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> From: SMITH,MARCUS ANTHONY
>
> 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?
> >
> > Yes.  I have heard that Hungarian has no preferred word order (Frank
> > Valoczy will verify this), and it isn't even as agglutinative as this.
>
> 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.
>

[snipped interesting examples from Telek]

amman iar word order is similarly influenced by these pragmatic
considerations.  When pragmatic considerations are ignored, the preferred
word order for amman iar is SOV (or more accurately SV/APV).  However, amman
iar tends to prefer TFV word order (i.e. topic focus verb), placing the
focus immediately before the verb, thus

        Who  ate the fish?
        vaisa eleth anir ingua ervathon

        Galdor ate the fish.
        eleth anir ingua i galdranne ervathon
                   T=PAT   F=AGT     V

Here the pragmatic tendency to place the focus immediately before the verb
overrules the standard APV word order.

        Galdor ate the fish.
        i galdranne eleth anir ingua ervathon

        What about the Luthiel?
        nai luthielle

        Luthiel ate the meat.
        i luthielle eleth ani poldir ervathon
          T=AGT               F=PAT  V

In this example Luthiel has been introduced as the Topic and the fact that
she ate the meat is new information and thus the focus.

        Galdor ate the fish.
        i galdranne eleth anir ingua ervathon

        What about the meat?
        nai poldir

        Luthiel ate the meat
        eleth ani poldir i luthielle ervathon
                  T=PAT    F=AGT     V

In this example, "the meat" has been introduced as the Topic and the fact
that it was eaten by Luthiel is new information and thus the focus.

Stay curious,
David

David E. Bell
The Gray Wizard
www.graywizard.net

elivas en ishron ordelmar cotronian
Wisdom begins in wonder.