Linguistics and the Human Sciences, Vol 6, No 1-3 (2010)

Word order and information structure in English and Swedish

Jennifer Herriman
Issued Date: 13 Dec 2012

Abstract


Both English and Swedish follow the principles of information and end-weight when ordering the elements of the clause and both languages have translationally equivalent means of re-ordering clause elements to follow these principles, i.e., fronting, postponement by extraposition, existential constructions and cleft sentences. This paper compares these word order changes in English and Swedish and shows that Swedish follows the principles of information and end-weight more strictly than English. This is supported by empirical evidence from comparisons of original texts in English and Swedish and their translations, and comparisons of writing in English by Swedish advanced learners and native speaker students, where an overuse of certain re-ordering reflects the transfer of a different usage in Swedish.

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DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v6i1-3.129

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