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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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The Wackernagel complex and pronoun raising

The Wackernagel complex and pronoun raising

(p.132) 8 The Wackernagel complex and pronoun raising
Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German

Helmut Weiß

Oxford University Press

In many Indo-European languages, pronouns (and other clitic-like elements) tend to appear in second position or near it. This phenomenon was first described by Jakob Wackernagel, after whom the position is named the Wackernagel position (WP). This chapter describes the emergence of the WP in German where it is the third position following SpecCP and C. Since subject clitics in the WP interact phonologically and morphologically with verbs and complementizers in C, three additional syntactic features (double agreement, complementizer agreement, partial pro-drop) are associated with the WP in German (forming the so-called Wackernagel complex). The chapter surveys the evidence for the existence of the WP in OHG and, to a lesser extent, in MHG, using the additional features as diagnostics. It also contains a new explanation of how complementizer agreement could have emerged.

Keywords:   Continental West Germanic, complementiser agreement, double agreement, pro-drop, pronouns, Wackernagel position, Wackernagel complex

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