"Cambridge Grammar in Use" ( p.902), in the glossary, points to the term "Endweight" but I find it nowhere else as a linguistics term.

Is it because it is Cambridge Univ. Pr.'s own coinage? If not, could anyone please point me to other sources?

  • It's more of a stylistic guideline than anything else, so it's not a linguistics term except in an extremely broad sense. I hadn't heard of it before, but googling turned up numerous hits. – rjpond Sep 6 '17 at 19:32
  • Yeah, I thought as much. (I too googled it once). But I did coin a term which I believe to be more accurate, and that's 'penultimacy'. I wrote an essay on it. the premise basically says that what is most important in a sentence is what comes just before the end. Interested? – Alex StJohn Sep 6 '17 at 19:35
  • Nordquist, at Thoughtco, uses the term (and has a good article discussing the concept). You may rate Leech and Svartvik_A Communicative Grammar of English as more authoritative. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 6 '17 at 21:46
  • Thanks. Will have a good look. I also found the term "Foregrounding", which is close to what I get at in my essay. – Alex StJohn Sep 8 '17 at 13:48
  • Yes, I've read the extract. Only, the argument, for instance with "He owes me 5 dollars," states that the amount is the focus. But I argue that "owes me" is MORE important, and so therefore my 'penultimacy' theory prevails. More here, if you care to read: clasgtr.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/penultimacy-an-essay – Alex StJohn Sep 8 '17 at 13:57

End-weight is definitely a linguistic term, not just a stylistic term.

END-WEIGHT (after Quirk et al. 1972) refers to the tendency of heavier constituents to be localized later in sentences, all else being equal, as documented extensively for English and several other languages (though some languages exhibit the opposite, beginning-weight tendency; Sect. 5.1).

Source: Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik. 1972. A grammar of contemporary English. London: Longman.

  • So did Quirk coin the term? – Alex StJohn Oct 5 '18 at 9:24
  • 1
    The source suggests that the term appears after Quirk in 1972. So, it is possible that Quirk did coin the term to refer to this concept. – Double U Oct 5 '18 at 14:13

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