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Verb-Initial Languages

Some Native American languages are described as "verb-initial." All this means is that sentences in such languages nearly always begin with verbs (the opposite of a language like English, where sentences almost never begin with a verb.) Verb-initial languages are uncommon worldwide, but they are less rare among the languages of the Americas, where they are especially spoken in Mexico and along the Northwest Coast of North America. Here is a partial list of verb-initial Native American languages:

Aguacateco Alsea Amuesha Amuzgo Ashaninka Baure Caquinte Chatino
Chehalis Chinantec Chinook Chocho Comox Coos Coreguaje Cuicatec
Garifuna Guajajara Guajiro Halkomelem Heiltsuk Ikpeng Jacalteco Kaiwa
Kaqchikel Kalhipona Kalispel Kanjobal Kariri Klallam Kwakiutl Lillooet
Lushootseed Machiguenga Makah Mam Maya Mazahua Mixtec Movima
Nez Perce Nisgaa-Gitxsan Nootka Nuxalk Otomi Popoluca Quileute Salish
Shuswap Siuslaw Squamish Taushiro Tenino Tepehuan Terena Tlamelula
Tlapanec Tojolabal Trique Tsimshian Tzotzil Walla Walla Yagua Xinca
Yakama Zapotec            

Further Reading

 Word Order Typology
 Wikipedia: Word order
 Basic Language Structures



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