Pragmatic and categorial correlates of vs word order

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Languages described as 'verb-initial' have certain pragmatic characteristics which set them apart from SVO languages. The verb forms used in independent clauses in verb-initial languages differ from their counterparts in SVO languages in that they cannot be presuppositional (in the sense of Givón (1979)); consequently, verb-initial languages frequently use nominal or special dependent forms where SVO languages would use an independent verb form. The development of a language from verb-initial to SVO or vice-versa therefore necessarily involves a change in the pragmatic nature of the categories involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-200
Number of pages24
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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