Linguistic typology Morphological Isolating Synthetic Polysynthetic Fusional Agglutinative Morphosyntactic Alignment Accusative Ergative Split ergative Philippine Active–stative Tripartite Marked nominative Inverse marking Syntactic pivot Theta role Word Order VO languages Subject–verb–object Verb–subject–object Verb–object–subject OV languages Subject–object–verb Object–subject–verb Object–verb–subject Time–manner–place Place–manner–time
In linguistic typology, object–subject–verb (OSV) or object–agent–verb (OAV) is one of the permutations of word order. OSV or OAV denotes the sequence object–subject/agent–verb in neutral expressions: Oranges Sam ate. It is a classification of languages according to the dominant sequence of these constituents.
OSV as unmarked word order
An Apurinã example:
anana nota apa pineapple I fetch I fetch a pineapple
British Sign Language
OSV as marked word order
Various languages allow OSV word order but only in marked sentences, i.e. in certain circumstances to draw special attention to the sentence or part of the sentence.
American Sign Language
American Sign Language uses topics to set up referent loci, so that sentences can appear to be in OSV order because ASL is a pro-drop language. However, ASL's default word order outside of topic–comment structure is SVO.
Arabic also allows OSV in marked sentences, for example:
إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين Iyyāka naʿbudu wa iyyāka nastaʿīn You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help
Passive constructions in Chinese follow an OSV (OAV) pattern:
English and German
This structure may on occasion be seen in English, usually in the future tense or used as a contrast with the conjunction "but", such as in the following examples: "To Rome I shall go!", "I hate oranges, but apples I'll eat!"; and in relative clauses where the relative pronoun is the (direct or indirect) object, such as in "What I do is my own business." In English and German OSV also appears in relative clauses where the relative pronoun is the (direct or indirect) object, such as in "Was ich mache, ist meine Angelegenheit."
In Korean, OSV is possible when the object is topicalized.
그 사과 는 내 가 먹었어 the/that apple topicalization marker I sub. marker ate the apple I ate It is I who ate the apple.
OSV is one of two permissible word orders in Malayalam, the other being SOV.
It can be used in Yiddish to emphasize the distinctive properties of the object.
Yoddish & Constructed languages
This word order appears in a number of constructed languages, such as Teonaht, as it is often chosen by language inventors for its exotic sound. The Star Wars character Yoda speaks in a modified form of this word order. This word order is also used in the game Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars by Bowyer.
- ^ a b O'Grady, W. et al Contemporary Linguistics (3rd edition, 1996) ISBN 0-582-24691-1
- ^ Scott Pelland; Kent Miller, Terry Munson, Paul Shinoda (May 1996). "Epic Center". Nintendo Power (M. Arakawa, Nintendo of America, Inc.) 84: pp. 59. "Despite a rather loose grip on the English language, Bowyer has marshaled an impressive army to battle Rose Town."
Square Co., Ltd. (now Square Enix Co., Ltd.). Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (in English). (Nintendo). SNES, Virtual Console. Level/area: Forest Maze. (1996-05-13) "BOWYER: Gunya! Nya!!
Strong you are. But stronger am I! Hurt you, I will!"
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