Configurational language

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In generative syntax, a configurational language is a language that has a fairly rigid word order based on a specifically ordered D-structure.


English is a configurational language, as opposed to languages such as Walpiri which are supposed to lack an ordered D-structure, and which, as a result, exhibit extremely free word order variation.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Hale, K. 1983. Warlpiri and the grammar of non-configurational languages. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 1, pages.
  • Webelhuth, G. 1984. German is configurational. The Linguistic Review 4, pages.