Subject Object Verb

From FrathWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

In linguistic typology, Subject Object Verb (SOV) is the type of languages in which the subject, object, and verb of a sentence appear (usually) in that order. If English were SOV, then "Sam oranges ate" would be an ordinary sentence. Among natural languages, SOV is the most common type. It corresponds roughly to reverse Polish notation in computer languages. The SOV languages include Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Manchu, Mongolian, Ainu, Nivkh, Persian, Pashto, Kurdish, Burushaski, Basque, Latin, Burmese, Tibetan, Amharic, Tigrinya, Abkhaz, Abaza, Adyghe, Kabardian, Sumerian, Akkadian, Elamite, Hittite, Navajo, Hopi, Aymara, Quechua, Pali, Nepali, Sinhalese and most Indian languages.

German is basically SVO, but employs SOV in subordinate clauses. Dutch does this as well but also employs it in certain independent clauses. See V2 word order. French, Portuguese and Spanish are SVO, but use SOV when a pronoun is used as the (direct or indirect) object: e.g., "Sam a mangé des oranges", "Sam comeu laranjas" or "Sam comió naranjas" (Sam ate oranges) would become "Sam les a mangées", "Sam as comeu" or "Sam las comió" (Sam them ate). This type of ordering is sometimes (although rarely) used in English under poetic license, especially in works of William Shakespeare.

SOV languages tend to have the adjectives before nouns, to use postpositions rather than prepositions, to place relative clauses before the nouns to which they refer, and to place auxiliary verbs after the action verb. Some have special particles to distinguish the subject and the object, such as the Japanese ga and o. SOV languages also seem to exhibit a tendency towards using a Time-Manner-Place ordering of prepositional phrases.

An example in Japanese is: 私は箱を開けます。(watashi wa hako wo akemasu.) meaning "I open a/the box/boxes." In this sentence, 私 (watashi) is the subject (or more specifically, topic) meaning "I" as in first person singular, and it is followed by the は (wa) topic-marker. 箱 (hako) is the object meaning box (in Japanese no distinction is made between whether a word uses "a" or "the", or plural or singular unless specifically stated), followed by を (wo) which is the object-marker in Japanese. 開けます (akemasu) is the polite non-past form of the verb which means "to open" and is at the end of the sentence.

Although Latin was an inflected language, the most usual word order was SOV. An example would be: "servus puellam amat", meaning "The slave loves the girl." In this sentence, "servus" is the subject, "puellam" is the object and "amat" is the verb.

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:Subject Object Verb