I'm still not sure what Thunderbird's doing to my mails.  I hope this 
one is not unduly mangled  :)

On 23/06/2017 05:07, Tim Smith wrote:
> From what little I know about both languages, Vietnamese is a much 
> more nearly "pure isolating" language than Chinese (at least if, by 
> Chinese, you mean modern Mandarin). 

Yes, it is my understanding that Vietnames is (almost) purely isolating, 
whereas modern Chinese is not.  I recall several years ago there were 
discussions as to whether English is more isolating than modern Mandarin 
or not.    :)

> Also (and perhaps more important in terms of its susceptibility to 
> automated parsing), Vietnamese has very consistently VO, head-modifier 
> syntax, whereas Mandarin has very typologically mixed syntax.

That's also my understanding of Vietnamese.  Certainly modern Chinese 
(and probably earlier Chineses) have typologically mixed syntax.

> -- Tim
> On 6/22/2017 4:46 PM, Gary Shannon wrote:
>> I was thinking about creating a pure isolating language, and was curious
>> about how Chinese puts sentences together. I suppose I could get a 
>> textbook
>> on Chinese grammar, but what I tried turned out to be more fun.
>> I took a sentence from A Princess of Mars and ran it through Google
>> Translate. H

I recall a few years back finding an article in French as I was 
googling; being impatient I used Google translate - the result was 
scarcely intelligible.  So I patiently read the French which made 
perfect sense.   Hopefully things have improved a bit since then.

I found Gary's results amusing - but I wasn't surprised      :)