Recent work on clause linkage in Present Day-German suggests a correlation between word order and type of clause linkage considering paradigm cases as conditional and causal clauses. In the present paper, I will show that this correlation does not hold for comparative clauses establishing a relationship of hypothetical equality to their matrix clause. There is no question that these clauses exhibit different degrees of clause integration, the position of the finite verb, however, varies independently of the type of clause linkage as indicated by classical diagnostics for clause linkage types such as sequence of clauses, correlative elements and focus background-structure. The historical record of German witnesses different types of clause linkage while exhibiting no word order variation with clauses of hypothetical comparison. Taking a diachronic perspective, I will argue that the present word order variation arises in the 16th century due to the steady weakening of the subjunctive: With the introduction of the new subordinator als wenn and the replacement of V-final clauses by V1-clauses, it is the form of the comparative clause and no longer verbal mood that indicates its open truth value.
Recent studies concerning SLF-constructions have challenged different properties of subject gaps from a theoretical point of view. For instance, Fortmann (2005) argues that under clearly defined conditions not only subjects can be elided, but also objects. Reich (2009) argues that the gap is not always structurally bound (c-commanded) by its antecedent. If these claims can be confirmed, this would have extensive consequences for the syntactic and semantic analysis of SLF-constructions. This paper investigates these hypotheses experimentally and arrives at the following conclusions: 1. Elided objects are, even under the conditions following Fortmann (2005), not rated as acceptable; 2. Reich's (2009) predictions relating to possible antecedents are not, or at least only in a limited way, confirmed. Thus, a substantial modification of the classic analysis (Höhle, 1990) does not seem indicated.
This paper is concerned with combinations of modal particles (mps) in German. It is well known that such combinations are severely restricted. Constraints have been formulated that, on the one hand, concern the conditions that regulate which mps can combine at all. On the other hand, restrictions concern the question in which order the mps can combine. Focussing on the combination of ja and doch, the paper argues that the (putatively) fixed order of ja and doch is an iconic reflex in grammar. By referring to new authentic material, it argues that the order ja doch presents the unmarked order, but that linguistic contexts can be found in which the reversed (marked) order doch ja is attested. It suggests a discourse-semantic analysis which integrates the mp description by Diewald (2007) into the formal model of discourse developed in Farkas & Bruce (2010). The analysis suggested traces the difference in markedness between the two orders of ja and doch back to discourse structural requirements which have been assumed to hold in communication independently.
The present study investigates comprehension of speeded speech by blind and sighted people. The material consists of synthesized sentences of different speeds (6–22 syl/sec). The recorded sentences were presented to 31 participants who were asked to repeat them. The design is an adaptive method taking into consideration the individual comprehension performance of each participant. The results indicate that blind people are able to understand much faster speech than sighted people. There are significant differences in comprehension of speeded speech between blind and sighted people starting at a syllable rate of 12 syl/sec. These results suggest an interplay between the training effect and neuronal factors which are in need of future research. Moreover, differences in comprehension performance of congenitally vs. noncongenitally blind participants were not significant.
Beiträge aus Forschung und Anwendung
- Ulrike Demske: Verbstellungsvariation in hypothetischen Vergleichssätzen
- Eva Horch: Zur Natur der Lücke in SLF-Konstruktionen – Zwei experimentelle Studien
- Sonja Müller: Zur Anordnung der Modalpartikeln "ja" und "doch": (In)stabile Kontexte und (non)kanonische Assertionen
- Katrin S. Müller: Comprehension of speeded speech – a comparative study of blind and sighted people
- Johanna Warm: Thaler, Verena (2012): Sprachliche Höflichkeit in computervermittelter Kommunikation