Animacy, word length, and prosody have all been accorded prominent roles in explanations for word order variations in language use. We examined the sequencing effects of these factors in two types of tasks. In recall tasks designed to simulate language production, we found selective effects of animacy. Animate nouns tended to appear as subjects in transitive sentences, but showed no special affinity for initial position in conjunctions within sentences, but showed no special affinity for initial position in conjunctions within sentences, suggesting a stronger involvement of animacy in grammatical role assignment than in word ordering. Word length had no significant impact: Shorter words did not appear earlier than longer words within sentences or within isolated conjunctions of nouns. Prosody had a weak effect on word order in isolated conjunctions, favoring sequences with alternating rhythm, but only in the absence of an animacy contrast. These results tend to confirm a hypothesized role for conceptual (meaning-based) accessibility in grammatical role assignment and to disconfirm a hypothesized role for lexical (form-based) accessibility in word ordering. In a judgment task, forms with animate nouns early were preferred across all constructions, and forms with short words early were often preferred both in sentences and in conjunctions. The findings suggest a possible asymmetry between comprehension and production in functional accounts of word order variations.