DGfS 2017 AG 8 "Non-Canonical Verb Positioning in Main Clauses"

Non-Canonical Verb Positioning in Main Clauses

Workshop Section at the 39th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS)

Organizers: Mailin Antomo, Sonja Müller

March 8th - 10th, 2017, Universität des Saarlandes Saarbrücken

In the last 15 years, the verb-second phenomenon in the Germanic languages has received particular interest and a lot of research has been devoted to its occurrence in dependent environments aiming at finding out whether, and if so, by which criteria it is licensed. However, not only dependent clauses display verb-order variation, there are also different options for positioning the finite verb in main clauses. For example, German declarative clauses (which have been the focus of attention) can display verb-first order (cf. Önnerfors 1997). Furthermore, attention has been paid to declarative clauses which are claimed to show verb-third order (cf. e.g. Winkler 2014 for a recent account). And the finite verb might also occur in final position in other types of non-embedded utterances (cf. e.g. Truckenbrodt 2013). This workshop intends to study the formal and interpretative properties of main clauses which do not display the word order which is canonically expected of them. Questions we like to address are e.g.: What are the conditions under which the above mentioned orders become possible or even necessary? Is their nature syntactic, semantic, information structural or stylistic? Are there genre-specific distributions? How similar are the licensing conditions for such "deviating" orders across different (Germanic) languages and/or different historical stages within one language? What are the differences between verb-end and verb-first/-second structures in less well-studied nonassertive utterance types such as interrogatives or exclamatives? How can such variation be accounted for at all? How do such structures fit into systems of sentence mood/type or utterance types? How important is further linguistic material (such as modal particles, intonation, verbal mood)? We aim at appealing to researchers who work synchronically or diachronically on cases of non-canonical verb positioning in main clauses. Theoretical as well as empirical approaches on any language displaying variations of this kind are welcome.

[1] Truckenbrodt, Hubert. 2013. Selbständige Verb-Letzt-Sätze. In: Jörg Meibauer, Markus Steinbach & Hans Altmann (eds.), Satztypen des Deutschen, 232-246. Berlin & Boston: de Gruyter.
[2] Önnerfors, Olaf. 1997. Verb-erst-Deklarativsätze: Grammatik und Pragmatik. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International.
[3] Winkler, Julia. 2014. Verbdrittstellung im Deutschen. Eine wettbewerbstheoretische Analyse. Berlin: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Berlin.