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Functional HeadsThe Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 7$
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Laura Brugé, Anna Cardinaletti, Giuliana Giusti, Nicola Munaro, and Cecilia Poletto

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746736

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746736.001.0001

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From Modal Particle to Interrogative Marker: A Study of German denn

From Modal Particle to Interrogative Marker: A Study of German denn

(p.13) From Modal Particle to Interrogative Marker: A Study of German denn
Functional Heads

Josef Bayer

Oxford University Press

The German particle den is the result of a diachronic development from a local/temporal adverb to a modal particle that is confined to interrogative root clauses. This chapter introduces the semantic as well as the syntactic properties of den, arguing that it heads a pre-VP functional projection that is in a feature valuation relation with the interrogative force head of the root clause. The approach captures not only word order facts in the root clause, but it also can explain cases in which den contributes to the illocutionary force of a question although it emerges and takes scope in the embedded clause. The chapter is organized as follows: Section 1 explains the discourse function of den. Section 2 develops the syntax of den. Section 3 turns to the role of den in Bavarian where it has turned into a clitic element, while Section 4 concludes.

Keywords:   German particle, adverb, modal particle, interrogative root clauses, syntax, Bavarian, clitic element

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