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Verb-erst-Deklarativsätze. Grammatik und Pragmatik

Önnerfors, Olaf LU (1997) In Lunder germanistische Forschungen 60.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Denna avhandling i tysk språkvetenskap behandlar en särskild typ av meningar i dagens tyska: påståendesatser med det finita verbet i början. Denna typ har hittills knappast uppmärksammats av forskningen; en av anledningarna till detta är att den oftast förekommer i talat språk.



Den vanliga ordföljdsregeln i tyskan är att verbet står på andra plats i huvudsatsen, på sista plats i bisatsen; jfr t.ex. 'Hans GEHT nach Hause.' (= 'Hans går hem.') med 'Er fragt, ob Hans nach Hause GEHT.' (= 'Han frågar om Hans går hem.'). Placeringen av verbet på första plats är normalt förbehållen speciella typer av satser som t.ex. fråge- och uppmaningssatser, t.ex.: 'Geht Hans nach Hause?' (= 'Går... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Denna avhandling i tysk språkvetenskap behandlar en särskild typ av meningar i dagens tyska: påståendesatser med det finita verbet i början. Denna typ har hittills knappast uppmärksammats av forskningen; en av anledningarna till detta är att den oftast förekommer i talat språk.



Den vanliga ordföljdsregeln i tyskan är att verbet står på andra plats i huvudsatsen, på sista plats i bisatsen; jfr t.ex. 'Hans GEHT nach Hause.' (= 'Hans går hem.') med 'Er fragt, ob Hans nach Hause GEHT.' (= 'Han frågar om Hans går hem.'). Placeringen av verbet på första plats är normalt förbehållen speciella typer av satser som t.ex. fråge- och uppmaningssatser, t.ex.: 'Geht Hans nach Hause?' (= 'Går Hans hem?') eller 'Geh nach Hause!' (= 'Gå hem!').



I avhandlingen behandlas olika typer av meningar som avviker från detta standardschema i tyskan i och med att verbet står först i påståendesatsen. Även äldre språkskeden och de övriga germanska språken tas upp i översiktlig form. Genomgången visar att påståendesatser med verbet på första plats inte är någon ovanlighet inom det germanska språkområdet, även om denna ordföljd inte kan betraktas som normalfallet.



Vad gäller dagens tyska kan man urskilja fem olika typer av påståendesatser med verbet först. Dessa typer används i olika språkliga sammanhang. En viktig typ är satser som används i muntliga, berättande kontexter. Alla verbtyper som kan uttrycka ett skeende kan förekomma här. Ett exempel: 'Kommt ein Mann in die Kneipe.' (ordagrant: 'Kommer en man in på krogen.'). Denna typ kan ibland förekomma i svenskan också, t.ex. i följande belägg: 'Kom så den stund då Esping fick gripa till håven och taga upp kollekten' (Fritiof Nilsson Piraten). En annan typ är satser som förekommer där det handlar om en uppräkning av något slag; i dessa används verben 'bleiben' (= 'återstå', 'kvarstå'), 'hinzukommen' (= 'tillkomma') eller 'folgen' (= 'följa'). Ett exempel: 'Bleibt eine letzte Frage.' (= 'Återstår en sista fråga.'). Som man kan se i den svenska översättningen finns denna typ även i svenskan. Den tredje typen förekommer endast med modalverben sollen' (= skola') eller 'mögen' (= 'må'), som uttrycker en sorts nödvändighet eller möjlighet. Ett exempel: 'Sollen sie nach Italien fahren. Das ist mir egal.' (ordagrant: 'Skall de resa till Italien. Jag bryr mig inte.'). Typen verkar inte existera i svenskan. Med den fjärde typen uttrycks ett slags innehållslig motivering till ett påstående som man gjort i meningen innan; här är det obligatoriskt att använda partikeln 'doch'. Exempel: 'Er konnte die Adresse nicht finden. War er doch noch nie Lund gewesen.' (ordagrant: 'Han kunde inte hitta adressen. Hade han ännu aldrig varit i Lund.'). Typen finns inte i svenskan. Den sista typen används som utrop när talaren vill uttrycka sin förvåning över någonting. Exempel: 'Bist du blöd!' (ordagrant: 'Är du dum!'). Inte heller denna typ verkar finnas i svenskan.



Påståendesatsen med verbet först integreras i denna avhandling i en modern grammatisk teori ­ som ligger inom ramen för generativ syntax ­ samt i en informationsstrukturell teori där begreppsparet 'topik'-'kommentar' är centralt. (Less)
Abstract
The aim of this thesis is to describe and explain independent declarative clauses in German which have the finite verb in absolute clause-initial position. They are called verb-first declarative clauses.



It is shown that this type of clause can be found in a variety of Germanic languages. There is evidence suggesting that this is a very old type with roots in ancient Indo-European. It has thus existed for a very long period of time, always forming a marked alternative to the unmarked clause type (e.g. verb-second or verb-final clauses).



Regarding the syntactic structure of the verb-first declarative clause in German, several proposals are discussed all of which assume the existence of an empty... (More)
The aim of this thesis is to describe and explain independent declarative clauses in German which have the finite verb in absolute clause-initial position. They are called verb-first declarative clauses.



It is shown that this type of clause can be found in a variety of Germanic languages. There is evidence suggesting that this is a very old type with roots in ancient Indo-European. It has thus existed for a very long period of time, always forming a marked alternative to the unmarked clause type (e.g. verb-second or verb-final clauses).



Regarding the syntactic structure of the verb-first declarative clause in German, several proposals are discussed all of which assume the existence of an empty syntactic position in front of the finite verb. These proposals are rejected because of empirical counterevidence and theoretical shortcomings and instead, a clause structure is proposed within the framework of generative grammar which does not assume any position before the finite verb in verb-first declarative clauses.



The thesis goes on to deal with the relation between syntactic structure and information structure. The lack of a pre-verbal position results in a clause which is unpartitioned at the level of topic-comment structure while other levels of information structure, namely theme-rheme structure and focus-background structure, are shown to be irrelevant to the explanation of this type in German. The verb-first declarative clause is further compared to other clause types which exhibit no topic-comment structure; the so-called thetic clause and the verb-second clause with an expletive 'es' in initial position. In spite of the similarity these three types exhibit at the level of topic-comment structure, there are important functional differences between them.



As for the functional aspects of the verb-first declarative clause, five different pragmatic functions are described and discussed in which this type can occur in present-day German. These are the narrative function, the enumerating function, the function of deontic modality, the function of causality and the exclamative function. Each functional type is derived from the interaction of syntax and information structure ­ which leads to a special sort of highlighting of the finite verb common to all functional types ­ with specific lexical filling. For several functional types, the verb type is the only important aspect of lexical filling. One functional type requires the obligatory presence of the modal particle 'doch'. For another type, there are additional requirements as to propositional content and intonation. It is also shown that overlap is, to a limited extent, possible in the domain of functional types; in such cases, the co- or context can help to disambiguate the verb-first declarative clause functionally.



Finally, some restrictions at the illocutionary level are discussed. It has been proposed that verb-first declarative clauses in German cannot be used as performatives. Although exceptions do exist, this prediction is confirmed in principle. It is explained against the background of the above-mentioned system of functional types. This system also explains why certain verb-first declarative clauses cannot be used as answers to questions while other types are possible in these contexts. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Prof. Reis, Marga, Deutsches Seminar, Universität Tübingen, Germany
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
German language and literatur, Germanic languages, performative use, German, declarative clause, clause-initial position of the finite verb, syntax, topic-comment structure, information structure, theticity, narrativity, enumeration, deontic modality, exclamation, causality, Tyska (språk och litteratur)
in
Lunder germanistische Forschungen
volume
60
pages
269 pages
publisher
Almqvist & Wiksell International
defense location
Room 339B, German Department, Lund University
defense date
1997-03-22 10:15
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN: LUHSDF/HSTY--97/1011--SE+269
ISSN
0348-2146
ISBN
91-22-01741-0
language
German
LU publication?
yes
id
c4d27382-71a9-416e-a37a-45c8809e2066 (old id 18174)
date added to LUP
2007-05-24 11:32:51
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:56
@phdthesis{c4d27382-71a9-416e-a37a-45c8809e2066,
  abstract     = {The aim of this thesis is to describe and explain independent declarative clauses in German which have the finite verb in absolute clause-initial position. They are called verb-first declarative clauses.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
It is shown that this type of clause can be found in a variety of Germanic languages. There is evidence suggesting that this is a very old type with roots in ancient Indo-European. It has thus existed for a very long period of time, always forming a marked alternative to the unmarked clause type (e.g. verb-second or verb-final clauses).<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Regarding the syntactic structure of the verb-first declarative clause in German, several proposals are discussed all of which assume the existence of an empty syntactic position in front of the finite verb. These proposals are rejected because of empirical counterevidence and theoretical shortcomings and instead, a clause structure is proposed within the framework of generative grammar which does not assume any position before the finite verb in verb-first declarative clauses.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The thesis goes on to deal with the relation between syntactic structure and information structure. The lack of a pre-verbal position results in a clause which is unpartitioned at the level of topic-comment structure while other levels of information structure, namely theme-rheme structure and focus-background structure, are shown to be irrelevant to the explanation of this type in German. The verb-first declarative clause is further compared to other clause types which exhibit no topic-comment structure; the so-called thetic clause and the verb-second clause with an expletive 'es' in initial position. In spite of the similarity these three types exhibit at the level of topic-comment structure, there are important functional differences between them.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
As for the functional aspects of the verb-first declarative clause, five different pragmatic functions are described and discussed in which this type can occur in present-day German. These are the narrative function, the enumerating function, the function of deontic modality, the function of causality and the exclamative function. Each functional type is derived from the interaction of syntax and information structure ­ which leads to a special sort of highlighting of the finite verb common to all functional types ­ with specific lexical filling. For several functional types, the verb type is the only important aspect of lexical filling. One functional type requires the obligatory presence of the modal particle 'doch'. For another type, there are additional requirements as to propositional content and intonation. It is also shown that overlap is, to a limited extent, possible in the domain of functional types; in such cases, the co- or context can help to disambiguate the verb-first declarative clause functionally.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Finally, some restrictions at the illocutionary level are discussed. It has been proposed that verb-first declarative clauses in German cannot be used as performatives. Although exceptions do exist, this prediction is confirmed in principle. It is explained against the background of the above-mentioned system of functional types. This system also explains why certain verb-first declarative clauses cannot be used as answers to questions while other types are possible in these contexts.},
  author       = {Önnerfors, Olaf},
  isbn         = {91-22-01741-0},
  issn         = {0348-2146},
  keyword      = {German language and literatur,Germanic languages,performative use,German,declarative clause,clause-initial position of the finite verb,syntax,topic-comment structure,information structure,theticity,narrativity,enumeration,deontic modality,exclamation,causality,Tyska (språk och litteratur)},
  language     = {ger},
  pages        = {269},
  publisher    = {Almqvist & Wiksell International},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lunder germanistische Forschungen},
  title        = {Verb-erst-Deklarativsätze. Grammatik und Pragmatik},
  volume       = {60},
  year         = {1997},
}