[b-greek] Word Order and Zero Anaphora

From: Wayne Leman (wleman@mcn.net)
Date: Thu Oct 05 2000 - 17:34:29 EDT


What Givon (who I have studied under) and other language typologists have
noticed is that there is often a correlation between morphological
positioning of pronominal affixes and other word order factors in a
language. But it's not a direct correlation (and would probably only obtain
if the language clearly also has syntactic word ordering), and I would
definitely not want to call NT Greek an SV (or VS) language simply because
it has pronominal suffixes instead of prefixes. I personally don't think NT
Greek has any underlying *syntactic* word order, but I've stated that here
before, so I don't need to belabor the point. I do *know* that NT Greek has
pragmatic word ordering where ordering of clausal elements is affected by
discourse-pragmatic factors such as contrast, emphasis, focus, etc.
Cheyenne, the language with which my wife and I work as Bible translators,
has a similar kind of pragmatic word order system. In fact, my wife wrote
her M.A. thesis on "Cheyenne Major Constituent Order". It's been published
by SIL.

Wayne Leman
Bible translation site: http://bibletranslation.lookscool.com/
Bible translation discussion list: bible-translation-subscribe@kastanet.org

> A few additional observations. I don't think T. Givon is really suggesting
> using bound verb morphology for compiling statistics on word order in
> or any other language such as NT Greek.
> Clay

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