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Configurational Variation In English: A Study Of Extraposition and Related Matters

by Stucky, Susan U.

Technical Note 353
Institution: AI Center, SRI International
Address: 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
Mar 1985.

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Abstract

Natural languages typically permit more than one order of words or phrases, though they differ with respect to both the amount of order variation allowed and the kind of information carried by these differences in order. In some languages, linear order conveys information about the argument relations. In others, this role is performed by morphology alone. Linear order may otherwise bear information about the status of the content of an utterance in the discourse–whether it is new or expected, for instance. Even within a particular language, different orders may carry fundamentally disparate kinds of information.

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