11 Order of frequency adverb, verb, and object

This feature is described more fully in chapter 11.


A word order parameter that has been prominent in generative grammar is the order of frequency adverbs and the verb in a transitive sentence. Here we limit ourselves to adverbs that translate ‘often’ (or ‘usually’, ‘mostly’, ‘a lot’, ‘many times’, ‘all the time’, ‘always’). In the values, the order of the subject is ignored, and we only consider full-NP direct objects (not pronominal direct objects). Moreover, we only consider the position of the main verb, ignoring any auxiliary verbs.

By adverb we mean any fixed expression for frequency that is not clearly an argument noun phrase or a verb (phrase). Thus, we include not only single word expressions like often and always, but also fixed phrasal expressions like all the time. However, freely created phrasal expressions (e.g. with high frequency) do not count as adverbs.


Martin Haspelmath and the APiCS Consortium


Verb – adverb – object11617
Adverb – verb – object123648
Verb – object – adverb123951
Object – adverb – verb077
Adverb – object – verb077
Object – verb – adverb011

Language Value % Lexifier Details Source
Id Primary text Analyzed text Gloss Translation Type Language Audio Details