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date: 22 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explains how basic word order is determined in linguistic typology. The concept of basic word order is irrelevant to flexible-word-order languages. Hawkins highlights the importance and role of exceptionless universals in constructing a theory of basic word order. He sets out to demonstrate that statistical universals can be converted into exceptionless ones. Dryer's work on basic word order is best characterized as a return to the OV-VO. Hawkins again pursues a processing-based explanation of word-order correlations and distributional universals, but to the extent that they can all be accounted for by a single principle or what he refers to as the Principle of Early Immediate Constituents. The recent developments in processing-based word-order typology are discussed. There is the need to test processing-based predictions against corpus and experimental data from more diverse languages than has been hitherto possible.

Keywords: word-order typology, linguistic typology, exceptionless universals, Hawkins, Dryer, Early Immediate Constituents, languages

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