|SOV||"She him loves."||45%||Proto-Indo-European, Sanskrit, Hindi, Ancient Greek, Latin, Japanese, Korean|
|SVO||"She loves him."||42%||Cantonese, English, French, Hausa, Italian, Malay, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish|
|VSO||"Loves she him."||9%||Biblical Hebrew, Arabic, Irish, Filipino, Tuareg-Berber, Welsh|
|VOS||"Loves him she."||3%||Malagasy, Baure, Proto-Austronesian|
|OVS||"Him loves she."||1%||Apalaí, Hixkaryana|
|OSV||"Him she loves."||0%||Warao|
|S-V1-O-V2||"She can him love."||German, Afrikaans|
In linguistic typology, object–subject–verb (OSV) or object–agent–verb (OAV) is a classification of languages, based on whether the structure predominates in pragmatically-neutral expressions. It is occasionally used in English: "Him I know."
Unmarked word order
OSV is rarely used in unmarked sentences, those using a normal word order without emphasis. Most languages that use OSV as their default word order come from the Amazon basin, such as Xavante, Jamamadi, Apurinã, Kayabí and Nadëb. Here is an example from Apurinã:
anana nota apa pineapple I fetch I fetch a pineapple
Marked word order
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Various languages allow OSV word order but only in marked sentences, those that emphasise part or all of the sentence.
American Sign Language
This section needs attention from an expert in deaf. The specific problem is: contradictory and uncited information about ASL's word order.(August 2015)
ASL has a specific word order that changes, depending on the intended focus of the sentence or the context of the utterance. OSV is used most frequently when describing a scene or event, or when depicting verbs. It may also emphasise the importance of the object in question. SVO is also used, usually for direct, brief, or non-descriptive utterances.
Arabic also allows OSV in marked sentences:
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينَ. Iyyāka naʿbudu wa-iyyāka nastaʿīn You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help.
English and German
In English and German, OSV appears primarily in relative clauses if the relative pronoun is the (direct or indirect) object: "What I do is my own business" and "Was ich mache, ist meine Angelegenheit."
In Modern Hebrew, OSV is often used instead of the normal SVO to emphasise the object: while אני אוהב אותה would mean "I love her", "אותה אני אוהב" would mean "It is she whom I love". Possibly an influence of Germanic (via Yiddish), as Jewish English uses a similar construction ("You, I like, kid")—see above —much more than many other varieties of English, and often with the "but" left implicit.
In Hungarian, OSV emphasises the subject:
A szócikket én szerkesztettem = The article/I/edited (It was I, not somebody else, who edited the article).
Korean and Japanese
Sentence 그 사과는 제가 먹었어요. Words 그 사과 는 제 가 먹 었 어요 Romanization geu sagwa neun je ga meog eoss eoyo. Gloss the/that apple (topicalization marker) I (polite) (sub. marker) eat (past) (polite) Parts Object Subject Verb Translation It is I who ate that apple. (or) As for the apple, I ate it. (or) The apple was eaten by me.
OSV is one of two permissible word orders in Malayalam, the other being SOV.
Cah cihuah in niquintlazohtla (indicative marker) women (topicalization marker) I-them-love women I love them It is the women whom I love.
OSV is used in Turkish to emphasise the subject:
Yemeği ben pişirdim = The meal/I/cooked (It was I, not somebody else, who cooked the meal).
- Meyer, Charles F. (2010). Introducing English Linguistics International (Student ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Tomlin, Russell S. (1986). Basic Word Order: Functional Principles. London: Croom Helm. p. 22. ISBN 9780709924999. OCLC 13423631.
- O'Grady, W. et al Contemporary Linguistics (3rd edition, 1996) ISBN 0-582-24691-1
- Friedmann, Naama; Shapiro, Lewis (April 2003). "Agrammatic comprehension of simple active sentence with moved constituents: Hebrew OSV and OVS structures". Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 46: 288–97. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/023).
- Introduction to Classical Nahuatl[vague]