Latvian/Lithuanian: word order in genitive phrases

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Gavril

Senior Member
English, USA
Sometimes, I do monolingual review of texts that have been translated from Latvian or Lithuanian into English.

In these translations, I will sometimes see non-native structures like the following:


- the John Johnson Deputy Chief of Police office
(i.e., the office of John Johnson, Deputy Chief of Police)

- the Medicine_X 10 mg twice a day and Medicine_Y 5mg four times a day clinical trial
(i.e., the clinical trial of these two medicines at these dosage rates)


Perhaps this is too general a question, but:
what do you think these examples reflect about the word-order conventions of Latvian and/or Lithuanian, if anything?

I.e., are Latvian and Lithuanian relatively strict about the word order of genitive noun phrases, keeping the "modifying" information (whether that is single genitive noun, a longish noun phrase in the genitive, etc.) on the left, and the "modified" information on the right?

Thanks for any insight into this.
 
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  • AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Perhaps this is too general a question, but:
    what do you think these examples reflect about the word-order conventions of Latvian and/or Lithuanian, if anything?
    Yes, the examples seem to show influence of Baltic word order in genitive constructions.

    I.e., are Latvian and Lithuanian relatively strict about the word order of genitive noun phrases, keeping the "modifying" information (whether that is single genitive noun, a longish noun phrase in the genitive, etc.) on the left, and the "modified" information on the right?
    :thumbsup:
    Yes, that's right: the word order is like the 's genitive structure in Engish.
    Some Lithuanian examples (Latvian is the same in this respect):

    vasaros pradžia = the beginning of summer (vasara - summer, vasaros in genitive case, pradžia - beginning)
    namo sienos = the walls of the house (namas - house, namo in gen., siena - wall, sienos - plural)
    kaimo pagrindinės gatvės pavadinimas = the name of the main street of the village
     

    mO_ok

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian
    As a native Lithuanian, I can only confirm AndrasBP answer ^_^ Although, what concerns the last example, I would much rather say pagrindinės kaimo gatvės pavadinimas = the name of the main street of the village.
     
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