|Budget Amount *help
¥1,500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,500,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥400,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥400,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥700,000)
In this study, I have made a list of data on word order from around 3,000 languages, a list of its genealogical distribution, and maps of word order distributions in each area on the globe, all of which are the largest in the world. Analyzing them, I have demonstrated the following points in the present study.
When the word order is considered from an areal-typological point of view, we find that only two or three word order types, namely, consistent VO, and consistent or subconsistent OV types occupy vast continuous areas on the globe. Although there exist a number of languages with inconsistent word order, none of the inconsistent types occupies such a large continuous area, and they are usually located around consistent types with some geographical or diachronic factors : language contact between different types or transition from one consistent type to another. Thus, we can consider the consistent types to be still significant as basic, ideal, or prototypical types of human languages, and inconsistent types to be typically transitional types, which exist only in peripheral areas of consistent word order types.
Currently, the areas of consistent VO type are almost as large as those of consistent OV type. When the distribution is considered from a historical point of view, however, it is very likely that most of the areas had been covered with (S)OV-type languages and that the areas of VO type had been very restricted before major language families began to expand after the Neolithic age.
Although I have already published several papers during this study, I intend to study the areal and genealogical distribution on word order more intensively, and write a book on the topic.