Should international auxiliary languages be SOV (subject-object-verb) instead of SVO?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take a look at this video from the Daily Show:

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gov at First Sight
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

At 3:19 Jon Stewart shows how SOV is really the most instinctive form of communication even for speakers of SVO languages. If you think about how you communicate with someone when brushing your teeth or talking on the phone while trying to tell the person in front of you something else without making a sound for example, most of the time this is SOV as well.

Where's your book? -- point to person (you), gesture to book (book), make shrugging gesture (where is?).

If the order were different there (you, shrug, book), it would probably come across as a confusing "Who are you? Book."

What word order do you use when communicating like this? People that actually know sign language are a completely different situation of course, as they have had extensive training in communicating much more detailed information in a very structured way.


Kjetil said...

Good point.

Even though Norwegian use SVO, some dialects use SOV as well in questions, but it's not used in formal speaking. Especially for teens I guess. And I use SOV when I talk without making any sound.

Examples (directly translated):

Hva sier du? -> Ka du seie?
What says you? -> What you says?

Hvem er du? -> Kem du e?
Who are you -> Who you are?

Hvordan fungerer den? -> Kossen den funke?
How works it? -> How it works?

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP