Having troubles with understanding inversion in the English language. This is my recent attempt to use it in a sentence.

Start brawls in local taverns fighter, cleric, mage and rogue.
Together on the road are fighter, cleric, mage and rogue.

I was told that it sounds very unnatural, but I can't see what is the problem here. From my point of view it follows the rules of locative inversion and copular inversion respectively.

closed as off-topic by AmE speaker, Cascabel, choster, Skooba, J. Taylor Feb 5 at 13:37

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  • Where did these sentences come from? Is there a link? Remember that context is everything. And that a lot of English is published on the Web these days that would hardly pass muster in the Halls of Grammar & Style. – Robusto Jan 31 at 1:16
  • These sentences are from the song that I've been trying to translate from Russian. link – Sand Witch Jan 31 at 17:31
  • 1
    @SandWitch Authors are given considerable artistic license. Song lyrics, like poetry and other artistic forms, do not need to to conform to standard grammar, usage, or word meaning. They do not have to make sense at all, as the words may simply be chosen to evoke a particular mood or image, or to fit a particular pattern, or other considerations besides the direct meaning of the words. By the same token, artistic constructions are extremely difficult to translate because the original intent is often unknown or unobserved. – choster Jan 31 at 18:05
  • Oh my word...these are lyrics being translated into English from Russian? This is way off-topic. Sorry. – Cascabel Feb 1 at 18:25

In locative inversion, the verb immediately precedes the subject (or the subject's modifiers). "Under the tree sits a sad boy." If the verb has a modifier, then a helper verb is inserted right before the subject: "Start brawls in bars do [the] fighter, cleric..." "Going up the hill are Jack and Jill." Note how nicely the progressive splits into a participle and copula.

Usage comes into play here. Every sentence should answer a question (whether or not one has actually been asked). The choice of sentence structure is dictated by the question. The better style is to put the "news" at the end of the sentence. "On the table is my pen." [What's on the table?"] My pen is on the table." [Where's your pen?] The news is at the end.

Thus, if you want to tell us who starts brawls, use the locative inversion. But if you want to tell us what those rascals do, say "The fighter, cleric... start brawls in local taverns."

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