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a multifunctional formal means used in sentence construction. In Russian and other synthetic languages, word order mainly provides the contextual links in a sentence and is a means for the actual division of a sentence. To this basic function of word order may be added others, including stylistic, expressive, rhythmic, and melodic. Word order has no distinctive role beyond actual division and acts as an accompanying element of syntatic relations (neutral word order). In English and other analytic languages, word order shapes the grammatical structure of a sentence and is fixed; word placement is determined by the role of the words in the sentence. Isolating languages use word order as the principal means of expressing relations between words. Grammatical word order differs from grammaticalized word order, in which the syntactic function of a word is determined by its position in a sentence; for example, in the Russian sentence Veslo zadeloplat’e (“The oar got caught in the dress”), the subject is identified by its initial position. Word order not usually possessing a grammatical function is sometimes known as free word order.
I. N. KRUCHININA