[Histling-l] Borrowed word order in phrases

Plank frans.plank at UNI-KONSTANZ.DE
Sat Dec 14 16:34:02 UTC 2013

For English, I seem to remember the claim that the ordering TITLE - NAME, as in 'King George', 'Mr. Smith', 'Uncle Harry', is modelled on Latin, and in particular on ONE phrase, 'dominus Christus'.  The old Germanic ordering had consistently been NAME - TITLE, 'Aelfred cyning' etc.

I'm not sure I'm convinced.

The strict finite positioning of the finite verb in subordinate clauses with complementiser in German has also variously been claimed to be modelled on what was considered proper Latin by Renaissance grammarians (regardless of whether or not verb-final had already been a preference earlier, as the Germanic handbooks would have it).

Again, I'm only reporting this.  And I can't give you references because I'm writing from a bus. 


Frans Plank
Universität Konstanz
78457 Konstanz

Tel  +49 (0)7531 88 2656
Fax +49 (0)7531 88 4190
eMail frans.plank at uni-konstanz.de

On Dec 14, 2013, at 6:09 AM, Eduardo Ribeiro <kariri at gmail.com> wrote:

> [apologies for cross-posting]
> Dear colleagues,
> I'm looking for examples of languages where certain (types of) phrases
> present a different, borrowed word order when compared to a more
> common, inherited type.  Well-known examples are, in English, legal
> terms in which the adjective follows the noun, preserving the original
> Norman French order: "attorney general", "court martial", etc.
> (Jespersen 1912:87-88).
> Are you aware of similar examples from other languages? And of cases
> in which the borrowed order, originally limited to borrowed lexemes,
> ended up becoming the default usage?
> I would appreciate any insights and bibliographic references on this topic.
> Obrigado,
> Eduardo
> -- 
> Eduardo Rivail Ribeiro, lingüista
> http://etnolinguistica.org/perfil:9
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> Histling-l mailing list
> Histling-l at mailman.rice.edu
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