Datapoint for feature 81B and language wals_code_ger

Discuss WALS Datapoint for feature 81B and language wals_code_ger.

2 Responses to “Datapoint for feature 81B and language wals_code_ger”

  1. Hubert Haider Says:

    The claim that German has two dominant orders (SVO, SOV) is completely wrong as everyone who knows more about German than Lederer’s translation of Schulz & Griesbach knows. This has been established already in 1886 by Oskar Erdmann, and in the typological literature since 1981 by Mallinson & Blake:

    Erdmann: „Durchaus unrichtig ist es, wenn manche Grammatiker hier dem Subjektnominativ besondern Anspruch auf die erste Stelle einräumen wollen“ (It is completely incorrect if in these cases some grammarians want to grant special priority to the nominative subject for the first position of the clause). Erdmann (1886:183; §206). “

    Mallinson & Blake: “The order used for a stylistically unmarked version of John saw Mary in German would be SVO, too, but to simply call German an SVO language would disguise the verb-second nature of its word order.” Mallinson & Blake (1981:129).

    Frans Plank (2009:61; review of WALS) “There is not a bit of flexibility about where the German verb is.”

    … and the authors know it but prefer – for ununderstandable reasons – posting a misleading information.

  2. Matthew S. Dryer Says:

    The classification for German is explained in the chapter ( and is correct according to the definition of the feature values given there.

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