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Constiuent Order

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Constiuent Order
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empandel bithîon

13.0 constituent order

This section describes the major word order parameters of ámman îar, in particular the order of the major constituents of a clause, i.e. the verb and its S-, A- and P- function arguments, as well as the constituent order within the NP and VP.

In addition to describing the preferred or neutral word order parameters, this section will describe constituent word order as it is affected by pragmatic considerations of Focus and Topic.

13.0 Constituent Order
        13.1 Unmarked Word Order
                13.1.1 Intransitive Word Order
                13.1.2 Transitive Word Order
        13.2 Intraphrasal Word Order
                13.2.1 Noun Phrase Order
                13.2.2 Verb Phrase Order
        13.3 Pragmatic Considerations
        13.4 Subordinate Clause Word Order

13.1 unmarked word order

When pragmatic considerations are ignored, the preferred word order for ámmanîar is what is called, in standard linguistic terminology, SOV.  I, however, find this classification insufficiently complete and prefer the following description of preferred ámmanîar word order.  The order of words described here does not change in interrogative or exclamatory sentences; these are distinguished from indicative sentences only by intonation.

13.1.1 intransitive word order

The preferred word order for intransitive constructions is S [Obl] V [Loc], where S represents the single S-function argument of the intransitive predicate, [Obl] represents an optional non-locative oblique argument of the predicate, V represents the lexical verb, and [Loc] represents an optional locative argument of the predicate. 

alan allildirros erallildrel allildronar életh
He washed with soap in the bathroom.

alan allildirros erallildrel allildronar     eleth.
S    Obl         V           Loc             AUX  .
he   with soap   wash        in the bathroom did  .

The position of the auxiliary verb AUX is semantically determined by the argument structure of the predicate.  In the absence of a patientive or theme argument, the auxiliary verb takes sentence final position S V AUX.

i dais ergabdhel i daurar életh
The tiger pounced in the forest.

i tais    ergabdhel i taurar      eleth.
S=AGT     V         Loc           AUX  .
the tiger pounce    in the forest did  .

Otherwise, the auxilliary verb immediately precedes the patient/Theme particle (PTP) which in turn precedes the patientive/theme argument, AUX PTP S V  thus,

eliras eni thoren orgöirar
The eagle is dying.

eliras en- i thoren  orgöirar.
AUX    PTP S=PAT     V       .
is         the eagle dying   .

13.1.2 transitive word order

For transitive constructions the preferred word order is A AUX PTP P [Obl] V [Loc], where A represents the A-function argument of the transitive predicate, AUX represents the auxilliary verb, PTP the Patientive/Theme Particle, P represents the P-function argument of the predicate, [Obl] represents an optional non-locative oblique argument, V represents the lexical verb and [Loc] represents an optional locative argument. 

alan életh áni dais cûos erechöiron i daurar
He killed the tiger with a bow in the forest.

alan eleth an- i tais    cûos     erechoiron i taurar     .
A    AUX   PRP P         Obl      V          Loc          .
He   did       the tiger with bow kill       in the forest.

13.2 intraphrasal word order

13.2.1 noun phrase word order

Within the NP, the preferred word order is N [Gen] [Adj] [PP], where Gen represents an associative (Genitive) relation, N represents the head noun, Adj represents any adjective modifiers of the head noun and PP represents an optional postposition, thus,

i linnar ainurrîon inainîen adhla
After the holy song of the Ainur

i linnar ainurrîon    inainien adhle .
  N      Gen          Adj      PP    .
the song of the ainur holy     after .

13.2.3 verb phrase word order

The preferred word order for the VP is V [Adv][Loc], where V represents the lexical verb form, Adv is an optional adverbial, and Loc is an optional locative argument, thus

enir anarîel murmarth orgirve murmdirar
The woman  is sleeping quietly in bed.

(elieth) enir  anarîel murmarth orgirve murmdirar.
                       V        Adv     Loc      .
(is    )   the woman   sleep    quietly in bed   .

The position of the auxiliary verb is semantically determined by the rules of predicate inflection.  As such, it is bound more to the predicate than to the VP and is discussed above under intransitive and transitive word order.

It is important to note that the preferred word order for locative noun phrases is in adverbial position, i.e. following the lexical verb (and any optional adverbial modifiers).

 

13.3 pragmatic considerations

The topic (T) of a sentence is the person or thing about which something is said.  The essential piece of new information that is carried by a sentence is called its focus (F). ámman îar tends to prefer TFV word order (i.e. topic focus verb), placing the focus immediately before the verb, thus

vaisa életh áni gáldran erechöiron
Who killed Galdor?

életh áni gáldran i luthîelle erechöiron
Luthiel killed Galdor.

eleth ani galdran i luthielle erechoiron.
          T=PAT     F=AGT     V         .
did       Galdor    Luthiel   kill      .

Note that the pragmatic tendency to place the focus immediately before the verb overrules the standard APV word order.

ir ægnoranne életh anir isilduran erechöiron
ægnor killed Isildur.

nai luthîelle
What about Luthiel?

i luthîelle életh áni gáldran erechöiron
Luthiel killed Galdor.

i luthielle eleth ani galdran erechoiron.
  T=AGT               F=PAT   V         .
Luthiel     did       Galdor  kill      .

In this example Luthiel has been introduced as the Topic and the fact that she killed Galdor is new information and thus the focus.

NOTE:  In the expression nai luthîelle (literally "and Luthiel as agent"), the case of the noun (here ergative) determines the role being questioned.  See also the following example.

 

 ir ægnoranne életh anir isilduran erechöiron
ægnor killed Isildur.

nai gáldran
What about Galdor?

életh áni gáldran i luthîelle erechöiron
Luthiel killed Galdor.

eleth ani galdran i luthielle erechoiron.
          T=PAT     F=AGT     V         .
did       Galdor    Luthiel   kill      .

In this example, Galdor has been introduced as the Topic and the fact that he was killed by Luthiel is new information and thus the focus.

Again in the expression nai gáldran (literally "and Galdor as patient"), the case of the noun (here absolutive) determines the role being questioned.

 

13.4 subordinate clause word order 

As will be seen in a subsequent section, subordinate clauses use inverted word order, i.e. V [Loc] S [Obl] for intransitive clauses and V [Loc] A P [Obl] for transitive clauses, thus,

ere endarth ir ardar en alan iluvatarren eliveth anir ainur erechûelmon
Eru who in Arda is called Iluvatar created the Ainur.

erue endarth ir ardar en alan iluvatarren.
     V          Loc      S    Obl        .
Eru  named   in Arda     he   Iluvatar   .

eliveth anir  ainur erechûelmon.
did       the Ainur create     .