peulla rosam amat

There is a classical sentence in Latin textbooks which is intended to exemplify how the order of words in Latin don’t alter the meaning of the sentence:

puella rosam amat
rosam puella amat
amat rosam puella

All three sentences above mean the same thing: the girl loves the rose. But the position of each word on the phrase emphasizes something different: if the first word is the girl the emphasis is on the girl, if the first word is the rose the emphasis is on the rose – the girl loves especially this rose, which is very special, and so on – etc.

Now, what I find interesting is that something quite similar to this goes on on our minds quite naturally, independently of the language. For instance, if we list a set of adjectives about a person, the first one (or first ones) will have more weight on our judgment about that person than the last ones.

The order that information is given is not neutral, and its interesting how an ancient language incorporates this heuristics of our intuition.

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