Givenness and the Licensing of Object-First Order in German: The Effect of Referential Form

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Dokumentart: ConferenceObject
Date: 2019-07-31
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Allgemeine u. vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
DDC Classifikation: 400 - Language and Linguistics
430 - Germanic languages; German
Keywords: Wortstellung , Textlinguistik , Deutsch
Other Keywords:
word order
discourse status
referential form
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This paper presents two experiments investigating how the referential form of the object NP affects the acceptability of German main clauses starting with either the subject or direct object. The main clause was always preceded by a context sentence introducing a human referent to which the object NP of the following sentence referred. Results show higher acceptability for SO order when the object is a personal pronoun, higher acceptability for OS order when the object is a d-pronoun, and equal acceptability for SO and OS order when the object is a demonstrative NP. We discuss the results in the context of current theories of how word order variation depends on properties of the preceding context.

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