User:Tepples/Trade language notes

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On this page I collect notes and citations related to what happens to a spoken language when people start to use it in a larger area. Understanding what happened to real world languages in a similar situation to the fictional languages of Noen should help make them more authentic.

The shift from OV in Latin to VO in Romance languages may arise from second language (L2) learning. When the subject agrees with the verb, L2 learners prefer to bring the verb closer to the subject rather than using SOV. An earlier verb also allows earlier assignment of the thematic roles from voice. Having to wait for the voice to decode the seven cases into roles caused several oblique cases to collapse into the accusative, with prepositions making up the difference. And like Latin, English and Chinese have had influxes of L2 learners and have lost SOV as a regular word order.[1]


  1. Christian Bentz and Morten H. Christiansen. "Linguistic Adaptation at work? The change of word order and case system from Latin to the Romance languages". Accessed 2013-11-12.