The present paper contributes to the current debate on free word order in Germanic by investigating the effect of various factors on the order of dative and accusative arguments in clauseinternal position in a corpus collected from Middle Low German (c. 1250–1650). The factors tested are information structure, definiteness, animacy, complexity (syntactic weight), scope, and prosody. The analysis reveals that the assumed factors fail to produce a significant increase of ACC-DAT orders but systematically trigger DAT-ACC in the surface, which (in line with Müller's (1999) approach) amounts to the conclusion that DAT-ACC is actually a derived but unmarked order satisfying a variety of features, while ACC-DAT order is resistant to any of the triggers, thus a basic one.
Every grammar as a model of a natural language is a more or less complex system. This article argues that classes in which students have to reflect on grammar should make this fact transparent, and one way to do this is by stimulating inventions. Positive experiences in secondary schools in Switzerland and in the University of Cologne show: Students who are inspired to create a fictive grammar for a fictive language recognize the general relevance of a grammar and start to reflect on the necessity that grammars have to be organized and complex in one way or the other. Crucially, they also start to reflect more profoundly on the organization of the grammar of their own first language.
In this paper, we investigate topicalization patterns of German particle verbs by comparing the syntactic behavior of semantically transparent and non-transparent particle verb constructions. We propose a classification that allows us to cover the whole transparency spectrum and to distinguish between fully transparent and fully non-transparent particle verbs. Given this classification, we report on a questionnaire study that provides empirical evidence for the claim that information structural constraints in combination with the degree of semantic transparency govern topicalization patterns in particle verb configurations. We conclude by pointing out potential additional constraints on topicalization in particle verb constructions that go beyond information structure.
In this paper we address the case assignment properties of (spatial) prepositions in German. Applying a word-syntactic framework in the spirit of Distributed Morphology (Halle & Marantz 1993), we offer a post-syntactic approach to morphological case (Marantz 1991) in German PPs. We argue that dative is the case that is inherently assigned by the category P and that other cases are derived by regular (Path Impoverishment) or idiosyncratic morphological operations. In particular, we implement the well-known dative/accusative alternation in German PPs that reflects a semantic alternation between a locative and a directional meaning. We also address those spatial prepositions that invariantly combine with a particular case like route prepositions (with accusative) and inherently directional prepositions (with dative). Our analysis turns out to be superior to lexicalist approaches such as Bierwisch (1988) in that we can model the ambiguous preposition über ('above', 'over', 'across') with one underlying element, while in lexicalist approaches one arguably has to postulate two independent lexical entries.
Beiträge aus Forschung und Anwendung
- Svetlana Petrova: Free word order in Germanic: Insights from object order in Middle Low German
- Alexandra Zepter: Systemorientierter Grammatikunterricht: Sprachen erfinden und Grammatik entdecken
- Andreas Trotzke, Stefano Quaglia & Eva Wittenberg: Topicalization in German particle verb constructions: The role of semantic transparency
- Boris Haselbach & Marcel Pitteroff: A morphological case approach to PPs
- Karsten Rinas: Sonja Müller (2014): Modalpartikeln