Order of Subject, Object and Verb (Feature 1)
This feature concerns the ordering of subject, object, and verb in a non-contrastive, non-focussed transitive clause without special topicalization, more specifically declarative clauses in which both the subject and object involve a noun (and not just a pronoun), as in the English sentence [The dog] chased [the cat]. English is SVO (Subject-Verb-Object), because the subject the dog precedes the verb while the object the cat follows the verb.
The termssubject and object are used here in a semantic sense, to denote the more agent-like and more patient-like elements respectively. There are six logically possible orders of the three elements S, O, and V, as shown in the list of feature values.
Languages can have several word orders (e.g. German is SVO and VSO in main clauses and SOV in subordinate clauses), so you may choose several values and indicate the relative importance. But note that only non-contrastive, non-focussed, non-topicalized clauses are considered here, so disregard cases like English It was the cat that the dog chased (=OSV).
|1||Subject-object-verb (SOV)|| Sri Lanka Portuguese|
Osiir-su fiiya-pa portugees nuku-sava.
[he-gen daughter-dat Portuguese neg-know]
'His daughter does not know Portuguese (Creole).'
|2||Subject-verb-object (SVO)|| Belizean Creole|
Jimi fayn di kru.
[Jimmy find the crew]
‘Jimmy hired the crew.’
|3||Verb-subject-object (VSO)|| Irish|
Léannna sagairtna leabhair.
[read.pres the.pl priest.pl the.pl book.pl]
‘The priests are reading the books.’
|4||Verb-object-subject (VOS)|| Ternateño|
Ta cumi hamon el hombre.
[ipfv eat ham def man]
’The man is eating ham.’
|5||Object-verb-subject (OVS)|| Hixkaryana (Brazil)|
Toto y-ahosi-ye kamara.
[man 3:3-grab-distant.pst jaguar]
‘The jaguar grabbed the man.’
|6||Object-subject-verb (OSV)|| Nadëb (Brazil)|
Awad kalapéé hapúh.
[jaguar child see.ind]
‘The child sees the jaguar.’