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Cross-Linguistic Variation and Efficiency$
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John A. Hawkins

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199664993

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664993.001.0001

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Word order patterns: Head ordering and (dis)harmony

Word order patterns: Head ordering and (dis)harmony

(p.90) 5 Word order patterns: Head ordering and (dis)harmony
Cross-Linguistic Variation and Efficiency

John A. Hawkins

Oxford University Press

This chapter gives a brief summary of some corpus word order data from SVO English and SOV Japanese. The patterns are structured by a preference for minimal distances between heads of phrases, supporting Minimize Domains. The same patterns and preferences are found in Greenberg’s word order correlations, i.e. in grammars, and the regular exceptions to these correlations are exactly those that are still highly efficient. The rare languages with mixed head ordering are examined in detail and their numbers are quantified in language samples. The predictions of Minimize Domains and of Maximize Online Processing are compared with the Final-Over-Final Constraint, a grammatical principle. This latter appears to be too strong and too weak and can be replaced by the efficiency principles.

Keywords:   Final-Over-Final Constraint, Greenberg’s correlations, head ordering, word order disharmony

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