Verb–object–subject

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Word
order
English
equivalent
Proportion
of languages
Example
languages
SOV "He him loves." 45% 45
 
Proto-Indo-European, Sanskrit, Hindi, Ancient Greek, Latin, Japanese
SVO "He loves him." 42% 42
 
English, French, Hausa, Indonesian, Malay, Mandarin, Russian
VSO "Loves he him." 9% 9
 
Biblical Hebrew, Arabic, Irish, Filipino, Tuareg, Welsh
VOS "Loves him he." 3% 3
 
Malagasy, Baure, Proto-Austronesian
OVS "Him loves he." 1% 1
 
Apalaí, Hixkaryana
OSV "Him he loves." 0% Warao
Frequency distribution of word order in languages
surveyed by Russell S. Tomlin in 1980s[1][2] ( )

In linguistic typology, a verb–object–subject or verb–object–agent language – commonly abbreviated VOS or VOA – is one in which the most-typical sentences arrange their elements in that order: "Ate oranges Sam."

Commonly cited examples include Austronesian languages (such as Malagasy, Old Javanese, Toba Batak, Dusun, and Fijian) and Mayan languages (such as Tzotzil). In Hadza the word order VOS is very common, but the default is VSO.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Introducing English Linguistics International Student Edition by Charles F. Meyer
  2. ^ Russell Tomlin, "Basic Word Order: Functional Principles", Croom Helm, London, 1986, page 22