Abstract: The processing load of sentences with three different word orders (VOS, VSO, and SVO) in Kaqchikel Maya was investigated using a sentence-plausibility judgment task. The results showed that VOS sentences were processed faster than VSO and SVO sentences. This supports the traditional analysis in Mayan linguistics that the syntactically determined basic word order is VOS in Kaqchikel, as in many other Mayan languages. More importantly, the result revealed that the preference for subject-object word order in sentence comprehension observed in previous studies may not be universal; rather, the processing load in sentence comprehension is greatly affected by the syntactic nature of individual languages.
Language – Linguistic Society of America
Published: Aug 10, 2014
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