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Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 1021–1066 | Cite as

Relative clause extraposition and prosody in German

  • Claudia Poschmann
  • Michael Wagner
Article

Abstract

Whether a relative clause (RC) can be extraposed has been argued to depend both on contextual focus and on whether an RC is restrictive or appositive. However, no previous study has looked at the interaction between these two factors in restricting extraposition, despite the fact that different types of relative clauses are generally taken to differ in how they relate to focus. Furthermore, previous studies have not looked at the role of prosody in accounting for the effect of focus on extraposition, and have found contradictory results with respect to the prosodic differences between appositive and restrictive relative clauses. This paper presents the results of a production experiment on German which crosses the location of focus and the type of RC in order to explore how they interact in affecting prosody and extraposition.

Keywords

Extraposition Relative clauses Appositives Prosody Focus 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks for helpful comments to Markus Bader, Caroline Féry, and Ede Zimmermann, to three anonymous reviewers, and the editor, Marcel den Dikken. Thanks to Caroline Reinert and Julia Biskupek for help with running the experiment, and Caroline Reinert, Felix Schumann und Anna Roth for annotating the data. This research was supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and SSHRC grant 410-2011-1062 on Relative Prosodic Boundary Strength to M.W.; it was also supported by funding to C.P. from DFG Research Group 1783 “Relative Clauses”.

Supplementary material

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of LinguisticsGoethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M.Frankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Department of LinguisticsMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada

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