Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Information Structure and Syntactic Change in the History of English$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Anneli Meurman-Solin, Maria Jose Lopez-Couso, and Bettelou Los

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199860210

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860210.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 February 2020

Word Order, Information Structure, and Discourse Relations

Word Order, Information Structure, and Discourse Relations

A Study of Old and Middle English Verb-Final Clauses

(p.66) Chapter 4 Word Order, Information Structure, and Discourse Relations
Information Structure and Syntactic Change in the History of English

Kristin Bech

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the connection between word order and discourse relations in Old English (OE), while also taking information structure into account. The focus is on verb-final declarative clauses. It first introduces framework for the analysis of discourse relations and then presents data showing the development of verb-final word order from Old to Middle English. It then outlines the relation between verb-final word order and information structure. Finally, it analyzes and studies the discourse relations of verb-final clauses in some detail, with reference to the distinction between coordinating and subordinating discourse relations as outlined in Segmented Discourse Representation Theory. The basic idea is that some parts of the text play a subordinate role relative to other parts. The chapter shows that verb-final main clauses in OE are primarily associated with discourse coordination rather than subordination. In other words, verb-final clauses do not contrast with V2 clauses with respect to discourse relations, and it therefore remains unclear whether discourse relations play a role in word order variation in Old English.

Keywords:   word order, discourse relations, Old English, information structure, verb-final declarative clauses, Middle English, Segmented Discourse Representation Theory

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .