Topic, focus, and discourse structure
Ancient Greek Word Order
It is commonly assumed that word order in free word order languages is determined by a simple topic – focus dichotomy. Analysis of data from Ancient Greek, a language with an extreme word order flexibility, reveals that matters are more complex: the parameters of discourse structure and semantics interact with information packaging and are thus indirectly also responsible for word order variation. Furthermore, Ancient Greek displays a number of synonymous word order patterns, which points to the co-existence of pragmatic determinedness and free variation in this language. The strict one-to-one correspondence between word order and information structure, assumed for the languages labelled discourse configurational, thus turns out to be only one of the possible relationships between form and pragmatic content.
Published online: 27 November 2003
Cited by 21 other publications
de la Villa, Jesús
Faure, Richard & Michèle Oliviéri
Haug, Dag T.
Kruijer, Mike & Ezra la Roi
Macedo, José Marcos
Ruiz Yamuza, Emilia
Torrego, María Esperanza
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