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Document Details :
Title: Afrikaans Word Order
Subtitle: A performance-based account
Author(s): JONES, Jacqueline G.
Journal: Leuvense Bijdragen - Leuven Contributions in Linguistics and Philology
Volume: 92 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2003
Languages differ considerably in the way words are ordered. If one categorises them according to the position of three major constituents, namely Subject (S), Verb (V) and Object (O), then each language could exhibit one of six logically possible orders. There does not appear an equal distribution of word order types. Although each of the sic orders is attested, the most frrequent are SOV, SVO, and VSO. What is the reason for this? The field of language typology is dedicated to examining questions such as these. A suggestion presented by Hawkins (1994) is that word order is motivated by performance considerations. He presents the principle of Early Immediate Constituents (EIC), which is said to govern the choice of word order.
The purpose of this paper is to apply this EIC principle to a selection of Afrikaans word order features; Afrikaans cannot be classified as one of the traditional basic order types. Rather, it is recognized as Verb-Second (V2) language, and exhibits considerable freedom in the ordering of constituents. The rearrangement possibilities in Afrikaans provide appropriate data to test the predictions made by Hawkin's EIC principle.