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Concourse 2

Word and phrase ordering in English


Finding your way around the word- and phrase-ordering jungle

Word and phrase ordering is such a fundamental aspect of how all languages work that the area deserves a special section to itself.  This one.

There are competing theories about how and why we order words and phrases in English (and other languages) as we do.
We can, for example, focus on the syntax of English and investigate what is possible and what is not in English and on what is normal and unremarkable in contrast to special emphasis, the concept of markedness.
We can also and alternatively focus on the communicative effect that changes in word and phrase ordering make.

Both approaches are covered on this site in one way or another.

If you are new to this area and/or looking for a short course in it, follow the guides in order, top to bottom.  At the end of each guide you will find a link to return you to this page.

Here's a diagram to help you navigate to the parts you want.  Click on the second, blue column to go to the guide.
The third column briefly describes the area or gives you an example of the sorts of issues the guide covers.



This area is closely linked to many of the guides to aspects of syntax so you may also like to look at the index to that area.