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Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German$
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Agnes Jäger, Gisella Ferraresi, and Helmut Weiß

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813545

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813545.001.0001

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The ACI construction in the history of German

The ACI construction in the history of German

Chapter:
(p.324) 17 The ACI construction in the history of German
Source:
Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German
Author(s):

Augustin Speyer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198813545.003.0017

The ACI (accusativus cum infinitivo) in Modern German is governed almost exclusively by perception verbs. For genuine OHG, the same can be said. In MHG and ENHG authors began to experiment with other verb classes as potentially governing ACIs, probably influenced by Latin, but this usage never made its way in ‘normal’ grammar. The tenacity of the exclusive association of ACI with perception verbs hints at an analysis in which the logical subject of the ACI is a constituent on its own, the predicate part of the ACI being a separate constituent. Other tests, e.g. tests for constituency, point in the same direction. This is different from Latin; here the ACI as a whole counts as constituent and can therefore as a whole function as direct object. The structural difference might account for the fact that the syntactic loan of an extended usage of the ACI never came to fruition.

Keywords:   infinitive, ACI (accusativus cum infinitivo), control construction, verbs of perception, Latin, constituent, logical subject

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