ERIC Number: ED182984
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
A Diachronic Explanation for the Origin of OVS in Some Carib Languages. Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Volume 23.
Derbyshire, Desmond C.
This research suggests a possible diachronic explanation for the emergence of OVS (Object-Verb-Subject) as basic sentence word order in Carib languages. The application of afterthought grammaticalization patterns to explain diachronic change in the position of subject necessitates some modification of Hyman's and Venneman's hypotheses. Neither considered the possibility of the subject being a candidate for that process. Moreover, whereas Hyman suggested that the most natural candidates for afterthought placement and subsequent grammaticalization are constituents that convey new information, the opposite has been shown to be the case in Fijian and Hixkaryana. The subject NP's (Noun Phrases) that came to be placed after the verb were specifically those which expressed given information. Evidence is presented contradicting Venneman's prediction that loss of case-markers is the primary cause of diachronic word order change. This evidence is quoted from two Carib languages in which the case markers are still very much of the system although the shift from SOV (Subect-Object-Verb) to OVS is already fairly well developed. (PMJ)
Descriptors: American Indian Languages, Case (Grammar), Componential Analysis, Diachronic Linguistics, Grammar, Language Patterns, Language Research, Morphology (Languages), Nouns, Sentence Structure, Syntax, Verbs, Word Order
Summer Inst. of Linguistics, International Linguistic Center-Bookroom, 7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236 ($3.00/volume)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Summer Inst. of Linguistics, Grand Forks, ND.