Compared to many languages, English has relatively fixed word order, but the ordering among phrases following the verb exhibits a good deal of variation. This monograph explores factors that influence the choice among various available orders of postverbal elements, testing hypotheses using a combination of corpus studies and psycholinguistic experiments.The studies presented in this book focus on three alternations: heavy NP shift, the dative alternation, and the verb-particle construction. A variety of factors that might influence ordering are examined, including: the grammatical complexity of phrases whose order is in question; the newness of information conveyed by those phrases; how closely the phrases' meanings are connected to that of the verb; and whether one ordering has an ambiguity absent from the other.The book's final two chapters question how studies of language use - corpus studies and elicitation experiments - bear on issues in linguistic theory. This leads to questions about the role of quantitative data in linguistics, and about the more standard type of data employed by many linguists, namely introspective judgments. This discussion includes responses to a number of Chomsky's arguments, published over the course of almost half a century, against the use of statistics and probability in linguistics. It also addresses Chomsky's I-language/E-language distinction and his arguments for the epiphenomenal nature of E-language.