Original Paper

The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 115-135

Leftmost peripheral adverbs and adjectives in German

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In this contribution, I investigate the leftmost periphery of German CPs and DPs and try to give a unified account for some grammatical phenomena concerning the (non-) integration of orphan-like elements. It will be shown that in both cases, certain speaker-oriented adverbials or adjectives pattern much alike. They may be placed in a quasi-external position, in which they can be considered syntactic orphans. In particular, the adjectival construction has not really been discussed in the literature. Both—the investigated adverbials and adjectives—can also appear inside a clause (prefield) or within the noun phrase (i.e., between article and noun). The two relevant positions are associated with specific restrictions on the available readings. A possible explanation of these restrictions will be proposed. The results of the given analysis have some consequences for the architecture of the so-called interfaces, that is, the bridge character of the branch from core syntax to the morpho-phonological component on the one hand (PF in the broad sense), and the one between syntax proper and meaning (LF in a larger view) on the other.


Ellipsis (German) adjectives “Orphans” Interface condition(s) Left periphery Speaker-oriented adverbs