Object–subject–verb


Object–subject–verb
Linguistic typology
Morphological
Isolating
Synthetic
Polysynthetic
Fusional
Agglutinative
Morphosyntactic
Alignment
Accusative
Ergative
Split ergative
Philippine
Active–stative
Tripartite
Marked nominative
Inverse marking
Syntactic pivot
Theta role
Word Order
VO languages
Subject–verb–object
Verb–subject–object
Verb–object–subject
OV languages
Subject–object–verb
Object–subject–verb
Object–verb–subject
Time–manner–place
Place–manner–time
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In linguistic typology, object–subject–verb (OSV) or object–agent–verb (OAV) is one of the permutations of word order. OSV or OAV denotes the sequence object–subject/agent–verb in neutral expressions: Oranges Sam ate. It is a classification of languages according to the dominant sequence of these constituents.

Contents

OSV as unmarked word order

This type of word order in unmarked sentences is rare. Most languages that use this as their default word order come from the Amazon basin, such as Xavante, Jamamadi, Apurinã, Kayabí and Nadëb.[1]

An Apurinã example[1]:

anana nota apa
pineapple I fetch
I fetch a pineapple

British Sign Language

Like American Sign Language (ASL), British Sign Language (BSL) also uses topic–comment structure. However, unlike ASL, BSL's default word order when topic–comment structure is not used is OSV.

OSV as marked word order

Various languages allow OSV word order but only in marked sentences, i.e. in certain circumstances to draw special attention to the sentence or part of the sentence.

American Sign Language

American Sign Language uses topics to set up referent loci, so that sentences can appear to be in OSV order because ASL is a pro-drop language. However, ASL's default word order outside of topic–comment structure is SVO.

Arabic

Arabic also allows OSV in marked sentences, for example:

إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين
Iyyāka naʿbudu wa iyyāka nastaʿīn
You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help

Chinese

Passive constructions in Chinese follow an OSV (OAV) pattern:

橘子
this orange SUBJ 1SG eat PERF
the orange by me is eaten

English and German

This structure may on occasion be seen in English, usually in the future tense or used as a contrast with the conjunction "but", such as in the following examples: "To Rome I shall go!", "I hate oranges, but apples I'll eat!"; and in relative clauses where the relative pronoun is the (direct or indirect) object, such as in "What I do is my own business." In English and German OSV also appears in relative clauses where the relative pronoun is the (direct or indirect) object, such as in "Was ich mache, ist meine Angelegenheit."

Korean

In Korean, OSV is possible when the object is topicalized.

사과 먹었어
the/that apple topicalization marker I sub. marker ate
the apple I ate
It is I who ate the apple.

Malayalam

OSV is one of two permissible word orders in Malayalam, the other being SOV.

Yiddish

It can be used in Yiddish to emphasize the distinctive properties of the object.

Yoddish & Constructed languages

This word order appears in a number of constructed languages, such as Teonaht, as it is often chosen by language inventors for its exotic sound. The Star Wars character Yoda speaks in a modified form of this word order. This word order is also used in the game Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars by Bowyer.[2]

See also

  • Subject–object–verb
  • Subject–verb–object
  • Object–verb–subject
  • Verb–object–subject
  • Verb–subject–object

References

  1. ^ a b O'Grady, W. et al Contemporary Linguistics (3rd edition, 1996) ISBN 0-582-24691-1
  2. ^ Scott Pelland; Kent Miller, Terry Munson, Paul Shinoda (May 1996). "Epic Center". Nintendo Power (M. Arakawa, Nintendo of America, Inc.) 84: pp. 59. "Despite a rather loose grip on the English language, Bowyer has marshaled an impressive army to battle Rose Town." 
    Square Co., Ltd. (now Square Enix Co., Ltd.). Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (in English). (Nintendo). SNES, Virtual Console. Level/area: Forest Maze. (1996-05-13) "BOWYER: Gunya! Nya!!
    Strong you are. But stronger am I! Hurt you, I will!"

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