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On V2-parentheticals in German 


Zurück zum Heft: Linguistische Berichte Heft 245
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In the literature, parentheticals have often been claimed to be independent of their anchor clause. This article discusses the syntactic independence of German declarative V2-parentheticals and the question of whether they are prosodically set off from their anchor clauses. For parentheticals in English, it has been stated that prosodic features may be neglected (see Bolinger 1989; Wichmann 2001). Based on corpus data of German V2-parentheticals, the result will be replicated. This contribution to the research on parentheticals is mainly empirical and limited in scope. The results are the following. The claim that V2-parentheticals are syntactically independent of their anchor clauses can be supported. However, the claim that V2-parentheticals are quieter, faster, and lower than their anchor clause and framed by silent pauses is argued to be untenable. Even a weakened version of the claim must be rejected. A functional explanation for why prosodic independence is not a necessary condition for V2-parentheticals (as, perhaps, opposed to other parenthetical constructions) may lie in the fact that V2-parentheticals are already marked syntactically, namely by means of their V2-structure inserted in non-V2-places (in the middle field, within NPs/DPs).