Object Agent Verb

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Object Agent Verb (OAV) or Object Subject Verb (OSV) is one of the permutations of expression used in Linguistic typology. OSV or OAV denotes the sequence "Object Subject Verb" in neutral expressions: Oranges Sam ate. It is a notation used when classifying languages according to the dominant sequence of these constituents.

This sequence is rare. One example of a language that uses it is Xavante. It is also found in some other languages of Brazil, including Jamamadi, Apurinã, Kayabí and Nadëb. Sardinians very often use OAV while speaking in Italian. It is not uncommon in Yiddish and Yiddish-influenced English: "What looks! An actor he should be!" In these cases this construction is typically employed to emphasize the distinctive properties of the object, and only when the subject is already known. The structure may occur in a more limited capacity in standard English, usually contrastively: "For you I'll make an exception", "John I trust. You I don't trust"; or with the conjunction "but", as in "I hate oranges, but apples I'll eat!"; and in relative clauses where the relative pronoun is the (direct or indirect) object, such as in "What I do is my own business." OAV is also used in American Sign Language. This is also one of the two common word orders in Malayalam, the other being AOV.

Passive form of Chinese is OSV (OAV).

  • 那橘子被我吃掉了 - The orange is eaten by me.
    • 橘子(Orange) is an Object, 我 (I, me) is considered as Subject in Chinese, 吃 (Eat, ate) is Verb.

This word order appears in a number of constructed languages, such as Teonaht, as it is often chosen by language inventors for its exotic sound. The Star Wars character Yoda speaks in a modified form of this word order. This word order is also used in the game Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars by Bowyer.[1]


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