Issues in Formal German(ic) Typology by Werner Abraham, C. Jan-Wouter Zwart

By Werner Abraham, C. Jan-Wouter Zwart

This publication takes up a number of normal syntactic issues, which both yield diversified ideas in German, specifically, or which result in diverse conclusions for idea formation. one of many major issues is the truth that languages that let for wide scrambling among the 2 verbal poles, V-2 and V-last, have to combine discourse capabilities like thema and rhema into the grammatical description. this is often tried, by way of Minimalism, therefore extending the practical area. precise awareness is given to the asymmetrical scrambling habit of indefinites vs. definites and their semantic interpretation. comparable subject matters are: Transitive expletive sentences, different types of existential sentences with both BE or HAVE, the that-trace phenomenon and its semantics, destructive polarity goods, ellipsis and gapping, passivization, double negation ― all of that have large results either on distributional habit and semantic disambiguation, achieving a ways past results observable in English with its inflexible, ‘un-scrambable’ be aware order.

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We can formulate this correlation in the following rule (on the basis of Cincque’s Clausal Accent Null Hypothesis): (30) Rule of default stress assignment The main stress of the sentence is assignable only after anaphoric destressing Consider the following sentence from German (again default accent in  ): (31) daß ich den Mann/ihn gestern ti  habe that I the man/him yesterday seen have The prosodically unmarked position of the pronominal or nominal object to the left of the adverb and the assignability of GA to the participle indicate that projection of maximal focus is allowed in (32) (see also Zwart 1997: 92): (32) Ich habe nur gesagt, [daß ich den Mann/ihn gestern  habe] und nicht [daß ich mit ihm  hätte] ‘I have only said that I saw the man/him yesterday, not that I would have talked to him’ Note that focus projection is blocked if the direct object is to the right of sentence adverbs, that is in its base position, where it is assigned contrastive stress: (33) Ich habe nur gesagt, daß ich gestern den / gesehen habe *(und nicht daß ich mit ihm gesprochen hätte).

If the adverb in (i) is attached to IP, the definites in (i) can have a scrambled status, maintaining the analysis proposed here.  The optionality of destressing A central problem to be solved with respect to scrambling is optionality. If the definite object in (28a–c) is indeed marked for anaphoric destressing by some abstract feature, it is not entirely clear why scrambling movement is not always forced. Consider (36): (36) daß ich gestern den Mann gesehen habe In (36) the assumed licensing requirement of the AF-feature is disrespected, as the direct object stays to the right of the sentence adverb, that is in situ, according to our assumptions.

Also, D-linking has been argued to relate expressions with their potential antecedents in terms of phi or R-features (Lenerz 1993; Neeleman & Reinhart 1998 or Haegeman 1996). Although I do not see Dlinking as an instance of agreement, the AF-position is clearly referential and as such cannot be an operator position. Both de Hoop & Kosmeijer (1995: 152) and Haegeman (1996) argue that the typological distinction between A and A′-position has to be disassociated from L-relatedness as in Chomsky (1993: 28).

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