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      I happen to be studying Korean at the moment, so this is interesting to me, but I think it would have been good to have added Romanization of the Korean text.

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        Yes! I gave up reading, actually, because it took too much effort to try to match the unfamiliar glyphs in the examples.

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          I can give the examples in Japanese, since they’re basically identical (in terms of grammar and syntax) for these examples.

          “I eat rice” would be “watashi (I) wa (load-topic) gohan (rice) o (load-target) tabemasu (invoke-eat)”. You can see how we keep saying a noun, and then loading it into the appropriate register.

          I honestly don’t remember anymore how to do the subordinate clause in the second example, but the word order would end up being close to “I load-subject yesterday rice set-object ate push-clause load-topic delicious assert-equal. The Korean example should be extremely close.

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            In Japanese, the subordinate clause example should be:

            私が昨日食べたご飯は美味しかった。 watashi ga kinou tabeta gohan wa oishikatta

            [I (subject) yesterday ate] rice (topic) was-delicious. = The rice [I ate yesterday] was delicious.

            I am not sure if Korean has the same word order in this example.

            Germanic languages other than English can achieve a similar word order using participles:

            Das von mir gegessene Essen war läcker.

            The by me eaten food was delicious.

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          If you’re in the USA, you probably have access to Mango Languages through your local library. I found it to be a great resource for learning Hangul due to the repetition plus the flash cards.

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            Well, sure, but I’m already studying Hangeul and Korean. I was referring more to people who don’t read Hangeul.

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        Wouldn’t the same approach here work for Turkish? I could add those if necessary.

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      C… can you do with with German too? I’m a little scared of the answer…

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        My father once told me there’s a German joke about an elderly professor who delivers a lecture that’s all one very long, dense, digressive sentence … and he spends the last five minutes rattling off all the verbs.

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          I’ve heard it phrased similarly to:

          “What’re you reading?”

          “An essay on […] by a German philosopher.”

          “Oh, is it interesting?”

          “I don’t know yet, I haven’t gotten to the verbs”

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          ChatGPT tells me these are called “Schachtelsatz” or “nested sentences,” though unfortunately it can’t reproduce the exact joke.

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        German isn’t concatenative like this. While verbs do go at the end in certain subordinate clauses and when using compound verbs (“I have the beautiful red apple eaten, that I yesterday at the neighborhood supermarket bought. It tasted great!”), you’ll notice the overall sentence structure is not doing the same stack-like thing Korean does. Japanese would definitely fit the bill, and highly agglutinative languages like Finnish and Turkish you could probably shoehorn in there (they at least have an OO-style builder pattern happening), but I don’t think German would be a good match.

        On the flip side, Biblical Hebrew and Classical/Modern Standard Arabic are great examples of prefix languages, but I probably wouldn’t call either a Lisp.

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          Yeah you’re right, I didn’t think too hard about the concatenative aspects.

          In penance, I offer some sci-fi worldbuilding about an alien language that is explicitly stack-based: https://well-of-souls.com/outsider/umiak_language.html

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          Isn’t it true that VSO languages like Biblical Hebrew and Welsh typically switch to SVO in subordinate clauses or when certain other grammatical things happen, like verbal auxiliaries? I think this speaks to your point if my recollection is right.

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            I can’t speak generically to VSO languages, but in Hebrew, yes, subordinate clauses are effectively SVO. Note, though, that Biblical Hebrew, and I believe Classical Arabic, aren’t really VSO as much as V…and then everything else in an order that conveys what the speaker wants. “Looked to the sea, he did”-type word orders, for example (without the trailing auxiliary).

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              Funny, Spanish is like this too. It’s usually SVO, but you can rearrange to put emphasis or for poetic effect. E. g. you can say:

              • “Juan corre la maratón” (SVO; neutral statement, but also could be used to negate that Juan runs some other race)

              • “La maratón la corre Juan’ (OVS; used to negate that some other person runs the marathon)

              • “La maratón Juan la corre” (OSV; negates that Juan does something else with regards to the marathon, e. g. watch it on TV or something)

              “Juan la maratón la corre” (SOV; pretty much equivalent to OSV)

              • “Corre la maratón Juan” (VOS; again the emphasis is on the subject, mostly used when the subject is compound, like a list of people)

              • “Corre Juan la maratón” (VSO; like OVS, somewhat weirder-sounding though)

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                Turkish is similar: whatever comes before the verb is emphasized.

                • Juan maratonu koştu. (SOV, default)
                • Maratonu Juan koştu. Juan koştu maratonu. (OSV/SVO, it wasn’t anyone else that ran)
                • Koştu Juan maratonu. Koştu maratonu Juan (VSO/VOS, he did indeed run it)

                Sentences which don’t have the verb at the end are rare in formal speech and writing, however. They’re referred to as “knocked-over sentences” (devrik cümle), though not seen as “incorrect”.

                On the topic of word order, I highly recommend this video: NativLang, “OSV: Why is this word order so rare in languages?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YIz1HXDbCI

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        Korean is probably, like Japanese, a strongly head-final language. English is a head-initial language. German, however, may be fairly called a “mixed” language; there is, to the best of my knowledge, still some controversy over what the underlying head directionality parameter is; and phrases demonstrating both directionality are common in German. As others have mentioned, the verb in German comes at the 2nd position in a phrase, except when it comes at the end, &c.

        This means that the same kind of consistent stacking structure isn’t available.

        The “head” of a phrase is the word that gives a phrase its grammatical function – the word with the same part of speech that the overall phrase has. Some discussion of head directionality, and of how it differs between English and Korean, can be found in “The Resetting of the Head Direction Parameter” (2015). One early passage notes:

        One of the most salient mistakes which students make is putting objects before verbs in a sentence like * I bread eat. When they start to use prepositions, they also produce wrong phrases like (the) basket in and (the) table under. These incorrect Preposition Phrases (PPs) are closely related to the wrong positions of objects and verbs in a Verb Phrase (VP) because these two phenomena are linked to the head direction parameter issue.

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          Among those who posit head directionality parameters, I believe the consensus is German and Dutch do have a head-final verb phrase.

          The reason why, despite this, the finite verb of main clauses is in the second position is another parameter, the V2 parameter, which all Germanic languages except English have, and which says that the verb must move to the so-called C position, which happens to be in the second position in the word order.

          In subordinate clauses, this movement is blocked because the C position is already taken up by the complememtizer (e.g. das, ob, als).

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        German would be like Haskell/PureScript languages with type classes because all words are a semigroup and can be concatenated together to form bigger words.

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      this is actually how I have been conceptualizing Korean for a little while. another fun allegory is thinking about how the topic particle 은/는 acts to “fill a register” that persists for longer than your clause (and often acts as a default value for the subject particle)