Word Order: Phrase Structure

Strict Word Order


In Globasa, a strict word order applies within phrases. 

Noun Phrases

Noun phrases consist of the following structure, as illustrated in the table below:

(Specifier) + (Complement) + Head 

Since specifiers and complements are optional, a noun phrase may consist of a single noun, for example, kitabu

Verb Phrases

Verb Phrases are similar in structure to Noun Phrases:


(Specifier) + (Complement) + Head 

Verb Markers

As specifiers, verb markers (nun, le, xa, ger, am) are placed at the start of verb phrases. 



As seen in the sentence above, adverbs (or adverb phrases) typically precede verbs.


Alternatively, adverbs may be placed after the verb.

  • If the sentence has no direct or indirect objects the adverb may immediately follow the verb.

Manixu le danse no go buru
The man didn't dance too badly. ​


  • However, if the sentence contains objects, the adverb must immediately follow all objects.

Mi le gibe cen dolar cel coriyen wolekal koski mi fobi ki te xa morgi mi.  

I gave one hundred dollars to the thief involuntarily because I was afraid he would kill me. 


The negating adverb no immediately precedes the word or phrase being negated. 

In the sentence above, no is moved along with the rest of the complement. (The man did dance, but not too badly.)


Alternatively, no could immediately precede the verb and interpreted as modifying the verb plus its descriptive adverbs.

Manixu le no danse go buru
The man didn't dance too badly

Prepositional Phrases

Globasa, like most S-V-O languages, uses prepositions rather than postpositions. Prepositional phrases are composed of a preposition followed by a noun phrase:


in dayo sanduku
in the large box


Prepositional phrases always come after the noun they modify. 

gao nini har blue bao
the tall boy with the blue bag

Prepositional phrases that modify verbs typically come at the end of the sentence, although they may be optionally moved to the start of the sentence as appropriate.

Hay multi kitabu in kitabudom.
There are many books in the library.


In kitabudom hay multi kitabu.

In the library there are many books.

Complex Adjective Phrases

Complex adjective phrases that modify nouns are expressed within relative clauses.

Adj/Adv Word plus Prepositional Phrase 

kitabu kuto eskrido fal misu doste
the book (which is) written by my friend

alimyen kuto kox kos yusu suces
the teacher (who is) happy for your success

Comparative Adj/Adv Phrase

nini kuto max lawo kom misu sodar
the boy (who is) older than my brother

Rationale: Since adjectives are used as verbs, leaving out the relative pronoun would make the adjective function as a verb, as illustrated in the following sentence.

Kitabu eskrido fal misu doste.
The book is written by my friend.


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