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LINGUIST List 16.3319

Thu Nov 17 2005

Books: Historical Ling/Syntax, German: Breitbarth

Editor for this issue: Megan Zdrojkowski <meganlinguistlist.org>


Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
Directory
        1.    K. van den Heuvel, Live Fast, Die Young - the Short Life of Early Modern German Auxiliary Ellipsis: Breitbarth


Message 1: Live Fast, Die Young - the Short Life of Early Modern German Auxiliary Ellipsis: Breitbarth
Date: 16-Nov-2005
From: K. van den Heuvel <lotlet.uu.nl>
Subject: Live Fast, Die Young - the Short Life of Early Modern German Auxiliary Ellipsis: Breitbarth


Title: Live Fast, Die Young - the Short Life of Early Modern German
Auxiliary Ellipsis
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series
Published: 2005
Publisher: Utrecht Institute of Linguistics / LOT Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistic
                http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl/

Book URL: http://www.lotpublications.nl/index3.html

Author: Anne Breitbarth, CLS Nijmegen
Electronic: ISBN: 9076864829 Pages: 203 Price: U.S. $ free
Paperback: ISBN: 9076864829 Pages: 203 Price: Europe EURO 22.07
Abstract:

This dissertation presents an analysis of the diachronic development and
the licensing conditions of finite auxiliary ellipsis in Early Modern
German, in particular the so-called afinite construction.

The historical development of the phenomenon has rather peculiar properties
as compared to other known processes of language change. Usually, such
processes go to completion after their initiation and a period of
transition. EMG auxiliary ellipsis, however, disappears from language use
before it could entirely replace constructions with auxiliaries in the
relevant contexts. This curious behaviour is explained by a combination of
formal and functional factors. Certain parametric changes in the formal
marking of embedded clauses are argued to be crucial input conditions for
the rise of the afinite construction. These changes concern the C-system as
well as the placement of verbs in embedded clauses. It is argued that the
afinite construction develops as a means of marking clausal dependency. The
spread and demise of the construction on the other hand are attributed to
stylistic factors, having to do with shifts in text complexity.

Also the discussion of the licensing conditions combines formal and
functional considerations. As the ellipsis of the finite auxiliary never
fully replaces constructions with overt auxiliaries, it must have been
optional even at the time when it was most 'established'. Therefore, any
account of its licensing conditions also has to take this optionality into
consideration. It is argued that the ellipsis develops as a marker of
subordination, expressing the lack of assertion.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Syntax

Subject Language(s): German, Standard (deu)

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=17282


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