Word order

The unmarked word order is SOV, but other, non-neutral, word orders are fairly frequent, especially in metrical texts. Some of them may have certain emphatic functions and/or appear in marked pragmatic situations. Thus, the clause-initial position of the verbal phrase may be used for expressing contrast, in particular, in situations where the subject is the focus, rather than the topic of a clause, as in RV 5.54.2 vasati tritah. svaranty apah ‘Trita roars. The waters resound’ (see, in particular, Schaufele 1991; Viti 2007). The rare OSV word order may appear in cases of the object overruling the subject in the Animacy hierarchy (e.g. inanimate S/Agent:: human DO/Patient), as in RV 1.11.1ab indram visva avivrdhari samudravyacasam girah ‘All prayers have increased Indra, (who is equal) to the whole ocean’ (see Viti 2009, 2010).

The substantive is preceded by the adjective and the attributive (e.g. possessor’s) genitive and followed by the apposition (cf. some raja ‘Soma the King’).

In nominal sentences of the type A is B, the subject is typically preceded by the predicate, as in RV 1.4.2c geda id revate madah ‘The intoxication of the rich one furnishes cows (lit. is cow-giving)’.

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