Information Structure and Language Change: New Approaches to by Roland Hinterhölzl, Roland Hinterholzl

By Roland Hinterhölzl, Roland Hinterholzl

The e-book addresses probably the most trendy and generally mentioned issues in diachronic syntax, particularly, observe order edition and alter in older Germanic. It provides a singular method that explains those concerns no longer when it comes to parameters and parameter swap or by way of festival among grammars, yet when it comes to pageant among information-structurally marked and unmarked kinds inside one grammar.

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Extra info for Information Structure and Language Change: New Approaches to Word Order Variation in Germanic (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs)

Example text

For instance, the unmarked word order in German (OV) cannot be taken to be basic property (to be identified with the base order) anymore, but has to be derived from other properties in the language. Nespor, Guasti and Christophe (1996) propose that the head complement parameter is determined by the predominant, that is, unmarked prosodic patterns in an early phase during language acquisition (the rhythmic activation principle). More specifically, they argue that the decisive information for the child is the placement of main prominence within the phonological phrase.

Turned the shepherds back’). g. Maurer 1924; Behaghel 1932: 37) that there is no diachronic connection between the OHG V1 declaratives and the type that arose in the late Middle High German period, which are still common in Present-Day German. e. no Stylistic Fronting) in these cases? Interestingly, the vast majority of examples contain a characteristic feature: the par- 36 Katrin Axel ticle thô/tho in postfinite position. As I have shown elsewhere in Axel (2007: Chapter 2), there are residues of a system of sentence particles in the early OHG texts (the interrogative particle inu/eno, the affirmative particle jâ/ja and the imperative particle nû/nu).

More specifically, they argue that the decisive information for the child is the placement of main prominence within the phonological phrase. In Hinterhölzl (2004a), I have adopted this approach and proposed that the unmarked word order in the phrases of a language are determined by the predominant, that is, unmarked prosodic patterns in that language. That a language can have several unmarked prosodic patterns is shown by German. While with DPs and PPs the unmarked prosodic pattern is (weak strong) ((w s)), the unmarked prosodic pattern with VPs is (s w).

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