COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Word Order Universals - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123333704, 9781483296609

Word Order Universals

1st Edition

Author: John A Hawkins
eBook ISBN: 9781483296609
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st December 1983
Page Count: 342
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST
Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


Word Order Universals is a detailed account of word order universals and their role in theories of historical change. The starting point is the Greenberg data set, which is comprised of a sample of 142 languages for certain limited co-occurrences of basic word orders, and a 30-language sample for more detailed information. In the Language Index, the 142 have been expanded to some 350 languages. Using the original Greenberg samples and the Expanded Sample, an alternative set of descriptive word order statements is provided. Comprised of eight chapters, this book begins with an introduction to the theory of word order universals, encompassing topics such as word order variation across languages and theories of universal grammar. The reader is then introduced to the work of Joseph Greenberg and Theo Vennemann on word order universals; implicational universals in Greenberg's data and the Expanded Sample; and the predictions made by implicational and distributional universals for word order change. Reformulated universals for historical reconstruction are also discussed, along with some laws of reconstruction derived from synchronic universals. The final chapter is devoted to the Expanded Sample, with particular reference to its quantities as well as its typological and genetic classification. This monograph will be a useful resource for specialists in grammar and linguistics.

Table of Contents




1 : Toward a Theory of Word Order Universals

1.1 Word Order Variation Across Languages

1.2 What Needs To Be Described and Explained in This Area?

1.3 Theories of Universal Grammar

1.4 The Method and Theoretical Relevance of the Present Study

1.5 On Basic Word Order

1.6 On the Notion "X as a VSO/SVO/SOV Language"


2 : Greenberg's and Vennemann's Universals of Word Order

2.1 Greenberg's Universals

2.2 Discussion of Greenberg's Universals

2.3 Vennemann's Theory

2.4 Discussion of Vennemann's Theory

2.5 Vennemann's Modifications

2.6 Discussion of Vennemann's Modifications

2.7 Overview


3 : Implicational Universals in Greenberg's Data and the Expanded Sample

3.1 General Properties of Adequate Implicational Universals

3.2 Implicational Universals for Appendix II (and the Expanded Sample)

3.3 Implicational Universals for the 30-Language Sample and the Expanded Sample

3.4 Explaining the Implicational Universals

3.5 On the Notion "Word Order Type"

3.6 Constituency and Word Order Universals


4 : A Distributional Universal in Greenberg's Data and the Expanded Sample

4.1 Cross-Category Harmony (CCH)

4.2 Defining and Testing Cross-Category Harmony Using Greenberg's Appendix II

4.3 Some General Remarks About Cross-Category Harmony

4.4 Testing Cross-Category Harmony Using the Expanded Sample

4.5 Testing Cross-Category Harmony Using Greenberg's 30-Language Sample

4.6 Explaining the Distributional Universal


5 : The Diachronic Predictions of Implicational Universals

5.1 The Principle of Universal Consistency in History and Its Relative Timing Predictions

5.2 Some Finer Diachronic Predictions: The Doubling Acquisition Hypothesis and the Frequency Increase Hypothesis

5.3 Testing the Diachronic Predictions of the UCH, DAH, and FIH

5.4 Trigger-Chain Theories: A Critique

5.5 On Understanding Word Order Change


6 : The Diachronic Predictions of Distributional Universals

6.1 Predictions for Cross-Categorial Word Order Changes

6.2 The Relative Time Hypothesis

6.3 A Brief Illustration of the Relative Time Hypothesis' Predictions


7 : Language Universals and the Logic of Historical Reconstruction

7.1 The Method of Historical Reconstruction

7.2 Universal Consistency in Reconstruction (UCR)

7.3 Deductive Inference (DI)

7.4 The Reconstruction of Doubling Innovations (RDI)

7.5 The Logic of Competing Variants (LCV)

7.6 Inductive Inference (II)

7.7 Conclusions


8 : The Expanded Sample

8.1 The Expanded Sample: Typological and Genetic Classification

8.2 Expanded Sample Quantities




Author Index

Subject Index

Language Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1983
1st December 1983
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

John A Hawkins

Ratings and Reviews