Do Arabic verbs pull pronouns toward themselves?


Why do Arabic verbs pull pronouns toward themselves even though the direct object is supposed to immediately follow the subject?

The word order is supposed to be:

Verb - subject - direct object - everything else

But I hear things like قلت لك الحقيقة. Why not say قلت الحقيقة لك instead?

Similarly, the Qur'an says

ومن يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد لهم أولياء من دونه

Would فلن تجد أولياء لهم من دونه have meant something else?
  • I think this is true even in modern dialects, but I don't think there is an answer to 'why' that is. It's just how the language works. You have a 'typical' word order and then you vary it if you want to change the emphasis.
    Yes, you move the pronoun next to the verb only if you wish to place emphasis on it.
    Yes, you move the pronoun next to the verb only if you wish to place emphasis on it.
    I don't think that's right. There's nothing emphatic about قلت لك الحقيقة. In fact I would say this is the more common order, and changing it to قلت الحقيقة لك is, if anything, more marked.

    I think broadly there's a tendency in Arabic to put old information or established information closer to the verb. Since pronouns are by default referring to established information, they tend to go here. But it's not a hard-and-fast rule.
    Then what do you make of the following:

    فَقَالُوا أَبَشَرًا مِّنَّا وَاحِدًا نَّتَّبِعُهُ إِنَّا إِذًا لَّفِي ضَلَالٍ وَسُعُرٍ (24) أَأُلْقِيَ الذِّكْرُ عَلَيْهِ مِن بَيْنِنَا بَلْ هُوَ كَذَّابٌ أَشِرٌ (25) سَيَعْلَمُونَ غَدًا مَّنِ الْكَذَّابُ الْأَشِرُ (26) إِنَّا مُرْسِلُو النَّاقَةِ فِتْنَةً لَّهُمْ فَارْتَقِبْهُمْ وَاصْطَبِرْ (27)

    Why isn't it أألقي عليه الذكر?
    Because the point is to ask why the revelation was given to *him* and not them, so it makes sense for عليه to be brought next to من بيننا.