[Lingtyp] Subject-verb inversion with transitive verbs

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Sun Apr 12 22:03:41 UTC 2020

Dear all,

On 12/04/2020 16:22, Ernei Ribeiro wrote:
> (4) Are there languages without agreement and without case morphology 
> on nouns that allow subject-verb inversion with transitive verbs?
Malay/Indonesian would be an example of such a language. For example, in 
Jakarta Indonesian, a language without agreement or cae morphology, a 
corpus study of two verbs, /beli/ 'buy' and /makan/ 'eat', found SVO 
order in 88% and 94% of clauses containing both arguments, but also VOS 
order in 7% and 2% of such clauses.

Conners, Thomas, John Bowden and David Gil (2015) "Valency Classes in 
Jakarta Indonesian", in A. Malchukov and B. Comrie eds., /Valency 
Classes in the World's Languages/, DeGruyter Mouton, Berlin, 941-986.

I suspect similar facts hold for lots of languages across western Indonesia.


David Gil
Senior Scientist (Associate)
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Mobile Phone (Israel): +972-556825895
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81344082091

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