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Relative clause marking in historical German

Back to issue: Linguistische Berichte Heft 258
EUR 19.90

In Old High German, relative clauses may be either introduced by d-pronouns or by relative particles (or by a combination of both). In this paper, it is argued that, despite their optionality, only relative particles can be considered to be real relative markers, whilst d-pronouns occupy the first position of relative clauses for information-structural reasons. A corpus-based pilot study reveals the properties of relative particles and explains their distribution. The results of this survey are then extended to other stages of the language and a diachronic scenario is sketched in order to account for the origin, development and eventual loss of relative particles, as well as for the emergence of inherent relative pronouns in German.

Also note the following titles:

Linguistische Berichte Heft 258
Steinbach, Markus | Grewendorf , Günther | von Stechow, Arnim (Hg.)

Linguistische Berichte Heft 258