Vol. 3:2 (2001) ► pp.223–251
Discourse relators and the beginnings of sentences in English and German
Felicitous translations between English and German show that discourse relators like adversative connectors interact with the basic strategies of discourse linking superimposed upon the grammatical rules of word order. For initial position they compete with elements from the propositional meaning of a sentence, which they precede if the propositional elements are given information; if the elements are new (or resumed) information, discourse relators tend to follow them. Attitudinal expressions like probably and possibly precede or follow propositional elements in the same way, but tend towards a greater degree of explicitness in initial positions of English sentences.
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