In the examples in that thread, which
is clearly the subject. For this reason, the indirect statement structure reproduces the direct one. That’s fine, no mystery.
In Marco’s original question, Who was your favorite artist as a child?
, your favorite artist
is the subject. So, the indirect sentence should have the verb after the subject.
But in English we can invert this order sometimes. This link gives us some cases: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/subjects.htm
The inversion, according to them, tends to give a literary effect.
In another thread, natives emphasize the regular subj-verb order in affirmatives: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2641689 BUT
… in Henry’s version, He asked her who was (had been) her favorite artist as a child
, her favorite artist
can be regarded as the complement of the subject (who
), if we follow Loob’s explanation in that early thread: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1947653
As a matter of fact, there’s no practical difference in meaning, only structurally. The question is: which sounds better?