The partially free word order in German belongs to the class of phenomena in natural language that require a close interaction between syntax and pragmatics. Several competing principles, which are based on syntactic and on discourse information, determine the linear order of noun phrases. A solution to problems of this sort is a prerequisite for high-quality language generation. The linguistic framework of Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar offers tools for dealing with word order variation. Some slight modifications to the framework allow for an analysis of the German data that incorporates just the right degree of interaction between syntactic and pragmatic components and that can account for conflicting ordering statements.