LINGUIST List 13.793

Mon Mar 25 2002

Books: Armenian Linguistics, Jasmine Dum-Tragut

Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara <>

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  1. LINCOM EUROPA, Word order correlations and word order change

Message 1: Word order correlations and word order change

Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 10:58:47 +0100
Subject: Word order correlations and word order change

Word order correlations and word order change: an "applied-typological"
study on literary Armenian varieties

University of Salzburg

Since Greenberg's (1963) implicational universals, there have been
various discussions about correlations between certain pairs of
grammatical elements and basic word order and the predictability of
syntactic developments in individual languages, or even linguistic
areas, on the basis of these implicational universals and
correlational pairs.

The syntactic analysis of natural languages shows that some
implications are not necessarily compelling. Deviations from
implicational norms can be caused by simple pragmatic or semantic
circumstances or by linguistic borrowing. The correlation of the order
of nominal modifiers and head-noun with the basic word order features
is still in debate. Which correlations are "universal"? Which ones
give revealing information about syntactic patterns and word-order
changes in a particular language?
The study of Armenian syntax has so far had little attention within
both Armenian studies and General Linguistics. In the present study,
word-order patterns and the diachronic syntactic change in literary
Armenian varieties are described by means of word-order correlations,
word-order principles and the interaction of morphological agreement
and syntactic ordering. Conventionalized word-order patterns and
preferences in Classical, Middle and both Modern Armenian varieties
are formulated. These are supported by statistical frequencies taken
from Armenian text corpora. Order preferences and frequencies in all
stages of literary Armenian also contribute to a new discussion about
the status of Armenian as a rather 'free' or 'variable' word order
language, and prove that the relevant syntactic change was already in
the initial stage in the oldest literary variant, Classical Armenian.

ISBN 3 89586 751 9. 
LINCOM Studies in Indo-European Linguistics 22. 
340pp. USD 68 / EUR 70 / � 48.

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Thursday, January 17, 2002