M.A. Theses in Linguistics at the University of North Dakota (Abstracts)
Cross, David A. 2010
Word order typology in modern South Arabian languages vowels: A study based on a corpus
of analyzed texts
In this thesis I present a typological analysis of the Modern South Arabian Languages. Typological research is often based on a six-way typology of dominant word order based on clauses containing nominal subjects, objects and verbs. However, this clause type is extremely rare in this language group, making typological analysis based on a six-way typology problematic.
Dryer’s Four-way typology of dominant word order is applied to the Modern South Arabian Languages and they are shown to be VS&VO. Greenberg’s universals which refer to dominant word order are then reformulated in terms of the Four-way typology. These reformulated universals are shown to make correct predictions in most cases for the Modern South Arabian Languages.
This analysis shows that using Dryer’s Four-way typology of dominant word order makes it possible to readily apply the implicational universals to languages in which three-element clauses are extremely rare. In sum, this approach harnesses the implicational universals often used with the six-way typology to Dryer’s Four-way typology to allow us to analyze languages with relatively few clauses with nominal subjects and objects.
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