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Hello,

Now for my bit on Hungarian (for those that don't know, it is my native
language).

Hungarian almost has no preferred word order, though with more complex
sentences the word order can affect the meaning slightly, as in emphasis a
certain part.

> Dear Marcus,
>
> It is true that Hungarian has fairly free word order, but still has a
> certain amount of restraint even so (i.e., adjectives tend to precede their
> nouns, the stressed concept precedes the verb). And even in free word-order
> languages I think you'd be hard-pressed to find, for example, one in which
> an adverbial modifier preceded the imperative (i.e., here come vs. come
> here). Of course, you could get round this by having verbs which mean "come
> here" - something akin to "approach!". At the level of a bare-bones Verb

Using exactly your example. In Hungarian one can say "gyere ide" [come
here] or "ide gyere!" [here come], but there are differences. Primarily
the second one would be used as a more forceful command, or to specify
come HERE and not THERE.

> Phrase "The man hit the boy" type word order in such languages may be free.

Your example:

Az ember megutotte a fiut. (The man hit the boy)
Megutotte az ember a fiut. (Hit the man the boy; the man HIT the boy)
A fiut az ember utotte meg. (The boy the man hit; The MAN hit the boy)
Az ember a fiut utotte meg. (The man the boy hit; The man hit the BOY)
Megutotte a fiut az ember. (Hit the boy the man; the man HIT the boy)
A fiut megutotte az ember. (The boy hit the man; The man hit the BOY)


> Anything more complicated, involving relativity for example, will tend to
> condition structure. My own language Omeina uses a suffixed relative marker,
> An-te ai-na-di bere-n aito-de na (man-erg : did-he-me : see-that : father-my
> : is) = the man who saw me is my father (hyphens show morpheme boundaries in
> each case). Nested relative clauses are no problem, since each relative
> marker is suffixed to the relevant verb.

Your example:

Az ember, aki ram lesett, az apam.
The man, who onto-me saw, the my-father [is].

Az apam az az ember aki ram lesett.
The my-father that the man who onto-me saw.

A ram leso ember az apam volt.
The onto-me seeing man the my-father was.

These three are the most natural. The others are possible, but seem rather
forced/artificial to me.