This paper aims to investigate how animacy, givenness, and focus influence word order in Croatian, as previous research has found that these factors have an effect on word order. Eighty-two participants completed an acceptability judgment task. The results showed, as expected, that animacy and givenness influence the animate/given object to precede the inanimate/new object, while focus provides the opposite effect. Focus is stronger than animacy because animacy has an influence only when focus is absent. Givenness has a weaker effect than the other factors because when animacy is balanced, there is a general preference for direct-indirect order. We thus reveal that these three factors are ordered hierarchically in the following way: focus > animacy > givenness.
Keywords: word order, ditransitives, givenness, focus, animacy, Croatian, Acceptability judgment task