This volume brings together a collection of 18 papers dealing with the problem of word order variation in discourse. Word order variation has often been treated as an essentially unpredictable phenomenon, a matter of selecting randomly one set of possible orders generated by the grammar. However, as the papers in this collection show, word order variation is not random, but rather is governed by principles which can be subjected to scientific investigation and are common to all languages. The papers in this volume discuss word order variation in a diverse collection of languages and from a number of perspectives, including experimental and quantitative, text-based studies. A number of papers address the problem of deciding which order is 'basic' among the alternatives.
Contributions by: Ron Cowan; Susanna Cumming; Michael Darnell; Pamela Downing; Matthew Dryer; Bruce Harold; Susan Herring & John Paolillo; Alan Hyun-Oak Kim; Kyu-Hyun Kim; Randy LaPolla; Robert Longacre; Silvia Luraghi; Marianne Mithun; Francisco Ocampo; Doris Payne; Ronald Schaefer; Russell Tomlin; Maura Velasquez-Casfillo.