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From the Order of Malta's website (https://www.orderofmalta.int/press-release/migrants-refugees-rome-meeting-order-of-malta-european-project-managers/):

  • "Also under discussion over the two days were the causes and consequences of the mass movement of people, destined to increase with the population growth in the southern hemisphere, the continuation of wars and climate changes."
  • "Completing the European picture of a shared commitment were Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary"

I don't understand the reason for the inversions in "were the causes and consequences" and "were Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary", since I don't see any negative adverb, nor conditional, nor a question of any kind.

What am I missing?

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    This is subject–dependent inversion, not subject–auxiliary inversion. – user230 May 11 '18 at 14:32
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    It's called 'subject-dependent inversion'. It has nothing to do with negation or interrogatives; rather, it puts the subject in final position where it receives greater phonological prominence. It falls within the information packaging domain along with such other constructions as dislocation, clefts, existentials etc. The basic non-inverted version would be "The causes and consequences of the mass movement of people were also under discussion over the two days". – BillJ May 11 '18 at 14:57
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    @BillJ Would you consider writing that as an answer instead? – user230 May 11 '18 at 15:02
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    I repeat my comment, which someone deleted. These inversions are used for reasons for style. Surely, that suggests additional information? The name for it is: anastrophe. britannica.com/art/inversion-literature It is used in literary-type writing and in poetry. Grammar is not everything, style is also important. – Lambie May 11 '18 at 15:23
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Also under discussion over the two days were the causes and consequences of the mass movement of people, destined to increase with the population growth in the southern hemisphere, the continuation of wars and climate changes.

It's called 'subject-dependent inversion'. It has nothing to do with negation or interrogatives; rather, it postposes the subject into final position where it receives greater phonological prominence and where complex material is easier to process, while at the same time it preposes the complement into front position where it serves as a link to the preceding discourse where other matters were presumably also under discussion over the last two days.

Inversion falls within the information packaging domain along with such other constructions as dislocation, clefts, existentials etc.

The basic non-inverted version would be "The causes and consequences of the mass movement of people ... were also under discussion over the two days".

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