04 July 2011

A Guide to Constructed Languages: Rules & Grammar: Sentence Order

The first thing you should consider when creating your language is the order in which your language will be spoken. The two most popular methods are
  • Subject-verb-object, also called SVO - English, French, and Spanish are examples of SVO languages.
  • Subject-object-verb, also called SOV - Japanese, Navajo, and Ancient Greek are examples of SOV languages.
Other less popular options are
  • Verb-Subject-Object, also called VSO - Some examples are Arabic, and sometimes in Welsh and Portuguese.
  • Verb-Object-Subject, also called VOS - An example is formal Arabic.
  • Object-Subject-Verb, also called OSV - An example is Apurinã and other languages from the Amazon basin.
  • Object-Verb-Subject, also called OVS - This is rare for a language to have, but can be seen to happen in languages with a relatively free word order due to case marking, such as in Arabic, Hungarian, and Finnish.


Why do you think SVO and SOV are the most popular language orders? What is more convenient about these languages than the others? Do the others have something more convenient than SVO or SOV languages? Why or why not?

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