argument that a t some e a r l i e r stage they developed from an SVX or VSX type.  As  noted above, an o r i g i n a l SXV type would show no subject agreement i n f l e c t i o n . 4.5.2  Vennemann's account of the sequence of language change i s h i g h l y t h e o r e t i c a l and, i n the l a t e r claims e s p e c i a l l y , includes l i t t l e s p e c i f i c data as evidence.  I n a d d i t i o n to t h i s ,  i t appears t h a t h i s theory of language change i s i n c o n s i s t e n t and inadequate i n some respects. In s p i t e of the above c r i t i c i s m s , however, I f e e l that Vennemann's theory does provide some valuable i n s i g h t s i n t o s y n t a c t i c ordering w i t h i n language. 4.6-0  •  A f t e r considering Vennemann's arguments, I b e l i e v e  that s y n t a c t i c ordering i s subject to two independent, but p a r a l l e l systems, one i n d i c a t i n g grammatical f u n c t i o n and one i n d i c a t i n g topic-comment status.  U n l i k e Vennemann, however,'I  do not n e c e s s a r i l y b e l i e v e the verb stands outside the t o p i c comment d i v i s i o n .  In SXV and SVX languages, the verb can be  analysed as a constituent of the comment, a l b e i t of secondary importance.  I t s a n a l y s i s i n VSX types, however, i s l e s s c l e a r  but, as the t o p i c n a t u r a l l y appears  i n sentence i n i t i a l p o s i -  t i o n , I would suggest that i n these types the verb be analysed  - 122 -  as p a r t of the t o p i c .  Only by analysing the verb as topic i n  VSX types can the marked SVX subtypes be accounted f o r (see p. 124 below).  I am not, however, very s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h i s  analysis. The two s y n t a c t i c systems have marked orders.  In  the grammatical f u n c t i o n system a marked order would r e s u l t i n an oblique case being moved i n t o topic p o s i t i o n - t h i s being the order p r e v i o u s l y r e f e r r e d to as 'marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n . ' In the topic-comment system, a marked order would r e s u l t i n a comment + topic sequence, i . e . a focus or emphatic c o n s t r u c t i o n . Four p o s s i b l e orders r e s u l t from the i n t e r a c t i o n of the two systems: I  II  III  IV  -  +  -.  +  -  -  +  +  Marked Funetion Marked Topic-Comment  In an SXV language where cases mark f u n c t i o n , the four orders would be: 4.S I SXV TC I I XSV TC  e.g.  Brutus Caeserem o c c i d i t . Caeserem Brutus o c c i d i t . /  III IV  SXV CT XSV CT  Brutus Caeserem o c c i d i t Caeserem Brutus o c c i d i t .  80  - 123 -  In an SVX (NP V NP) sequence where surface f u n c t i o n i s marked by word order, marked t o p i c a l i z a t i o n must be shown by a d i f f e r e n t word order p a t t e r n . As the t o p i c a l i z e d element must appear i n sentence i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n , the marked order would be NP NP V (as claimed by Vennemann).  The SVX type  would t h e o r e t i c a l l y show the f o l l o w i n g four orders: 4.T  I  SVX TC  e.g.  Mary i n v i t e d Ted.  II  XSV TC  Ted Mary i n v i t e d  III  SVX CT  Mary i n v i t e d Ted.  IV  XSV CT  Ted Mary i n v i t e d .  (A t e n t a t i v e suggestion f o r the uncommon occurrence of s t r u c t u r e s I I and IV i n Modern E n g l i s h w i l l be put forward below). type would have the orders: 4.U  I VSX TC  e.g.  Writes George a l e t t e r .  II  VXS TC  Writes a l e t t e r George.  III  SVX CT  George w r i t e s a l e t t e r .  IV  XVS CT  A l e t t e r w r i t e s George.  /  /  A VSX  - 124 -  I f the VSX type marked function by case, order I I could be r e a d i l y understood as marked.  I f , however, f u n c t i o n were  indicated by word order, as i n Welsh, the marked order would n e c e s s a r i l y show preverbal preposing of the t o p i c a l i z e d NP, resulting i n I l a : Ila  A l e t t e r w r i t e s George.  An SXV language does not have t h i s option as, i n a t r a n s i t i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n , the sentence i n i t i a l topic p o s i t i o n i s i n v a r i a b l y followed by an NP and can never d i r e c t l y precede the verb without simultaneously showing a marked topic-comment order. For whatever reasons i t occurred (and there are several p o s s i b l e - see 4.3 and 4.4 above), a change i n sentence pattern during the SXV stage would have d i r e c t l y r e s u l t e d i n an SVX order. The topic-comment order would remain unchanged. I t should here be noted that the several q u a l i t i e s of a TVX language noted by Vennemann (e.g. brace constructions, sentence accent s h i f t , etc.) can a l l be accounted f o r by the d i r e c t change from SXV =4 SVX.  T h i s , however, i n no way d e t r a c t s from the  c r e d i t which must go to Vennemann f o r explaining these construct i o n s w i t h i n h i s operator-operand r e v e r s a l theory. I n the e a r l y period a f t e r the SXV  SVX movement, when the new order was not  r i g i d l y f i x e d as a f u n c t i o n a l marker, the r e t e n t i o n of cases as f u n c t i o n a l markers allowed the v a r i a n t order VSX, frequently  - 125 -  found i n Old English main clauses: 4.V  Cwaep he:  "Sing me frumsceaft."  81  4.W  Song he S r e s t be middangeardes gesceape ...  4.X  ... cume an spearwa and hrsedlice pxt hus durhfleo ...  4.Y  Pa gemette h i e Sjpelwulf aldorman ...  82 83  8'4  Providing no semantic ambiguity can a r i s e , the same s t r u c t u r e may s t i l l be used i s some s t y l e s of Modern E n g l i s h .  Such sequences  are understandable because of a perceptual r u l e which must e x i s t s t a t i n g t h a t , unless marked otherwise, the f i r s t NP of a sentence i s the subject of that sentence.  The very v a r i e t y of Old E n g l i s h  sentence patterns suggests that verb movement was not p r i m a r i l y to mark the function of the noun phrases f o r , were t h i s the case, one would expect the SVX order to be much more dominant than i t a c t u a l l y was. As the SVX order became;* more s t a b l e , new  language  learners i d e n t i f i e d an element's f u n c t i o n by i t s p o s i t i o n i n respect to the minor comment element, the verb.  Case endings,  therefore, became redundant f o r subject and object f u l l noun phrases, r e s u l t i n g i n s y l l a b l e f i n a l erosion or coalescence. The l e v e l l i n g and subsequent disappearance of case endings also meant the disappearance of nominal markers. the case-marked p e r i o d , a noun could  During  be recognized as such by  - 126 -  its inflection.  With i n f l e c t i o n disappearance, however, nouns  were no longer r e g u l a r l y marked f o r t h e i r nominal status and a new marker had to be found.  This new marker was, I b e l i e v e ,  the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e . Vennemann i s quite c o r r e c t i n noting that the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e arose only i n those Indo-European languages which changed from SXV ==¥ SVX, and t h i s phenomenon must be explained.  However, as noted above (see pp. 112/3),  I cannot agree that the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e arose as a r e s u l t of the need f o r a t o p i c a l i z a t i o n marker or a f u n c t i o n marker. I f e e l the r i s e and regular appearance of joe during the E a r l y Middle E n g l i s h period r e s u l t e d d i r e c t l y from the l o s s of nominal ( i . e . case) markers during the OlcL^English period. This hypothesis i s supported by the f o l l o w i n g f a c t s . F i r s t l y , the Indo-European VX languages which r e t a i n nominal case systems often do not have d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e s , e.g. Russian, Czech, Serbo-Croatian.  A l l Indo-European VX languages  without nominal case-marking systems do have a d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e . Secondly, Edward Matte (p.c.) has informed me that Modern French (VX) c l a s s i f i e s a 'noun' not accompanied by an a r t i c l e as an a d j e c t i v e : 4.Z  I I e s t un professeur.  (professeur = noun)  4.al  I I est professeur.  (professeur = adjective)  - 127 -  This i n d i c a t e s that the a r t i c l e , or some other marker (e.g. preposition) i s necessary t o i n d i c a t e the nominal status of the f o l l o w i n g word. T h i r d l y , i n a comparison of English and French, the former may drop the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e i n p l u r a l forms, whereas the l a t t e r may not: 4.bl  English Trees are b e a u t i f u l .  4.cl  Cars make me i l l .  4.bl'  French Les arbres sont beaux.  4.cl'  Les autos me font mal.  I b e l i e v e t h i s d i f f e r e n c e can be accounted f o r by the f a c t that the English p l u r a l i n f l e c t i o n / z / i s pronounced, thereby i n d i c a t i n g a nominal status f o r the preceding r o o t , whereas the French p l u r a l nominal i n f l e c t i o n i s not pronounced: [aabra]  = singular  [aRbra]  = plural  thus n e c e s s i t a t i n g the appearance of another nominal marker, the definite article.  I t should be noted t h a t , during the Old French  period, when nominal i n f l e c t i o n s were s t i l l pronounced, the use of the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e was o p t i o n a l .  Only with the l o s s of nominal  i n f l e c t i o n s has i t s use become mandatory.  A similar  situation  - 128 -  appears to have existed i n the e a r l i e r stages of E n g l i s h . E l i z a b e t h Traugott w r i t e s : "While the Peterborough Chronicle i l l u s t r a t e s uses of the that are t y p i c a l of NE, the modern use of the was not f u l l y established i n prose w r i t i n g s u n t i l Shakespeare's time. In the poetry of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many rather archaic structures s t i l l p e r s i s t . These involve mainly the absence of the where we would expect i t . " 85 During i t s e a r l y use, the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e contained 86 the feature [+specific]  , no doubt r e t a i n e d from the demonstra-  t i v e from which i t developed and which had always been a v a i l a b l e as a [-fspecific] marker.  With the increasing l o s s of nominal  status markers, [-specific] nouns a l s o needed a nominal marker, which need r e s u l t e d  i n the l a t e r r i s e of the i n d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e .  This explanation does not s u f f i c e f o r German, however, which uses both case markers and a d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e . on Germanic nouns pattern as f o l l o w s : Singul ar .1-  2  3  4  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  Plural 1  Nom.  II  (e)n  Acc.  H  II  s  (e)s  (e)s  (e)n  Gen.  0  (e)  (e)  (e)n  Dat.  Case markers  'n, -v  2  3  4  " er  (e)n  " e  " er  (e)n  " e  " er  (e)n  " en  " ern  (e)n  - 129 -  As can be seen, f o r many noun forms t h e r e ' i s no nominal marker, which i n i t s e l f would be grounds f o r the appearance of the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e as a marker.  I n a d d i t i o n , i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t those  markers which do e x i s t might be confused w i t h other f u n c t i o n markers, thus negating t h e i r e f f e c t i v e n e s s as nominal markers: e.g.  Nominal Marker  sounds the same as  -(e)n  -en (verbal marker)  -er  -er (comparative marker).  This p o s s i b l e m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of some nominal markers, combined w i t h the lack of any nominal markers i n s e v e r a l parts of the paradigm, could warrant the r i s e and consistent use of a stable nominal marker, i . e . the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e .  The r e t e n t i o n of case markers  on the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e i t s e l f i s probably due t o the frequent usage of t h i s item. Because i n the e a r l y SVX stage the topic-comment ordering was not a l t e r e d , a l l t o p i c a l i z e d elements s t i l l appeared i n preverbal position.  For t h i s reason, object pronouns, by d e f i n i t i o n t o p i c a l i z e d ,  also remained preverbal, r e s u l t i n g i n the orders found i n Old E n g l i s h and the Romance languages.  Since the usual t o p i c , the subject, often  appeared i n pronominal form a l s o , a Pro + Pro + V order o f t e n occurred, p o t e n t i a l l y analysable as: Pro s + Pro + V o or Pro + Pro + V 5  S  e.g. I him fought bravely, e.g. I (and) he fought bravely.  - 130 -  Because of the p o t e n t i a l ambiguity a r i s i n g from the two juxtaposed pronominal forms, the pronoun system retained i t s d i s t i n c t i v e markings of f u n c t i o n .  Sentences containing  f u l l NP comments, however, demonstrated NP  V NP s  ordering, o  with the r e s u l t that new language learners g r a d u a l l y  perceived  a s t r i c t f u n c t i o n a l ordering S +'v + X and t r a n s f e r r e d t h i s i n t o the topic-comment system as T  + V + X.  Object pronouns  were thus moved p o s t v e r b a l l y and t h e i r f u n c t i o n a l markings were e i t h e r l o s t or became obscured: 4.dl  Him and me went to the movies.  4.el  This i s between he and I .  Thus the word order pattern became more standardized  and, con-  sequently, more r i g i d l y SVX/T^VX. The increase of the passive and r e c i p r o c a l construct i o n s and the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the passive+expressed Agent s t r u c ture during the Middle E n g l i s h period of English i s , I b e l i e v e , a r e s u l t of the increasing s t a b i l i t y of l i n e a r word order.  The  deep structure cases o f Agent and Object are u s u a l l y t r a n s l a t e d i n t o the surface structure cases of subject and object r e s p e c t i v e l y . In the e a r l y stages a f t e r verb movement from SXV ===>SVX, when the noun phrases s t i l l retained t h e i r case markings, the deep s t r u c t u r e Object manifested i n the surface structure object case was more  - 131 -  r e a d i l y t o p i c a l i z e d than i n l a t e r periods.  This, I believe,  was a carryover from the SXV stage when object t o p i c a l i z a t i o n was f a i r l y common (witness the remarks of many t r a d i t i o n a l grammarians regarding the free word order of SXV languages). With the l o s s of surface case endings and the subsequent r i g i d i t y of word order, the surface object case was not so readily topicalized.  To overcome the lack of an acceptable  mechanism f o r object case t o p i c a l i z a t i o n , the deep s t r u c t u r e case began to be manifested i n the surface subject case along with a s p e c i a l verb construction t o i n d i c a t e the deep s t r u c t u r e [-Agent] f u n c t i o n of the surface subject case.  During the  Middle E n g l i s h period, the agentive marker by_ was introduced i n order t o show the deep s t r u c t u r e Agent at surface l e v e l . The appearance of the deep s t r u c t u r e Object i n the subject case was a l s o evidenced by the r i s e of r e c i p r o c a l verbs, whose increased usage was also evidenced during the Middle E n g l i s h period.  Old E n g l i s h impersonal verb c o n s t r u c t i o n s , where the  i n d i r e c t object pronoun preceded the verb, were reanalysed as subject + verb constructions i n accordance with the new func87 t i o n a l pattern: 4.fl  Hem nedeb no sucour. ==> They needed no help  X  +  V  +  S  S  +  V  +  X  - 132 -  I would t e n t a t i v e l y suggest that the strong SVX pattern accounts f o r the rare occurrence of structures such as: /  4.T  I I Ted Mary i n v i t e d . / IV  Ted Mary i n v i t e d .  (see p. 123)  where the object case appears i n sentence i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n . In order t o preserve the SVX p a t t e r n of the language, I I i s manifested  i n the SVX passive c o n s t r u c t i o n , while IV removes  the surface object from sentence i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n by i n s e r t i n g a dummy construction to create the usual SVX order: 4.gl  I t was Ted that Mary i n v i t e d .  Thus both I I and IV are forced i n t o the SVX p a t t e r n , although i n d i f f e r e n t constructions so as to mark the separate of t o p i c a l i z e d and focus s t r u c t u r e s . for  nature  The focus c o n s t r u c t i o n  the object case l a t e r spreads t o a l l comment + t o p i c s t r u c -  tures : 4.hi  I t was Mary who i n v i t e d John. I r e a l i z e that my suggestions are purely t h e o r e t i c a l  and would need to be tested against a great deal of data before t h e i r v a l i d i t y could be s e r i o u s l y considered.  However,  inaccurate theories also help develop our understanding  of l a n -  guage, a l b e i t only by e l i m i n a t i n g some of our p o t e n t i a l misunderstandings.  Perhaps by f i n d i n g the wrong answers we w i l l be able  to narrow down our search f o r the r i g h t ones.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION  This paper has attempted to review the development of c l a s s i f i c a t o r y systems of language and to assess t h e i r respective merits and inadequacies. The e a r l y morphological t y p o l o g i e s , although using varying terminologies, developed systems which were e s s e n t i a l l y very s i m i l a r ;  they also shared a r e s t r i c t i o n i n scope —  r e s t r i c t i o n of the word.  the  With such a l i m i t e d viewpoint on l a n -  guage, these typologies seem unable to capture the basic dichotomies of language and may w e l l , as suggested by Hodge (1970), merely r e f l e c t stages i n the l i n g u i s t i c c y c l e , i t s e l f encompassed w i t h i n a wider s y n t a c t i c t y p o l o g i c a l s h i f t . The advent of word order typologies increased the boundaries of c l a s s i f i c a t o r y systems from the word to the sentence.  Following modern l i n g u i s t i c p r a c t i c e , the two typologies  examined i n Chapter I I have formalized t h e i r claims regarding word order u n i v e r s a l s .  Because both theories are based on the univer-  s a l i t y of the VP node, they cannot s a t i s f a c t o r i l y account f o r the VSO subtype of the VO type.  They do, however, seem to capture  word order g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s i n SVO and SOV types, and i t i s Vennemann' s typology which I consider to provide greater i n s i g h t s i n  - 133 -  - 134 -  t h i s regard, even though some of h i s claims are not w e l l substant i a t e d and may need t o be explained through the perceptual s t r a tegies discussed i n Chapter I I I . The use of s y n t a c t i c typologies and other evidence of e a r l i e r word orders as discussed i n Chapter IV i s , I f e e l , valuable i n g i v i n g i n s i g h t i n t o previous s y n t a c t i c orderings i n languages.  To use evidence o f a s p e c i f i c e a r l i e r order  (e.g. A d j e c t i v e + Noun = OV) to reconstruct an e n t i r e OV ordering f o r the whole language on the basis of the s y n t a c t i c typol o g i e s i s not j u s t i f i e d at t h i s time i n my opinion.  Explanations  of the sequence and reason f o r language change are a l s o h i g h l y t h e o r e t i c a l and o f t e n subject t o argument.  The most we can say  i s that c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are i n d i c a t i v e of e a r l i e r word orders —  the why and the wherefore of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are  as yet not s a t i s f a c t o r i l y accounted f o r . At the moment there appears t o be no s a t i s f a c t o r y u n i v e r s a l p r i n c i p l e e x p l a i n i n g e x i s t i n g word orders and p r e d i c t i n g word order change.  A l l theories examined have some m e r i t , but a l l  need supplementary p r i n c i p l e s t o e x p l a i n or allow f o r s p e c i a l difficulties.  S y n t a c t i c typologies are, however, a very recent  phenomenon, and t h e i r proponents must be c r e d i t e d with attempting to e x p l a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c word orders.  They must a l s o be c r e d i t e d  -135 -  with arousing renewed i n t e r e s t i n typology, an i n t e r e s t which has forced l i n g u i s t s to look at a wide v a r i e t y of data and has brought up many new ideas which would not, perhaps, have been considered otherwise. ideas i s now before us.  The t e s t i n g and development of these  FOOTNOTES  1  Pages 1 - 5 of t h i s paper are t o a large extent adapted from Kibbey Home' s Language Typology, 19th and 20th Century Views (Georgetown, 1966).  2  I b i d . , p.14.  3  F. Mauthner, Beitrage zu einer K r i t i k der Sprache, 3rd ed., V o l . 2 (Leipzig, 1923), p.309.  4  This i s Home's c a l c u l a t i o n - LT, pi39.  5  Edward Sapir, Language (New York, 1921), p.140. paperback edition).1949).  6  I b i d . , p.144.  7  I b i d . , p.140.  8  I b i d . , p.144.  9  Ronald W. Langacker, Language and I t s Structure (New York, 1967),  (Harcourt, Brace  p. 92. 10  Sapir, p.144.  11  Sapir, p.144.  12  F.W. Householder, " F i r s t Thoughts on Syntactic Indices," UAL, XXVI (1960) , 195.  - 136 "  - 137. -  13  Winfred P. Lehmann, "Contemporary L i n g u i s t i c s and IndoEuropean Studies," PMLA, 87:5 (1972), 978v  14  Joseph H. Greenberg, "A Quantitative Approach t o the Morphological Typology of Language," U A L , XXVI (1960), 179.  15  Edward Keenan, Handout f o r Lecture #2 a t L.S.A. Summer I n s t i t u t e (1974).  16  W.P. Lehmann, "CL&IES," 977.  17  Lehmann does not define the terms "subject" and "object" (see a l s o 66 below).  18  Lehmann c i t e s no references f o r these "recent grammatical studies."  19  W.P. Lehmann, "A S t r u c t u r a l P r i n c i p l e . o f Language," Language 49:1 (March 1973), 51.  20  E d i t h Moravcsik, "Report on the 1971 Winter Meeting of the L i n g u i s t i c Society of America from the Point of View of Language Universals and Typology," Working Papers on Language U n i v e r s a l s , 8 (Stanford, August 1972).  21  I b i d . , p.146.  - 138 -  22  Wallace Chafe, Meaning and the Structure of Language (Chicago, 1971), p.95.  23  I t should be noted that u n t i l January 1975, Vennemann's only published work on t h i s subject was "Explanation i n Syntax," i n Syntax and Semantics, Vol.2, ed. J . Kimball (New York, 1973).  This a r t i c l e could be h e a v i l y c r i t i c i z e d  f o r i t s lack of c l a r i t y , i t s i n s u f f i c i e n t explanation and i t s o f t e n i n c o n s i s t e n t reasoning.  In subsequent unpublished  papers, however, and i n the j u s t published "An Explanation of D r i f t " , Vennemann has g r e a t l y c l a r i f i e d and r e f i n e d h i s hypothesis on synchronic ordering to the p o i n t where i t i s now a comprehensible and p l a u s i b l e theory. 24.  The semantic ordering of r i g h t to l e f t i s e n t i r e l y a r b i t r a r y .  25.  Susan S t e e l e , "On Some Factors that A f f e c t and E f f e c t Word Order," p r e l i m i n a r y v e r s i o n of unpublished paper ( U n i v e r s i t y of New Mexico),  26  p.33.  This semantic/syntactic c o r r e l a t i o n i s confirmed by G. Lakoff (1969), who claims that a q u a n t i f i e r which precedes another q u a n t i f i e r [or a noun] on the surface i s u s u a l l y higher i n the semantic structure of the sentence.  Whether he intends  t h i s statement to be u n i v e r s a l i s unclear, as he does not comment whether the expected m i r r o r VO s t r u c t u r e a l s o has t h i s semantic c o r r e l a t i o n .  - 139 -  27  Theo. Vennemann, "Topics, Subjects and Word Order:  Prom  SXV t o SVX v i a TVX," paper presented a t the F i r s t I n t e r n a t i o n a l Congress of H i s t o r i c a l L i n g u i s t i c s (Edinburgh, 1973), p.15. 28  Like Lehmann, Vennemann does not define the term "subject." I t seems he cannot define i t as the NP which shows agreement i n f l e c t i o n on the verb, as he does not p o s i t v e r b a l i n f l e c t i o n f o r a l l languages.  However, neither does he s p e c i f i -  c a l l y define the subject as the deep s t r u c t u r e Agent.  I  f e e l , therefore, he must define i t as the NP which appears i n the nominative case (see a l s o 66 below). 29  Vennemann, "EIS."  At t h i s stage of h i s w r i t i n g , Vennemann  i s s t i l l using the terms VO and OV and has not yet changed to VX and XV. 30  VSX languages, of course, are counterexamples to Vennemann's claim that the subject + predicate order i s n a t u r a l f o r a l l languages.  31  For f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n supporting the existence of percept u a l s t r a t e g i e s , see Fodor & Bever (1965), Bever, Fodor & Garrett (1966), Bever (1968 & 1970), Bever, K i r k & Lackner (1969), Bever & Langendoen (1971), Grosu (1972), and Kimball (1973).  .  - 140 -  32  Thomas G. Bever, "The Cognitive Base f o r L i n g u i s t i c Structures," i n Cognition and the Development of Language, ed. J.R. Hayes (New York, 1970), p.298.  33  G.T. Chapin, T.S. Smith & A.A. Abrahamson, "Two  Factors  i n Perceptual Segmentation of Speech," Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behaviour, 11. (1972), pp.164-173. 34  Alexander Grosu, "The S t r a t e g i c Contents of I s l a n d Cons t r a i n t s , " Ph.D. D i s s e r t a t i o n (Ohio State U n i v e r s i t y , 1972), p. 58.  35  Kimball theorizes that the l i s t e n e r must have a very l i m i t e d look-ahead capacity which allows him to c o r r e c t l y s t r u c t u r e That John as an embedded sentence rather than as a p o t e n t i a l NP, e.g. That John i s f a t - t h i s one i s n ' t .  36  Languages which immediately come to mind as conforming to t h i s statement include A r a b i c , the Romance, Germanic and C e l t i c branches of the Indo-European f a m i l y , the Bantu family, etc.  37  Kimball comments that "the operation of New Nodes [the creat i o n of a new node i n the parsing tree] i n SOV languages needs f u r t h e r examination," ( i n "Seven P r i n c i p l e s of Surface Structure Parsing i n Natural Language," i n Cognition, 2:1 (1972)).  He also states that i t i s a "frequently observed  - 141 -  f a c t that sentences of n a t u r a l language organize themselves g e n e r a l l y i n t o r i g h t branching s t r u c t u r e s and t h a t these structures are l e s s complex than l e f t branching s t r u c t u r e s . . . " whether he intends t h i s remark to apply j u s t to E n g l i s h or intends i t as a language u n i v e r s a l i s not s p e c i f i e d ; 38  Susan Steele, "SFTA&EWO", p.12.  39  This i s a restatement of Ross's theory o f Heavy NP C o n s t r a i n t .  40  N. Chomsky & G.A. M i l l e r , "Introduction to the formal a n a l y s i s of n a t u r a l languages," i n Handbook of Mathematical Psychology, ed. R.D. Luce, R.R. Bush, E. Galanter, Vol.11 (New York, 1963), Chapter 11.  41  Edward Sapir, Language, p.141.  42  L a u r i Hakulinen, The Structure and Development of the F i n n i s h Language, UAS 3 (The Hague, 1961), p.67.  43  Talmy Givon, " H i s t o r i c a l syntax and synchronic morphology: an archaeologist's f i e l d t r i p , " paper presented a t the 7th Regional Meeting of the Chicago L i n g u i s t i c Society (Chicago, 1971), p.394-415.  44  C a r l e t o n T. Hodge, "The L i n g u i s t i c Cycle," Language Sciences (Bloomington, December 1970), p.6.  - 142 -  45  French uses the past p a r t i c i p l e as the base f o r i t s past p e r i p h r a s t i c tenses.  46  This claim i s independently made by D. Ingram i n "A Note on Word Order i n P r o t o - S a l i s h , " a paper presented a t the IXth I n t e r n a t i o n a l Conference on Salishan Languages (Vancouver, 1974).  47  Emmon Bach's example, quoted i n Givon, "HS&SM..."  48  Both older and more recent Indo-Europeanists agree t h a t Proto-Indo-European went through a period of showing the verb i n sentence f i n a l p o s i t i o n .  See, f o r example,  C O . Watkins, " P r e l i m i n a r i e s t o the r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of JLndoEuropean sentence s t r u c t u r e , " i n Syntactic Theory 1 Struct u r a l i s t , ed. F.W. Householder (Penguin, 1972), p.124-134. 49  Charles L i , Sandra Thompson, " H i s t o r i c a l Change of Word Order:  A Case Study i n Chinese and i t s I m p l i c a t i o n , " a  paper presented a t the F i r s t I n t e r n a t i o n a l Conference on H i s t o r i c a l L i n g u i s t i c s (Edinburgh, 1973). 50  T. Giv6"n, " S e r i a l Verbs and Syntactic Change:  Niger-Congo,"  unpublished paper, Department of L i n g u i s t i c s , UCLA.  - 143 -  51  "The P r o d i g a l Son," i n L. B l a k e l y , Teach Yourself Old E n g l i s h (London, 1964), p.23.  52  Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Book of the Duchess," i n F. Mosse, Handbook of Middle English (Baltimore, 1968), p.293.  53  L i and Thompson, "HCOWO...", p.15.  54  Although Vennemann does not s p e c i f i c a l l y state these reordering stages, they are implied by h i s theory.  55  E. Keenan, "Subject P r o p e r t i e s L i s t (revised)," accompanying "A U n i v e r s a l D e f i n i t i o n of Subject o f , " paper presented a t the L i n g u i s t i c Society of America meeting (winter 1974), p.6.  56  T. Vennemann, "T,S & WO..." p.23.  57  Keenan, "AUDOS," p.2  58  I b i d . , p.4.  59  Steele, "SFA&EWO," p.45.  60  J.H. Greenberg, "Some Universals .of Grammar with P a r t i c u l a r Reference to the Order of Meaningful Elements," i n Universals of Language, ed. Greenberg (MIT, 1966)  61  T  p.113.  "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle," i n B l a k e l y , TYPE, p.131.  - 144 -  "The F a l l of Jerusalem," i n B l a k e l y , TYPE, p.136. Quoted i n Vennemann, "T,S&WO—," p.29. G. Chaucer, "The Pardoner's Tale," i n Mosse, HPME, p.306 Vennemann claims that the two s t r e s s patterns can account f o r Chomsky & Halle's Nuclear Stress Rule and Compound Stress Rule, which he f e e l s are not language s p e c i f i c but r e s u l t from the word order change which E n g l i s h i s s t i l l i n the process of undergoing.  The s t r e s s r u l e s  would thus be part of a u n i v e r s a l s t r e s s pattern.  This  claim appears to have some flaws i n i t (e.g. how does he e x p l a i n redcoat vs. red coat by word order change), but they are not p e r t i n e n t to t h i s paper. Keenan points out that the notion "subject" i s very hard t o define.  His paper, "A U n i v e r s a l D e f i n i t i o n of Subject o f , "  attempts to provide a l i s t of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c p r o p e r t i e s of subjects.  He admits, however, that these properties  have been drawn from NPs which he 'ifeels to be subjects of the sentences i n which they occur"  (p.l).  Vennemann's language c y c l e motivation and t h i s c r i t i c i s m of i t i s based on i n t e r n a l cause and does not take i n t o account  - 145 -  external influences such as language contact.  P. Wolfe (p.c.)  has suggested that the l o s s of Old E n g l i s h i n f l e c t i o n s was prompted by the intermingling of two languages whose roots were s i m i l a r , but whose i n f l e c t i o n s were d i f f e r e n t ( i . e . Anglo-Saxon and Norse). As Old E n g l i s h was already SVX • when the language i n t e r a c t i o n occurred, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to judge to what extent the redundancy of the Old' E n g l i s h i n f l e c t i o n a l markers hastened t h i s process. 68  E. Sapir, Language, p.184.  69  T. Vennemann, "An Explanation of D r i f t , " paper presented a t the Symposium on Word Order and Word Order Change (Santa Barbara, 1974), p.8.  70  C.C. F r i e s , "On the Development of the S t r u c t u r a l Use of Word Order i n Modern E n g l i s h , " Language, 16:3 (1940), p.200.  71  R. Lakoff, "Another Look a t D r i f t , " i n L i n g u i s t i c Change and Generative Theory, ed. R.P. Stockwell & R.S. Macaulay (Bloomington, 1972), p.185-6.  •72  Old I c e l a n d i c noun paradigms v a r i e d as to whether they d i f f e r e n t i a t e d between the nominative and accusative cases, depending upon the c l a s s they belonged t o . Modern I c e l a n d i c has l e v e l l e d noun paradigms to those shown above, i . e . which  - 146 -  d i s t i n g u i s h between the two cases.  That the n o n - d i s t i n -  guishing paradigms changed t o conform to the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g ones suggests that the l a t t e r were i n the m a j o r i t y , thus appearing to provide a counterexample t o Vennemann's theory of m o t i v a t i o n f o r the SXV ==> SVX movement. The S l a v i c languages do not d i f f e r e n t i a t e nominative and accusative markers i n inanimate and neuter paradigms, but the d i f f e r e n c e appears due to semantic rather than t o phonological causes. 73 73  Larry Hyman, p.c. to L i and Thompson, "HCOWO  " p.19.  74  Compiled from Greenberg}s/'SUOXSi.-rtf"!  75  Larry Hyman, p.c. to Vennemann, "EIS."  76  Susan Steele's example, "SFTA&EWO," p.55.  77  This statement i s made i n "Explanation i n Syntax."  In h i s  l a t e r papers, Vennemann does not mention lack of verb agreement i n SXV languages. opinion on t h i s .  I f e e l he has probably r e v i s e d h i s  In f a c t , a l l Vennemann's theories from  p.13 4.5.1.2 of t h i s paper onward are based s o l e l y on "Explanation i n Syntax" and are not mentioned i n subsequent papers. 78  These examples were provided by M.D. Kinkade  (p.c).  - 147 -  79  These tables are copied from "Explanation i n Syntax."  80  I am not claiming such sentences are attested.  I am  merely using them as p o s s i b l e t h e o r e t i c a l patterns. 81  "The  Story of Caedmon," i n M. Anderson & B. Williams,  Old English Handbook (Cambridge, Mass., 1963). 82  Ibid.  83  "The Conversion of Edwin," "in Anderson & W i l l i a m s ,  84  "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle," i n Anderson & W i l l i a m s ,  85  E. Closs Traugott, A H i s t o r y of English Syntax (New York,  OEH. OEH.  1972), p.135. 86  Traugott points out that the use of demonstratives i n Old E n g l i s h d i d not p a r a l l e l the use of the d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e which l a t e r arose.  She w r i t e s :  "One of the most s t r i k i n g things about the NP i n OE i s the almost complete absence of anything d i r e c t l y corresponding to our a_ and the ... the derives from the OE b_- element t h a t occurs i n most forms of the demonstratives t h i s and that. Pes, beos, b i s , t h i s i s used s p e c i f i c a l l y as a pointer or d e i c t i c ; se, seo, paet, that may be e i t h e r a pointer or more often an element that s i n g l e s out a s p e c i f i c noun from the general c l a s s ..." (86).  - 148 -  Traugott i n d i c a t e s that ^e_, seo, past sometimes c a r r y the meaning "aforesaid," and comments: "The grew d i r e c t l y out of such uses of se_, s5o, bjet. While the does not occur i n OE, there are instances of se_ s§o, paet .. . used i n a way t h a t suggests weakening of the dual sense ' s p e c i f i c ' and 'aforementioned' to simply 'aforementioned'." (87) I would suggest that the broadening environment f o r se, seo bagt i s evidence of i t s spread as a general nominal marker. Vennemann also notes t h i s tendency.  LIST OF WORKS CITED  Anderson, M a r j o r i e , Blanche C. Williams. Cambridge*? Mass. , 1963.  Old E n g l i s h Handbook.  Bach, Emmon. " I s Amharie an SOV language," Journal of E t h i o p i a n Studies, 8. 1970. Bartsch, Renate. Adverbialsemantik: d i e K o n s t i t u t i o n l o g i s c h semantischer Reprasentationen von Adverbialkonstruktionen. Frankfurt am Main, 1972. , T. Vennemann. Semantic Structures: a study i n the r e l a t i o n between semantics and syntax. Frankfurt am Main, 1972. Behagel, Otto. Deutsche Syntax: eine g e s c h i c h t l i c h e D a r s t e l l u n g , V o l . 4. 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