2005-07-27Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/27437
Topic-Worthiness in German and English
Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Translations from English into German show that about every second sen-tence does not begin like the original, although discourse conditions aresimilar and analogous beginnings are seldom excluded for linguistic rea-sons. In many cases, the di¤erences concern word order (as well as perspec-tive and structural explicitness), in particular the preposing/topicalizing ofarguments or adjuncts. To explain these findings, the strategy of discourselinking by the order given before new (for simple, binary information struc-tures) is complemented by a strategy of balanced information distribution(for complex information structures with more than two values). Successfulimplementation of either strategy will be shown to be subject to di¤erentconditions in a language with a head final verb phrase and more or lessfree word order as opposed to a language with a head initial verb phraseand ‘‘rigid’’ word order.
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This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.