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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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Origins of verb-second in Old High German

Origins of verb-second in Old High German

Chapter:
(p.22) 3 Origins of verb-second in Old High German
Source:
Clause Structure and Word Order in the History of German
Author(s):

Katrin Axel-Tober

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198813545.003.0003

This chapter investigates the characteristics of the left sentence periphery in Old High German. In the earlier OHG prose texts we still find some archaic characteristics of a non- or pre-verb-second grammar. These include residual and partly productive features of a non-conflated C-domain arguably inherited from Proto-Germanic or even Proto-Indo-European. On the other hand, there is ample evidence that the precursor of the so-called prefield position already existed in OHG and that it was already a target for both operator movement and Stylistic Fronting. All these phenomena shed interesting light on the question of which syntactic steps the language had to take in order consolidate its verb-second grammar.

Keywords:   Old High German, Old English, Gothic, left sentence periphery, verb-second, verb-first, verb-third, operator movement, stylistic fronting, prefield iz

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