Word order and information structure in English and Swedish

Authors

  • Jennifer Herriman University of Gothenburg

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/lhs.v6i1-3.129

Keywords:

discourse analysis, information structure, word order

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.

Author Biography

Jennifer Herriman, University of Gothenburg

Jennifer Herriman is professor of English at Gothenburg University, Sweden. Her research is within the theory of Systemic Functional Linguistics. Her main areas of investigation are Swedish advanced learners' writing in English and contrastive studies of English and Swedish texts and their translations.

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Published

2012-12-13

How to Cite

Herriman, J. (2012). Word order and information structure in English and Swedish. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 6(1-3), 129–149. https://doi.org/10.1558/lhs.v6i1-3.129

Issue

Section

Thematic Structure and Meaning