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2009.12.27 (13:22:57)
Park, Tae-Sook. 2002. Discourse Familiarity and English Word Order. The History of English, 13. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between discourse familiarity and English word order, on the basis of the analysis of inversion and canonical-word-order data. Prince and Birner propose different discourse-familiarity hierarchies, analyzing canonical-word-order sentences and inversion respectively. Prince regards inferable information as discourse-new whereas Birner treats it as discourse-old. This paper analyzes a variety of data, on the assumption that one discourse-familiarity hierarchy applies to English sentences. My data analysis indicates that inferable information may be treated as evoked information not only in inversion but also in canonical word order. Therefore we conclude that evoked and inferable elements are collapsed into a single category as discourse-old information in general. English sentences serve an information- packaging function, and discourse familiarity correlates with English word order.
 
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