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Parameter Theory and Linguistic Change$
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Charlotte Galves, Sonia Cyrino, Ruth Lopes, Filomena Sandalo, and Juanito Avelar

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659203.001.0001

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Microparameters in the verbal complex

Microparameters in the verbal complex

Middle High German and some modern varieties

(p.43) 3 Microparameters in the verbal complex
Parameter Theory and Linguistic Change

Guido Mensching

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates changes in word order in the German verbal complex. While Modern Standard German prescribes certain orders, Middle High German and some modern dialects allow word-order variation in the verbal complex. This variation is sensitive to syntagm type and to non-syntactic factors such as prosody, focus, and register. The chapter argues that changes in the verbal complex do not result from any change to the core OV parameter, as surface VO patterns are very restricted in every stage of the language. Rather, these developments result from changes to one or more micro-parameters at the periphery of the grammatical system.

Keywords:   focus, micro-parameter, Middle High German, Modern German, prosody, Swiss German, verb raising, verbal complex

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