Retour vers liste

Détail de la contribution

Auteur: Katharina TURGAY

Co-Auteur(s): Daniel GUTZMANN, Institute for Linguistics, University of Frankfurt, Germany

Positioning of adverbials in spoken German

Abstract/Résumé: The German middlefield permits relatively free word order regarding arguments and adverbials. There are two possible explanation for this. There are base positions and the different orders are derived by movement; or expressions are base-generated at their surface positions. According to Frey/Pittner (1998, F&P), adverbials, like arguments, have base positions. The base position of an expression can be determined by various tests (focus projection, principle C effects, existential wh-phrases, complex prefields). F&P arrive at the following base order. frame adv. < propositional adv. (PROPs) < event-related adv. < subject < event-internal adv. < object(s) < process-related adv. We conducted an empirical study to test if this order can be confirmed by data of naturally spoken German. The data results from 34 hours of conversation and contains 4.251 complex middlefields with at least one adverbial besides an additional expression. We focus on PROPs, which are the second most frequent adverbials (1.026) and have the highest position regarding the arguments and the other adverbials in F&P’s hierarchy, save frame adverbials. In our data, the subject (SUB) actually follows the PROP only in 12.4% of all cases. The indirect object follows the PROP in 23.7%, the direct object in 55.6%. In general, the nearer to the adverbial an argument stands in its base position, the more deviations regarding that position can be observed. Despite the high amount of non-basic linearizations, the base order does not have to be given up if there are mechanisms which can be held responsible for these deviations. The most frequent deviations regard SUB and PROP: in 87.6%, the PROP does not precede the subject. This can be explained if it is assumed that the SUB must move to IP. If PROPs are adjoined above VP, SUB-raising results in the order SUB