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In the language typology , VSO languages ( verb-subject-object languages ) are those languages in which verb , subject and object normally appear in this order.

Similar sequences exist in German, i. H. Verb first clauses , for certain types of sentences, e.g. B. for yes / no questions: do you have beer there? VSO languages, on the other hand, are characterized by the fact that the VSO sequence is the normal case; H. occurs both in propositional and interrogative clauses and in both main and subordinate clauses. Many VSO languages ​​also allow SVO positions as a common variant.

Examples of natural languages ​​of the VSO type can be found in the group of Western Semitic languages , among others. a. Standard Arabic and Biblical Hebrew , while many modern local variants of Arabic (e.g. Egyptian and Iraqi Arabic), as well as modern Hebrew ( Ivrit ), show an SVO word order . VSO languages ​​are also most of the Island Celtic languages (including Irish , Welsh ) and many Austronesian languages , e.g. B. Hawaiian or Chamorro .

While the word order types SVO and SOV are by far the most common, VSO is considered the most common among the other secondary types. In the database of the World Atlas of Language Structures , 95 of a sample of 1377 languages ​​belong to the VSO type (i.e. 6.9%).


  • Harald Haarmann: Elementary word order in the languages ​​of the world. Buske, Hamburg 2004.

Individual evidence

  2. Status: July 26, 2015