Contextual Effects on Word Order: Information Structure and Information Theory

  • Nobo Komagata
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2680)


To account for a type of contextual effect on word order, some researchers propose theme-first (old things first) principles. However, their universality has been questioned due to the existence of counterexamples and the possibility of arguably rheme-first (new things first) languages. Capturing the contextual effects on theme-rheme ordering (information structure) in terms of information theory, this paper argues that word order is affected by the distribution of informativeness, an idea also consistent with counterexamples and rheme-first languages.


Information Structure Contextual Effect Word Order Conditional Entropy John Benjamin 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nobo Komagata
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceThe College of New JerseyEwingUSA

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