THE EFFECT OF INFORMATION STATUS ON WORD ORDER: EVIDENCE FROM WOODS CREE

Donna Starks

Abstract


Word order differences taken from conversational exchanges and narrative texts show how information status influences word order in Woods Cree, an Algonquian language spoken in northern Manitoba. The paper illustrates how the position of noun phrases in a sentence is conditioned by their information status. Three factors are shown to influence word order. They are old/new information, importance and topic shift.

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