AbstractWe used to think that the output of a translation machine would be stylistically inelegant, but this would be tolerable if only the message got across. We now find that getting the message across accurately is difficult, but we may be able to have stylistic elegance in the output since much of style reflects depth phenomena and thus is systematic. As an example, the order of the clauses in many twoclause sentences can be reversed without a change of meaning, but the same is not normally true of sentences with more than two clauses. The meaning usually changes when the clause order is changed. Equivalently, there appear to be severe restrictions on clause order for any given meaning. These restrictions appear to follow from depth considerations. The idea is being investigated that there is a normal depth-related clause order and any deviations from this order must be signalled by special syntactic or semantic devices. The nature of these devices is being explored. When translating multi-clause sentences, there may be trouble due to the fact that the clause types of the two languages are not exactly parallel. Therefore the list of allowed and preferred clause orders in the two languages will not be equivalent and the special syntactic and semantic devices available to signal deviations from the normal order will be different. Thus one would predict that multi-clause sentences in language A often have to be split into two or more sentences when translated into language B, while at the same time multi-clause sentences in language B will often have to be broken into two or more sentences when translating into language A.