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Academic Paper


Title: Relative Clauses in Old High German: A Corpus-Based Statistical Investigation of Their Syntactic and Information-Structural Properties
Author: Marco Coniglio
Author: Sonja Linde
Author: Tom Ruette
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: German, Old High
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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This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 29, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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