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Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German$
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Agnes Jäger, Gisella Ferraresi, and Helmut Weiß

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813545

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813545.001.0001

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Introduction to Part I

Introduction to Part I

(p.15) 2 Introduction to Part I
Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German

Svetlana Petrova

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the diachronic development of the left periphery in German. It introduces the OV/V2 asymmetry as a basic property of continental West Germanic syntax, as well as the components of the verb-second rule. On this basis, it surveys the rise of verb-second, elaborating on state-of-the-art in the beginning of the attestation, on the relation between V2 and the emergence of complementizers in Germanic, as well as on the role of Germanic sentence particles in the left periphery of the clause. In addition, orders challenging the validity V2 in German—such as verb-first, verb-third, and verb-final orders—are discussed. The chapter also discusses the role of information structure in movement to the left periphery, as well as the emergence of a special class of adverbial connectives, which develop from low adverbs and acquire a special status with respect to the left periphery.

Keywords:   OV/V2 asymmetry, left periphery, verb fronting, verb-first, verb-second, verb-third, verb-final, sentence particles, information structure, adverbial connectives

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