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Relative Clauses in Old High German: A Corpus-Based Statistical Investigation of Their Syntactic and Information-Structural Properties

  • Marco Coniglio (a1), Sonja Linde (a2) and Tom Ruette (a2)
Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the properties of Old High German relative clauses. A striking fact is that the finite verb in these constructions may either precede or follow its object(s). We survey different possible factors proposed in the literature that could determine the relative order of the verb and its objects (VO/OV order), such as type, time, and place of origin of the text, information-structural properties of the object of the relative clause, presence of a relative particle, definiteness of the antecedent, specificity of the referent, and type of the relative clause (restrictive or appositive). Our investigation is based on a corpus of nontranslated texts. It reveals that the only factors that have statistically significant influence on word order are the type of the relative clause and some information-structural properties of the object of the relative clause. *

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Seminar für Deutsche Philologie, Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3, 37073 Göttingen, Germany, [marco.coniglio@phil.uni-goettingen.de]
[sonja.linde@gmx.de]
Faculty of Arts/Research Unit Linguistics, Blijde Inkomststraat 21, P.O. Box 3308, 3000 Leuven, Belgium, [tom.ruette@gmail.com]
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Journal of Germanic Linguistics
  • ISSN: 1470-5427
  • EISSN: 1475-3014
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