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Dt. finden und ,,subjektive Bedeutung“ 


Zurück zum Heft: Linguistische Berichte Heft 236
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This paper is about German finden as a subjective attitude verb (Sue findet, dass das gut ist/ Sue findet das gut), about which I aim to find out in what sense it has 'subjective meaning', and how this meaning is rooted in its lexial properties. Based on an intensive discussion of Saebø's (2009) influential analysis, I argue, contra Saebø, that finden's subjectivity is not exclusively rooted in the complement let alone identifiable with semantic judge-variance of the complement predicates. Rather, finden itself is crucially involved in that it projects (i) the presupposition that there is an eventuality known to the finden subject, which is under debate and open to interpretation, (ii) a reading of the complement proposition as an interpretation of this eventuality selected by the finden subject from a set of interpretational alternatives; it is with this selection process that the finden specific subjectivity is to be identified. I cite a number of arguments for these claims (summed up in (H1)), backing them up by pragmatic considerations (summed up in (H2)). Finally, I show that the syntactic form of the finden complement as a finite vs. small clause construction correlates with selectional differences, for which I offer a speculative explanation.