The noun phrases and verb phrases in a sentence can generally go in any order. In particular, the each one of the following is a phrase; these phrases can go in any order, but words within a phrase must stay together and there are some restrictions on word order within a phrase:
The main verb phrase, which starts with one of the basic verbs and also includes any adverbs and the second word in a phrasal verb. If the verb is swá "to be" (or a few similar verbs like ná), then a noun, adjective, or prepositional phrase can also be part of the verb phrase
Any prepositional phrases that modify the whole sentence
Verb phrases for the verbs lú "perceive", maus "communicate", chús "make", and na "become, start", when they modify the rest of the sentence
A phrase consisting of a conjugated form of the verb táp "use" followed by a noun phrase indicating something used to perform the action
The subject of maus and táp, when used as above
A vocative noun phrase
A dependent clause (other than a relative clause) (followed by a comma if not at the end of the sentence)
In addition, adverbs can go at the beginning of a clause, before any of the elements mentioned above.
Core arguments to the verb can be omitted if it's clear from context what they are.
Typical word order
While these are not absolutes (especially these rules can be broken in poetry), there are some tendencies for what order the phrases go in:
Question words and imperative verbs tend to go as close to the sentence as possible, if the overall meaning of the sentence is a question or imperative respectively (as opposed to the question/imperative acting as a dependent clause).
Topics (information that's already known to the listener but highly relevant to the sentence) tend to go first (or after the question/imperative).
Focused information (information that's new and important) tends to go right after the topic, or at the beginning of the sentence if there's no topic.
Longer, more complex phrases tend to go later in the sentence.
Clauses that are one of the arguments to a verb start with hem. As shown above, the verbs lú, maus, chús, na, and tap don't need an explicit separate clause, but rather the two clauses can be mixed together. However, if there's potential for ambiguity, all five of those verbs can take a dependent clause starting with hem. Other verbs require the use of the word hem.
Clauses that are one of the arguments to a verb and are also a direct quote instead start with mu. For instance:
maus-kusay-1hemthatanproxhelíyelskyswa-enbe-proxkílu.cyan. I said that the sky was blue
(Not a direct quote; hem is optional.)
The words píki "when" and haupi "where" turn a clause into a noun referring to a time or place (respectively). This noun can be modified with noun modifiers (all of which precede these nouns). Phrases starting with piki and haupi are not adverbial phrases; to use them as such, they need to be preceded by a preposition (often pe):
pe=píkiat=whenlú-en,see-prox,maus-ku.say-1. When I saw it, I talked.
Adverbial clauses are clauses that start with a subordinating conjunction, which is followed by a clause. They can occur anywhere in the sentence outside a phrase.
úlshi "if" introduces a condition. If the word úmpikwá "false, incorrect" directly follows the word úlshi, it becomes a counterfactual condition, i.e., one that is known to be false. If the condition is a question, úlshi means "regardless".
hi "where, when" introduces a condition that is true in some cases, to distinguish which case(s) one is talking about. It differs from haupi and piki in that it's not used for things specifically about time or place, and that it's an adverbial clause rather than a noun clause. This is one way to introduce a relative clause. Hi is also the origin for the –i suffix in many other words introducing dependent clauses.
petwánchi "because" starts a clause indicating the cause of something.
naustwi "for the purpose of" starts a clause indicating the purpose or intent of an action. (In English, this is often expressed with the to infinitive; in Lwaitel, it's a whole clause.)
pesápi← "before" and pípwi→ "after" start clauses indicating when the sentence takes place.
Other things like adverbial clauses:
taphem "by" indicates how something is done. It's really the verb táp (which must be conjugated) with a noun clause as an argument.
pe píki "when" and pe haupi "where" are noun clauses that are arguments to prepositions; see the previous section
Other types of clauses
Relative clauses start with the particle hes, and are described in more detail in the page on nouns.
The following conjunction can separate two independent clauses, and can appear at the beginnings of sentences:
útwek "but" indicates that the second clause is the opposite of what would be expected from the first clause. The first clause can optionally be preceded by twak to inform the listener not to jump to conclusions too quickly.
u "rather" separates a sentence indicating something contradicting the listener's presumed expectations and a sentence indicating what's true instead (the sentences can be in either order). It is also used to separate a "no" answer to a question from further elaboration. If this word is followed by the word úni, a t is inserted in between the words.
wan "so" indicates that the second clause follows logically, or is expected, from the first clause.
pyet "then" indicates events that happened in sequence. It's also an adverb indicating that something happened at the time one is currently talking about.
Questions of all types are marked with a question word. Many question words derive from other words with the suffix –u. There is no change in word order, except that any question word can be a full sentence by itself.
Yes/no questions are marked with pikúni∅, which can go anywhere the word úni "no, not" can go; in particular, it can go wherever an adverb can go to modify a verb (at the beginning of the sentence or within a verb phrase), or it can modify a noun phrase. This word is not usually used together with negation. When used by itself, it basically means "does it?", and depending on the context can mean "really?". These questions can be answered with pikwá for "yes" and úni for "no".
Questions about nouns are marked with lau "what" (for miscellaneous cases), launge "which" (for a smallish discrete number of known options), lauk "who" (for asking about people). All of these can be used as determiners, either modifying or replacing a noun phrase. These words (or noun phrases containing them) are often not marked with a demonstrative, in which case an (proximate) is assumed (unlike most nouns, where im (distant) would be assumed). Noun phrases with these words are also typically the subject of the sentence, even if that would make the object first or second person (see the section on voice).
Multiple-choice questions (e.g., "Do you like vanilla or chocolate ice cream better?") also use launge, which acts similarly to other uses of the word.
Questions about quantity use the determiner helau. This goes wherever a cardinal number can go. Noun phrases using this word also tend to become the subject. Questions about adjective degree use lautes, which is placed right before the adjective.
haupu is where, píku is when. Both of these go in the sentence outside of any noun or verb phrases. They can also follow the prepositions shi "to" and kel "from".
laumes is used to ask about what the person one is talking to just said; it can be used on its own, or replace any part of the sentence the speaker didn't hear.
The remaining question words go anywhere in the sentence outside the noun and verb phrases:
lupiu means "How do you feel?", "How are you?", or, when used with a sentence, "How do you feel about...?" (Note that although it's written with stress on the first syllable (due to being derived from lú -pi -u), it's pronounced with stress on the second syllable (due to the diphthong).)
Questions can also be arguments to certain verbs, in which case they're treated as any other sentence. The words lautwe and kish can distinguish between, for instance, "I asked him what his name was" vs. "I told him what his name was". Questions can also be arguments to úlshi "if", in which case it means "regardless".