This volume brings together a collection of 18 papers dealing with the problem of word order variation in discourse. Word order variation has often been treated as an essentially unpredictable phenomenon, a matter of selecting randomly one of the set of possible orders generated by the grammar. However, as the papers in this collection show, word order variation is not random, but rather governed by principles which can be subjected to scientific investigation and are common to all languages.The papers in this volume discuss word order variation in a diverse collection of languages and from a number of perspectives, including experimental and quantitative text based studies. A number of papers address the problem of deciding which order is 'basic' among the alternatives. The volume will be of interest to typologists, to other linguists interested in problems of word order variation, and to those interested in discourse syntax.
The two related issues of word order, and subject-verb agreement have occupied center stage in the study of Arabic syntax since the time of Sibawayhi in the eighth century. This book is a contribution to both of these areas. It is grounded within the generative grammar framework in one of its most recent versions, namely Minimalism, as expounded in Chomsky (1995). In this volume, a detailed description is given of word order options in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Palestinian Arabic (PA). It is shown that, perhaps surprisingly, the two varieties allow almost the same range of word orders. The important question of whether Arabic has a VP is addressed: the author argues extensively that Arabic has a VP category. The evidence derives from examining superiority effects, ECP effects, binding, variable interpretations, etc. Also discussed is the content of [Spec, TP] in VSO sentences. It is argued that the position is occupied by an expletive pronoun. The author defends the Expletive Hypothesis which states that in VSO sentences the expletive may take part in checking some features of the verb. A typology of the expletive pronoun in Modern Standard Arabic, Palestinian Arabic, Lebanese Arabic, and Moroccan Arabic is provided. A particularly interesting problem involving pronominal co-reference is the following: if the subject is the antecedent of a pronominal clitic, word order is free; if a pronominal is cliticized onto the subject, then the antecedent must precede. An account that derives these restrictions without recourse to linear order is proposed.
This book is a new contribution to syntactic theory. The reader will find a clear overview of the central facts concerning Brazilian Portuguese (BP) word order, as well as a comparison to the facts in other Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, and French). In relating other Romance languages to BP, the book shows that BP word order has a number of interesting restrictions that set this language clearly apart from the other Romance languages. This volume provides accounts for declaratives and interrogatives found not only in BP but also in the other Romance languages discussed, taking into consideration parametric differences among the languages studied.
In this book, linguistic achievements of word order studies in Chinese have been applied to Chinese second language acquisition research. By analyzing a great number of word order errors made by learners of Chinese as a foreign language (CFL), this book has developed a method for describing and explaining Chinese word order errors. With this method, the book has the potential to empower CFL teachers all over the world to teach Chinese in an informed manner, and particularly to teach Chinese word order more effectively and efficiently.
While Modern Icelandic exhibits a virtually uniform VO order in the VP, Old(er) Icelandic had both VO order and OV order, as well as ‘mixed’ word order patterns. In this volume, the author both examines the various VP-word order patterns from a descriptive and statistical point of view and provides a synchronic and diachronic analysis of VP-syntax in Old(er) Icelandic in terms of generative grammar. Her account makes use of a number of independently motivated ideas, notably remnant-movement of various kinds of predicative phrase, and the long movement associated with “restructuring” phenomena, to provide an analysis of OV orders and, correspondingly, a proposal as to which aspect of Icelandic syntax must have changed when VO word order became the norm: the essential change is loss of VP-extraction from VP. Although this idea is mainly supported here for Icelandic, it has numerous implications for the synchronic and diachronic analysis of other Germanic languages.
This book deals with the syntax of the free word order phenomenon (scrambling) in a wide range of languages - in particular, German, Japanese, Kannada, Malayalam, Serbo-Croatian, Tagalog, Tongan, and Turkish - in some of which the phenomenon was previously unstudied. In the past, the syntax of free word order phenomena has been studied intensively with respect to its A- and A'-movement properties and in connection with its semantic (undoing) effects. The different articles in this volume offer new ways of analyzing free word order under (i) minimalist assumptions, (ii) concerning the typology of scrambling languages, (iii) with respect to the question of how it is acquired by children, (iv) in connection with its relatedness to information structural factors, and (v) with respect to its consequences for a highly elaborated sentence structure of the IP/VP domain. The articles that focus mainly on the emprical aspects of free word order phenomena deal with the properties and proper analysis of rightwards scrambling in Turkish, with the A-/A'-nature and triggers for VSO-VOS alternations in Tongan, as well as with left-branch extractions and NP-Split in Slavic and its consequences for a typology of scrambling languages. The articles that focus on theoretical aspects of scrambling deal with questions concerning the motivatation of a derivation with scrambling in a free word order language, such as whether scrambling has to be analyzed as topicalization or focus movement. Or assuming that scrambling is feature-driven, how the technical details of this analysis are implemented in the grammar to avoid unwarranted derivations, for example, derivations with string-vacuous scrambling. A further important question that is addressed is when scrambling is acquired in the development of the grammar, and what the consequences are for the timing of the acquisition of A- and A'-movement properties. This volume will be most relevant to researchers and advanced students interested in generative syntax, as well as typologists working on German, Japanese, Slavic, Turkish, Dravidian and Austronesian languages. We regret that due to a layout error the title of Miyagawa's article on "EPP and semantically vacuous scrambling" is misrepresented in the printed version of the book. You can download the article with the corrected title here.
The major focus of this book involves the testing of theories of word order change with data on change in Old English. The data are drawn from such sources as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and from the work of other scholars in Old English and historical linguistics. The book provides support for the ideas of earlier linguists such as Sapir, and will represent a major study for those working in Old English and historical linguistics. Contents: Introduction; Natural Word Order Types and Natural Word Order Change; Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Germanic Word Order Patterns; Order of Major Elements in Main Clauses in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Word Order Patterns in Conjunct, Relative and Subordinate Clauses; Further Studies in Old English Word Order; Conclusions.^R
The series is a platform for contributions of all kinds to this rapidly developing field. General problems are studied from the perspective of individual languages, language families, language groups, or language samples. Conclusions are the result of a deepened study of empirical data. Special emphasis is given to little-known languages, whose analysis may shed new light on long-standing problems in general linguistics.
Within a new model of language acquisition, this book discusses verb second (V2) word order in situations where there is variation in the input. While traditional generative accounts consider V2 to be a parameter, this study shows that, in many languages, this word order is dependent on fine distinctions in syntax and information structure. Thus, within a split-CP model of clause structure, a number of "micro-cues" are formulated, taking into account the specific context for V2 vs. non-V2 (clause type, subcategory of the elements involved, etc.). The micro-cues are produced in children s I-language grammars on exposure to the relevant input. Focusing on a dialect of Norwegian, the book shows that children generally produce target-consistent V2 and non-V2 from early on, indicating that they are sensitive to the micro-cues. This includes contexts where word order is dependent on information structure. The children s occasional non-target-consistent behavior is accounted for by economy principles."
This monograph owes its existence to certain puzzles in universal grammar and the theory of language which led the author to an investigation of word order in Sanskrit and its possible analyses and descriptions. Not unexpectedly, the raw material was found to be too vast for a first-hand treatment even to be attempted. Rather surprisingly, however, its inter pretations by Indian and Western theorists and grammarians turned out to be so greatly at variance, that an analysis of these interpretations seemed rewarding. Accordingly, theoretical issues within the framework of generative grammar had to be faced anew, and alternative solutions suggested them selves. In this connexion the Sanskrit grammarians proved not only in spiring but positively helpful. This book may invite the accusation that it wilfully mixes disciplines. There were alternatives: one could try to write a history of the subject; or construct a merely formal edifice, leaving it to others to test its adequacy; or else one could make the notorious attempt to stick to the facts, which is not only unilluminating but also bound to fail. Any such self-imposed restrictions seemed to conflict with the original intent. And so it was decided not only to make available the results of the investigation into Sanskrit word order, but also to introduce a theory of universal grammar to account for these and other results.
The goal of this pioneering work is to make available to Chinese linguists, as well as linguists in general, the results of the most recent research - not only the author's but that of scholars all over the world - on two of the most discussed topics in the history of Chinese: word-order change and grammaticalization.
For some time the assumption has been widely held that for a majority of the world's languages, one can identify a "basic" order of subject and object relative to the verb, and that when combined with other facts of the language, the "basic" order constitutes a useful way of typologizing languages. New debate has arisen over varying definitions of "basic," with investigators encountering languages where branding a particular order of grammatical relations as basic yielded no particular insightfulness. This work asserts that explanatory factors behind word order variation go beyond the syntactic and are to be found in studies of how the mind grammaticizes forms, processes information, and speech act theory considerations of speakers' attempts to get their hearers to build one, rather than another, mental representation of incoming information. Thus three domains must be distinguished in understanding order variation: syntactic, cognitive and pragmatic. The works in this volume explore various aspects of this assertion.
An Empirical Study with Applications for the Foreign Language Classroom
Author: Karen Leube
Publisher: BoD – Books on Demand
Category: German language
Highly proficient speakers of a second language who began acquisition as adults are rarely the object of second language acquisition research. In the study described in this book, the speech of 36 advanced learners of German, 20 of whom were considered to have "near-native" proficiency was recorded, transcribed and analyzed according to the "Quaestio Model." The focus of the study was the information structure of the learners' spoken texts and its implications for word order. The study revealed differences in the information structure of texts of learners and native German speakers even for those learners whose performance was nearly indistinguishable from L1 German speakers. The author discusses possible reasons for these differences, suggests implications for second language acquisition theory and draws up lesson plans for using the insights brought forth by the study for the second language and translation classrooms.
Looking at the grammars of Hebrew and several varieties of Arabic, Shlonsky examines clausal architecture and verb movement and the role of agreement in natural language, using Chomsky's Government and Binding approach.
Word order is one of the major properties on which languages are compared and its study is fundamental to linguistics. This comprehensive survey provides an up-to-date, critical overview of this widely debated topic, exploring and evaluating word order research carried out in four major theoretical frameworks – linguistic typology, generative grammar, optimality theory and processing-based theories. It is the first book to bring these theoretical approaches together in one place and is therefore a one-stop resource covering the current developments in word order research. It explains word order patterns in different languages and at different structural levels and critically evaluates (and where possible, compares) the theoretical assumptions and word order principles used in the different approaches. Also highlighted are issues and problems that require further investigation or remain unresolved. This book will be invaluable to those investigating word order, and researchers and students in syntax, linguistic theory and typology.