My Latin is a bit out of use, but that seems very close to what you want. There is a "rich" system of verb conjugations and noun declensions, so all grammatical information is in the word's inflectional end. The traditional word order is subject - direct object - indirect object - verb. However, other forms are seen in different parts and times of the Roman Empire and Catholic Church. S-V-O is rather common, and in rare poetic forms the verb comes first for emphasis. Ambiguity is very rare, since the verbs are conjugated by tense (simple and perfect), person, number, and indicative/subjunctive. Nouns are declined by nominative, genitive (possessive), datative (direct object), accusitive (direct object), ablative (object of preposition, insturmentive, and a few other obscure uses), and vocative (direct address, rarely used, a holdover from Greek to "look high-brow and intellectual"). There are too main rules: 1) Descriptors (adjectives/adverbs) are next to the word they describe. This one is obvious. Usually, the noun/verb is first, but important or stressed descriptors can be placed first. 2) A prepositional phrase is *always* at the start of a sentence. | -----Original Message----- | From: SMITH,MARCUS ANTHONY [mailto:[log in to unmask]] | Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 2:04 PM | To: [log in to unmask] | Subject: Re: me and my languages | | On Mon, 10 Sep 2001, Jesse Bangs wrote: | > > Anyway, I think I'm realizing my question here. Is | it feasible | > that | > > there could be a language with no preferred word order | whatsoever since | > all | > > the information is encoded in the verb? | | The question of whether a language has a preferred word order | or not is, I | think, misframed. The question should address what kind of | pragmatic/semantic functions the various word orders play.