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Word order and intonation in Georgian

  • Georgian is famous for its word order flexibility: all permutations of constituent order are possible and the choice among them is primarily determined by information structure. In this paper, we show that word order is not the only means to encode information structure in this language, but it is used in combination with sentence prosody. After a preliminary description of the use of prosodic phrasing and intonation for this purpose, we address the question of the interrelation between these two strategies. Based on experimental evidence, we investigate the interaction of focus with word order and prosody, and we conclude that some aspects of word order variation are pragmatically vacuous and can be accommodated in any context if they are realized with an appropriate prosodic structure, while other word order phenomena are quite restrictive and cannot be overridden through prosodic manipulations.

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Author:Stavros Skopeteas, Caroline FéryORCiDGND, Rusudan Asatiani
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2009
Year of Completion:2009
Release Date:2017/03/25
Source:Lingua. - ISSN 0024-3841. - 119 (2009), 1, S. 102 - 127
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften / Department Linguistik
Peer Review:Referiert