Word order is very important in English, because the language is no longer inflected. That is, individual words do not have endings to show which parts of speech they represent. Nevertheless this word order is not invariable. It is well-known that English is a language that strictly follows the syntax rules, in spite of this, exceptions do frequently occur.
Although English exhibits a relatively fixed word order in comparison to many other languages, the English word order is not as rigid as it is held: in many cases, speakers can choose between different constituent orderings or constructional alternations as exemplified in the following sentence pairs: John gave the book to Fred vs. John gave Fred the book, Which newspapers do we maintain strict editorial control over? vs. Over which newspapers do we maintain strict editorial control?, John picked up the book vs. John picked the book up, the President's speech vs. the speech of the President.
So as it was already mentioned English stylistics allows a sort of flexibility in arranging words in a sentence, as a rule it is mostly common for literary works, both prose and poetry. The reason for this is that changes to conventional syntax are often used to create dramatic, poetic, or comic effect.
For instance, poets and song lyricists often change syntactic order to create rhythmic effects:
E.g. "I'll sing to him, each spring to him
And long for the day when I'll cling to him,
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I."
According to Keenan ’s opinion the word order is prominent for its semantic and pragmatic roles. A standard view of the relationship between semantics and pragmatics would be something like the following: Semantics is primarily concerned with meanings that are relatively stable out of context, and analyzable in terms of the logical conditions under which they would be true. Pragmatics, by contrast is related both to the message’s indirect meaning beyond what is written, and to the reader’s interpretation, deriving from the context.
Finally, semantic roles are simpler than pragmatic ones. Semantic relations represent consistent common recognition of the objective world by the whole language community, while pragmatic role involves individual writers’ subjective, contingent knowledge, assumption, attitude, etc. Semantic relations can be seen as the essential, notional part of word order units, whereas pragmatic roles are not part of units, they are the packaging or the way of using units.
The semantically optimal order is homogeneous from the general point of view; while the criteria for ‘basic order’ are diverse in the literature. The reason for this is the fact that literature is a noble art that changes neck-to-neck with its basic instrument – the language which is constantly developing. The literary style has a tendency to be diversified; the writers’ aim is to achieve some elevated effect on the reader that is why they do not follow strict syntax rules. In this manner they make their works unique, vivid and outstanding.
Generally speaking, the role of word order is to transmit the message so as it could be easily perceived by the reader.
What concerns the word order in different writing styles, its primary role is to emphasize some particular message carried by the sentence and to produce a colorful and deep effect on the reader.