It's quite common for this kind of marker to gravitate to the second
position of the sentence:

* In Tohono O'odham (Uto-Aztecan), the auxiliary element which contains
subject person/number and sentential aspect is a second position element.

* In Shoshoni (also Uto-Aztecan) the question particle (_ha_), negation
(_kai_), and various adverbials are found in the second position as well.

* In German, the tensed verb is a second position element in main clauses.

* Classical Greek also had a number of particles that occurred in the second

So to find it in Algonkian languages is not too surprising. And Brett is
right; it's not really about counting--it just follows the first clausal

On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 6:33 PM, Brett Williams <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 5:08 PM, Matthew Turnbull <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > most of the time it's either a nominal (or a verb masquerading as such if
> I
> > didn't understand correctly) followed by the particle naa. this particle
> is
> > always phrase second, never occurs elsewhere, and it just seems to me
> that
> > it violates the universal that the number of words never matters, but i
> > think that it may have to do with verb/phrase templates and I just didn't
> > get it.
> I've been studying Potawatomi lately, which is a related language--
> the particle in question is spelled "ne" in Potawatomi and pronounced
> (I think, I'm terrible at phonetics) as [log in to unmask]
> Honestly I don't understand Potawatomi grammar that well yet.  But it
> seems to have a fairly free word order (which makes sense, since
> there's a lot of marking on both verbs and nouns), and our teacher has
> emphasized several times that you almost always put the "most
> important thing" at the beginning of the sentence.  So from what
> little I know it seems to me like the "ne" rule fits that general
> pattern: The thing you're asking about is emphasized, so it's moved to
> the front of the sentence, where it's then followed by "ne".
> I'm not sure it has anything to do with "the number of words"
> exactly-- what's a word vs a phrase seems to be a much less distinct
> matter in Potawatomi.
> Also, incidentally, I believe I've also seen sentences where "ne"
> comes at the end of the whole sentence, though that hasn't been
> explained to me.
> <3,
> la stela selckiku
> aka
> mungojelly
> aka
> bret-ram
> aka
> brett