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Sentence word order and the Latin Language

Latin was the language of a small town on the Tiber River in the Italian Peninsula. It grew in influence until it dominated the coastal area of the Mediterean Sea and beyond. Latin is one of the Indo-European family of languages which means it was brought to Europe by a tribal group migrating west from the area north of the Black Sea. It was only one of several groups migrating westward which turned south and settled only when they reached the sea. The Greeks and the Albanians were two other tribal groups which turned southward from their westward migrations.

Increditably Latin has a linguistic affiliation with Sanskrit, the language of ancient India. The number words are cognate for Latin and Sanskrit.

Sentence Word Order is Irrelevant in Latin

Virtually all of the six thousand known languages of the world have a preferred word order. About 45%, like English, have a preferred word order of Subject (S), Verb (V), Object (O). Another 45%, like Japanese, have a preferred word order of SOV. A few, like the Celtic languages, have a preferred word order of OVS. In contrast Latin has no preferred word order. Suffixes give the grammatical nature of the words in the sentence.

Thus the sentence, "Caesar loves the army" may be expressed in Latin in any of the six folowing ways:

Caesar exercitum amat.
Caesar amat exercitum.
Exercitum amat Caesar.
Exercitum Caesar amat.
Amat Caesar exercitum.
Amat exercitum Caesar.

Whereas "The army loves Caesar." expresses an entirely different statement than "Caesar loves the army."


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