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Theoretical Approaches to Disharmonic Word Order$
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Theresa Biberauer and Michelle Sheehan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199684359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684359.001.0001

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Disharmonic Word Orders from a Processing-Efficiency Perspective

Disharmonic Word Orders from a Processing-Efficiency Perspective

(p.391) 14 Disharmonic Word Orders from a Processing-Efficiency Perspective
Theoretical Approaches to Disharmonic Word Order

John A. Hawkins

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines ‘harmonic’ versus ‘disharmonic’ word orders from a typological, grammatical, and processing perspective. It considers how head-initial, head-final and mixed structures are processed in real time and argues that languages have conventionalized head orderings throughout their grammars in proportion to their efficiency and ease of processing. I.e. performance has profoundly shaped competence grammars, in accordance with the Performance–Grammar Correspondence Hypothesis (PGCH) of Hawkins (2004). The Final-Over-Final Constraint of Biberauer, Holmberg, and Roberts is discussed, which defines harmony and disharmony differently from classical work in typology. FOFC’s predictions are tested and compared with those of the PGCH. It is argued that an interdisciplinary approach that combines formal grammatical insights with cross-linguistic surface typology and on-line processing gives us a better description and explanation of the facts than each of these research traditions can achieve on its own.

Keywords:   efficiency, Greenbergian correlations, maximize on-line processing, minimize domains, performance and grammar, processing, typology, rigid OV

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