The introductory chapter provides important background information for the readers of the volume. It describes the aims of the volume, which is the first comprehensive and concise generative historical syntax of German. However, the contributions are not only aimed at researchers in the field, but in giving a basic overview of the respective topics and relating them to more descriptive and traditional accounts, the book is also suited for academic teaching, e.g. as a central text book in courses on historical German syntax. The chapter then gives an overview of the syntax of German, introducing the topological model widely used in more traditional accounts and the generative analysis of German clause structure. Finally, it provides an overview of the history of High and Low German including information on basic grammatical features, the textual evidence and central reference books and digital corpora for each period.
Keywords: Old High German, Middle High German, Early New High German, left/right sentence bracket, Modern German, (Old/Middle) Low German, OV/V2 asymmetry, pre-/middle/post field, topological model, V2
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