Timm (1989)

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  • Timm, L. 1989. 'Word Order in 20th century Breton', Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 7: 3. 361-378.


 abstract:
 
 Drawing on original data from a spoken subdialect of Breton and on a variety of texts written by 20th century Breton authors, this study examines the hypothesis of Varin (1979) that modern Breton as it is spoken and written by native speakers is essentially SVO in constituent order. This contrasts with the VSO sequence characteristic of the older, more Celtic-like traditions of word order within the language and characteristic also of the 'purist' camp of neo-Breton writers who have learned Breton through formal training. The data analyzed for this study reveal a strong pattern of preference for VSO, with SVO occurring as an important but definitely minor word order alternative.