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On 7 Apr 2011, at 16:45, Peter Bleackley wrote:

>>> Its predominantly VSO, like the Semitic tongues (and, in my experience, the Vulgate: 'in principio creavit Deus...')
>> 
>> I would suspect that most of the Vulgate is not VSO -- but I could be wrong!
> 
> In this passage St Jerome was probably consciously imitating the word order of the Hebrew
> 
> bereshit bara Elohim...

"In principio" is a prepositional phrase, and beginning a sentence with such a phrase often causes a syntactic inversion.

Ich habe meinem Bruder ein Buch gegeben.
In März habe ich meinem Bruder ein Buch gegeben.

I doubt you can say much about Jerome's word order from the first sentence as it is thus marked. Isn't the unmarked sentence SOV, "Vestis virum reddit" 'clothes make the man'?

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/