RUNIC INSCRIPTIONS FROM THE MIGRATION AGE AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR PROTO-GERMANIC WORD ORDER
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The author analysed a corpus of runic inscriptions that belong to the first period. The runic inscriptions that were chosen for analysis are basically full sentences that contain the elements he was interested in, namely, the verb and the object. The main purpose of this analysis was to find some implications as to Proto-Germanic word order. The data obtained during his analysis suggest that the Proto-Germanic word order was VO due to the fact that there is a strong tendency to place nominal objects after the inflected verb in main clauses. However, on the basis of the data concerning the word order in compound NPs, one could rather regard Proto-Germanic as an OV language. However, if one regards the position of the nominal object with respect to the inflected verb as the basic criterion for classifying a given language either as VO or OV, and treats this level as being independent of other linguistic levels, like for example word compounds, one will arrive at the conclusion that it is necessary to classify Proto-Germanic as an VO language.
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