Van SOV naar SVO. Een verklaring van de woordvolgordeverdeling door middel van veranderende voorkeuren
An explanation for the observation that most languages nowadays exhibit an SOV or SVO word order is provided by suggesting that SOV and SVO can both be seen as advantageous, but from different perspectives and under different circumstances. There seems to be an asymmetry in the preference for SOV and SVO word orders in the sense that SOV word orders are mostly adopted in newly emerging languages, while there also has been a general shift from SOV towards SVO in fully developed languages. The main point of this paper is therefore that the change into SVO can be explained as driven by functional preferences that become more prominent when more complexity arises in languages that evolve over time, while the emergence of an SOV proto-language can be explained because SOV is more preferred when languages are still in a rudimentary state and no stable lexicon is available.
Faculteit der Letteren