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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 II

Introduction to Part II

(p.125) 7 Introduction to Part II
Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German

Gisella Ferraresi

Agnes Jäger

Oxford University Press

The chapter provides an overview of the main issues and contributions of Part II of the volume. This part discusses various phenomena concerning the middle field in the historical stages of German. In particular, the discussion concerns the question of the relative order of elements and the factors influencing changes of this order. In the left-most part of the middle field—the Wackernagel position, where light and clitic elements appear—the order of pronouns and their interplay with complementizer agreement is an intriguing topic. Another relevant aspect concerns the order of full NPs and the role that syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic factors play for the relative order of these constituents over the course of the language history. Finally, negation and its grammaticalization along Jespersen’s Cycle is a phenomenon of the middle field which is discussed in this part of the book.

Keywords:   Wackernagel complex, Wackernagel position, pronoun, complementizer agreement, animacy, agentivity, negation, Jespersen’s Cycle, middle field, information structure

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