Little is known about why SOV order is initially preferred and then discarded or recovered. Here we present a framework for understanding these and many related word order phenomena: the diversity of dominant orders, the existence of free words orders, the need of alternative word orders and word order reversions and cycles in evolution. Under that framework, word order is regarded as a multiconstraint satisfaction problem in which at least two constraints are in conflict: online memory minimization and maximum predictability.
CitationFerrer-i-Cancho, R. Why might SOV be initially preferred and then lost or recovered? A theoretical framework. A: International Conference on the Evolution of Language. "The Evolution of language: proceedings of the 10th International Conference: EVOLANG 10: Vienna, Austria, 14-17 April 2014". Viena: World Scientific, 2014, p. 66-73.
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