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Re: VSO in Romance
On Wed, 19 Nov 1997, Raymond A. Brown wrote:
> I would dearly like to know her evidence on this. I suppose the problem is
> that the Romancelang I've most familiarity with is French & certainly in
> its modern form SVO is the norm if the object is a noun or SOV if the
> object is a pronoun. But I must say I've not noticed a tendency to put the
> verb first in what I have come across in the other Romance langs.
I've been going through some recipies given me by the host family I lived
with in Spain a number of years past; and I notice that nearly all the
sentences are VSO. In English, if I were to translate them, they would
all be straight imperatives (but of course, they too are VSO!). In light
of the current discussion, I thought this was rather interesting. Also in
Spanish, imperative and interrogative sentences are VSO. [I just looked
in my Spanish refernce grammar and such indicative sentences (ie in
recipes) are given as SVO. Curious. This VSO business could be dialect,
decl. Se baja el fuego a [la posicion] low.
V S O
imper. baja [tu] el fuego a low.
V S O
inter. bajaste tu el fuego a low?
V S O
I suppose the first example, by nature of having _se_ in front could be
discounted. I have learnt to consider it in integral part of the verb,
as it turns _baja_ from active to passive. Of course, in Old Spanish
_bajase_ would be acceptable. On the other hand, the true passive could
be _fue bajado el fuego..._