Note: It is advised to read about Branching before reading this.

The Head directionality parameter is a parameter in languages. Languages can be either head final or head first, though many languages are not exclusively one of the two and may depending on what part of the language differ, or the language may simply not have a preference.

Phrase Head Example
Noun Phrase Noun The red dog
Verb Phrase Verb ate dogs
Adpositional Phrase Adposition on the sofa

Head First[]


  • Verb Subject Object (VSO) Word order
  • Prepositions (relationship words are located before the main word)
  • Nouns are preceded by their genitive markings.
  • Nouns are preceded by adjectives.

Head Final[]


  • Subject Object Verb (SOV) Word order
  • Postpositions (relationship words are located after the main word)
  • Nouns are succeeded by their genitive markings.
  • Nouns are succeeded by adjectives.

Head Mixture[]

Head Mixtures languages contain a mix of the above characteristics. They are typically Subject Verb Object or Object Verb Subject word order.

An example of a head mixture language is English.

Part Head Example
Adposition First on the sofa
Adjectives Regular Final black dog
Clause First the dog which i like
Genitive Both dog's house, house of the dog

See also[]