Are there V2 relative clauses in German?

  • Hans-Martin Gärtner


This paper describes a construction from (spoken) German that will be called integrated verb second (IV2). This term refers to V2 clauses that look like relative clauses except that they must contain a weak demonstrative in initial position and have to be extraposed. Their syntactic behavior will be accounted for by a paratactic analysis. IV2 can only modify wide scope indefinites inside what looks like the matrix clause. This is captured at the level of DRS construction. Since the matrix clause alone doesn't constitute a complete informational unit, IV2 can be introduced as a condition into the matrix DRS before evaluation. The weak demonstrative of IV2 establishes the relative link by copying a top-level discourse marker. In addition, the assertional nature of IV2 prevents it from modifying definite descriptions. Reference is made to the close relatedness of demonstrative and relative pronouns in Indo-European. Dutch, Swedish, and Zurich German provide the comparative horizon of this study. My answer to the question in the title is negative from the syntactic perspective but positive with reference to interpretation.

assertion DRT indefinites parataxis relative clauses verb second 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Martin Gärtner
    • 1
  1. 1.ZASBerlinGermany E-mail

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