Object Verb Subject

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Object Verb Subject (OVS) is one of the permutations of expression used in linguistic typology. OVS denotes the sequence 'Object Verb Subject' in unmarked expressions: Oranges ate Sam, Thorns have roses. While these sentences remain grammatically correct in English, unlike those written in Subject Object Verb, their meaning is lost. But English and other Subject Verb Object languages frequently use an Object-Verb-Subject type sentence order when writing in the passive voice, for example The oranges were eaten by Sam.

OVS is a class of languages used in the classification of languages according to the dominant sequence of these constituents. In this case the sequence of the constituents is Object Verb Subject. This sequence is the rarest of the six possible orderings of Subject, Verb, and Object. Examples of human languages that use it include Guarijio and Hixkaryana.

Although not dominant, this sequence is also possible when the object is stressed in languages that have relatively free word order due to case marking. Romanian, Basque, Esperanto, and, to some extent, German are examples. Some languages, such as Swedish, which normally lack any extensive case marking, allow such structures when pronouns (which are marked for case) are involved.

This sequence was chosen for the artificial language Klingon, a language spoken by the extraterrestrial Klingon race in the fictional universe of the Star Trek series, in order to make the language sound deliberately alien and counter intuitive. Thus, Klingon uses the rarest permutation of expression, which is expected given the designers' goals.

See also

This article incorporates text from Wikipedia, and is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
For the original article please see the "external links" section.

Wikipedia:Object Verb Subject