Miami-Illinois is a nonconfigurational language with what is often described as free word order. Word order is not used to distinguish subjects and objects; topical information is preverbal, while nontopical or backgrounded information is postverbal. Moreover, certain other grammatical categories almost always occur preverbally, other elements usually occur postverbally, and discontinuous constituents are common. Additionally, significant variation in word order is seen among the different speakers and time periods of the language. Taken together, these facts indicate that the concept of “basic word order” as it is applied to configurational languages is not useful in describing Miami-Illinois word order.