Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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9.6. Typological and diachronic factors

The publication of Greenberg (1963) generated interest in so-called typological phenomena. On the basis of the languages he had examined (a sample of 30 languages) Greenberg noted, for example, the following `regularities': [47]

Universal 2: In languages with prepositions, the genitive almost always follows the governing noun, while in languages with postpositions it almost always precedes.

Universal 4: With overwhelmingly greater than chance frequency, languages with normal SOV order are postpositional.

Universal 5: If a language has dominant SOV order and the genitive follows the governing noun, then the adjective likewise follows the noun.

(N.B. SOV = Subject – Object/Complement – finite verb.) For this kind of regular correlation he introduced the term `Universal'. In modern linguistics a great deal of attention is devoted to this approach, which has, of course, also been criticized and amended, as regards both the actual material and its methodological aspects. [48] Also for Latin and later Romance developments research has been done. From a typological point of view, in Classical Latin the following word order rules seem to apply (but see the reservations made above).

(a) SOV

(b) prep(osition) – N(oun) (exceptions: mecum (`with me'); Tauro tenus (`as far as the Taurus')

(c) N – Adj(ective) / Adj – N (see crosssection 9.4. on p. 185)

(d) N – N gen(itive)

One would not expect the combination of (a) and (b) on the basis of Greenberg's Universal 4. The uncertainty of (c) conflicts with Universal 5. The combination of (b) and (d) is in accordance with Universal 2. Furthermore, it should be noted – according to typologists – that the Romance languages are `prepositional' and have SVO word order. [49] Some of the conflicts could be solved by assuming for (Classical) Latin an SVO word order. On the basis of these developments and the facts mentioned in (a) and (d), some scholars assume that Latin word order was `unstable', showing elements from various systems. Others assume that as early as Plautus the normal word order in

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colloquial Latin was SVO. [50] The SOV word order found in the more formulaic inscriptions and in the so-called Classical prose – with Caesar as its most extreme representative – is viewed as a conservative, stylistic order without any relation to spoken Latin. In view of the data presented above this opinion does not seem very convincing. SOV does predominate in the simple sentences from Cicero examined here, but there are deviations. In complex sentences the word order is by no means unequivocally SOV. In Plautus, on the other hand, the word order is not unequivocally SVO. The most striking element is the strong variation one observes between individual authors and text types (a variation which persists until far into the Middle Ages) which makes any statement of the type `Latin was an X-language' unfounded. Further research is necessary. [51] 51a

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Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
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