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28. Word Order and Information Structure

ANTXON OLARREA


Subject Theoretical Linguistics » Syntax

Key-Topics grammar, information

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405198820.2012.00030.x


Extract

Spanish allows for a fairly unrestricted ordering of constituents in simple and embedded declaratives. Thus, a transitive verb like comprar ‘to buy,’ realizing all its arguments, an (optionally overt) subject pronoun él ‘he,’ and a direct object el periódico ‘the newspaper,’ and with a temporal adjunct todos los días ‘every day,’ can appear in a sentence in, at least, the following constituent orders: (1) a. (Él)  compraba  el periódico  todos los días (He)  used-to-buy  the newspaper  every day b. (Él) compraba todos los días el periódico c. El periódico, (él) lo compraba todos los días The newspaper, (he) cl-it used-to-buy everyday d. Él, el periódico lo compraba todos los días e. El periódico lo compraba (él) todos los días f. El periódico es lo que (él) compraba todos los días The newspaper is what (he) used-to-buy everyday g. El periódico es lo que compraba todos los días (él) h. Compraba (él) el periódico todos los días i. Todos los días compraba (él) el periódico. All the sentences in (1) have the same propositional content: it would be difficult to imagine a situation in which any one of them is true but the rest are not. The example (1a) has been considered in the grammatical tradition the basic, unmarked S(ubject) V(erb) O(bject) order in Spanish. Examples (1b–i), on the other hand, show derived word orders. These syntactic varieties of the same sentence differ ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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