System vogelfrei: 6 Jahre Hölle und zurück (German Edition)

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Note that the verb in such embedded V2 clauses without dass is usually subjunctive. Where most traditional studies are not concerned with reasons for changes in sentence order nor do they make any attempt to relate these to other aspects of German or to phenomena in other languages, generative grammar tries to posit reasons for assuming that Vf is the underlying structure which can be derived from other aspects of grammar, as example 72 illustrates. We saw that position, case-marking and the agreement of verbs all help to determine the relationships between the various elements of the sentence.

But native speakers of any language — and German is no exception — have intuitions that certain sentences with different word order are related. We saw in section 2. But sometimes the difference in position is not just one of style or emphasis. Intuitively, these do not mean the same thing so the difference is not one of style. We can observe certain things about the relationship between 80 and 81 which apply to all such pairs of sentences. Firstly, the object of the verb, den Kuchen in 80 , has not only moved to subject position in 81 , but has also taken the nominative case.

This is also of course true of passive sentences in English; we would not be able to see this with NPs, but a pronoun in object position in an active sentence such as she saw him will clearly change to nominative in the passive he was seen by her. Furthermore, the subject of 80 , der junge Mann, has become optional in 81 , and for this reason is in brackets.

If it is expressed, it is inside a PP, vom jungen Mann. To some extent this also involves a change of emphasis, just as in the sentences in 78 and There the emphasis in 78 was on the agent, the person performing the action see chapter 6 , expressed in the subject, and in 79 on the theme, that which is directly affected by the action, expressed in the direct object.

Similarly in 81 , the emphasis is clearly no longer on the agent, der junge Mann, which is optional. The fact that some elements of 81 are the same as in 80 also suggests that in some sense the same content with different emphasis is involved. In fact, it is a commonplace of so-called passive transformation exercises of the sort students of German have to perform in tests that such elements as number, gender, person and tense have to be preserved.

The only differences, then, lie in the fact that the agent, the person performing the action, moves from subject position to an optional PP, the theme changes from object to subject, and the verb to its passive form. Passive is thus to some extent a way of giving a different emphasis. But the changed form of subject, object and verb mean that it is a syntactic change, not just a stylistic one.

Der junge Mann gab der alten Frau einen Kuchen The young man gave the old woman a cake b. Ein Kuchen wurde der alten Frau vom jungen Mann gegeben A cake was given the old woman by the young man As we have already seen, the direct object, einen Kuchen in 82a , can move to subject position, ein Kuchen in 82b.

But in both English and German, and in many other languages, it is also possible to put the indirect object into the subject position. In an English sentence corresponding to 82a 83 The young man gave the old woman a cake this results in 84 The old woman was given a cake by the young man where the phrase the old woman appears to have become the subject.


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But in German there is a difference. Note that in 86 and 87 , the intransitive verb rauchen is passive.

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There are, however, equivalent sentences to 88 beginning It is said. Sentences like 85 are sometimes also referred to as impersonal passives in German see Felix and Fanselow 95 , because they do not have to have an agent; note that the agent vom jungen Mann is optional. Thus we can compare 85 with two possible variants: 90 Vom jungen Mann wurde der alten Frau ein Kuchen gegeben whereby vom jungen Mann can be replaced by es, but the subject position cannot be left empty and 91 Ein Kuchen wurde der alten Frau vom jungen Mann gegeben The three sentences in 85 , 90 and 91 are stylistic variants like those we saw earlier in It is more useful to see 85 as a stylistic variant of 90 and 91 than as a passive version of 82 , repeated here as 92 : 92 Der junge Mann gab der alten Frau einen Kuchen What this means is that in fact only the direct object einen Kuchen in 82a can become the subject of a passivized sentence ein Kuchen in 91 and it moves to the subject position to do so.

It is important to note here that we are speaking of what is usually regarded as a different sort of movement from that sometimes assumed 44 Syntax in traditional grammar to explain contrasts like those between 78 and 79 or between present and perfect in the examples in 65 and 66 , repeated here: 93 Hans isst den Kuchen 94 Hans hat den Kuchen gegessen where hat is sometimes said to displace isst, sending the verb essen, now in its participle form, to the end.

The sort of movement we are describing in this section is assumed to be a representation of what we know about the relationship between sentences; we know that a syntactic operation has taken place whose effects can still be seen in the resulting structure. We are assuming that to know something in a grammatical sense means that it is perhaps passively part of our grammatical knowledge and it enables us to do certain things based on that knowledge. It is not to be confused with a conscious ability to explain phenomena.

So to say that movement has taken place is to say that our grammar has an account of where an element was at a lower level of grammar this is usually called a trace and will not concern us here and that this fact has consequences for what is and is not a possible structure of German.

Consider the change that has taken place between the next two sentences: 95 Hans hat den Jungen gesehen Hans has seen the boy 96 Wen hat Hans gesehen?

Who has Hans seen? The assumption here is that den Jungen can be converted to wen, the corresponding wh-word, which is also in the accusative case as in Hans hat wen gesehen? Who are you friends with? What will you disguise yourself as? Today, many linguists would argue that the sort of movement we see in passivization and the formation of wh-questions and other operations see Felix and Fanselow are not entirely separate operations, but that there is a generalized movement operation, which simply applies whenever a particular element for whatever reason cannot remain where it is in the structure cf.

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Ouhalla Traditionally, though, and almost certainly in terms of the intuitions of German native speakers, an active sentence can be passivized in one sort of syntactic process and, in another, a question can be asked about a particular element of a sentence, as in 96 it is asked about the person whom Hans has seen. In this chapter we have seen how structures are generated and also moved within a sentence.

It will have been noted that, when something happens to create movement in the syntax, the elements themselves change their form. Thus, in passive formation, the subject der junge Mann in 78 , for example changes to a prepositional object in vom jungen Mann in This is not just a change of position from before the verb to after it or of grammatical function from subject to prepositional object, but it is also a change in the actual form of the words: junge to jungen.


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  8. It is with such changes to words, as opposed to changes within sentence structure, that the area of grammar called morphology is concerned, and this is the topic of the next chapter. Ouhalla provides general linguistic background on many concepts discussed here, as does Part 3 of Radford et al. There is a vast literature on child language acquisition. Some useful sources are given in section 2. Hornstein and Lightfoot give a 46 Syntax useful survey of the arguments put forward to suggest that universal syntactic principles are innate, as do Felix and Fanselow 65ff and Stechow and Sternefeld 30f.


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    5. Newton is a nonlinguistic study of children isolated from language input. Readers who would like to know more about the way syntactic theory has developed should consult Felix and Fanselow , Radford or van Riemsdijk and Williams for the prevailing view in the s and Chomsky or Roberts for the latest version of the theory.

      Both van Riemsdijk and Williams and Ouhalla discuss the developments and changes in syntactic theory. There is a useful overview of the development of phrase-structure rules in Ouhalla ch. On the inconsistency of the head-position, see Roberts Syntax 2 Draw tree-diagrams like that in 20 , using the categories given in 21 , for the following three sentences: Peter geht in die Stadt. Die Kinder schwimmen in diesem See. Remember that an is part of the verb. Manchmal wollte ich wegfahren, aber ich konnte nicht. Read section 2. Gesagt wird manchmal schon, dass Deutsche keinen Humor haben.

      We refer to the parts of the word geh and en as morphemes.

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      It just happens to have the same sequence of sounds as the initial part of these words. For example, in: 2 Dickicht thicket Zierde ornament Kehricht sweepings up Begierde desire we can guess that -icht suggests something like a collection of things or that -de is a reifying morpheme, a little like -ion, as in decorate, decoration in English. This suggests that a decision as to what constitutes morphemes can only be taken when words are seen in contrast to one another. This is because, though in one sense gehen, gehst, geht are obviously different words, in another sense they are forms of the same word and would not have separate entries in a dictionary of German.

      The distinction between individual words and the lexical item with different forms is further 50 Morphology discussed in chapter 6, but for now we shall assume that it is intuitively clear. Now consider the following examples: 4 a. Geh ins Bett!

      But the morpheme -en in 4a cannot occur alone; this is a bound morpheme. Bound morphemes are often written with a hyphen in linguistics. The same morpheme may be realized differently. Another example is the plural morpheme, which has several allomorphs, as illustrated in the following words: 7 Autos cars Tage days Frauen women Morphology 51 Eier eggs Schemata schemes Assuming that geh is the basic form for the allomorphs ging and gang, it is clear that this morpheme differs in nature from morphemes such as ge-, -en and -t.

      If the root is a free morpheme, it is often referred to as the base word. Some morphemes, as can be seen from this example, are discontinuous. If ge — en is a past participle morpheme, so is ge — t as in gebracht or gehabt. The past participle morpheme thus has two allomorphs, both discontinuous: ge — en and ge — t. The resulting part of the word is called a stem. It will shortly be discussed in detail. Morphology, then, is that area of the grammar which covers all these aspects of the way words are structured. In a modularly organized model of our knowledge of grammar, as described in chapter 1, it might be tempting to regard morphology as a module of the grammar, along with the other traditional areas of grammar such as phonology, syntax and semantics.

      However, as explained in chapter 1, because modules are sets of principles, we are assuming that areas of the language such as morphology or syntax are not necessarily to be understood as modules in the sense of autonomous areas of grammatical knowledge. Descriptive studies of German morphology such as Henzen , Fleischer and Erben attempt to describe all the existing types of words in the German language. But morphology is not simply a linguistic level at which analytical observation can be carried out. It is also possible to extract from such Morphology 53 descriptions productive morphological processes, which alter the form of words and also create new ones.

      This latter aspect of morphology is sometimes referred to as word-formation, because it is largely concerned with how new words come into being. All these processes are discussed in this chapter. Whatever view of the lexicon is taken, however, a distinction can be made between earlier descriptive studies of morphology such as those mentioned above, and later ones which concentrate more on explaining systematically how words are analysed and how new words can be formed.

      Such studies describe the potential rather than simply the existing words of German, and are sometimes referred to as theoretical studies to distinguish them from descriptive studies. Examples are Olsen b and Toman It is generally considered that there are four productive morphological processes. It still remains a verb; Frauen, like Frau, is an N and the various forms of rot with their respective endings are all As. Fleischer regards it as a derivational ending.

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      Although the plural morpheme for nouns, as observed above, may manifest itself in different allomorphs it can be added, in one of its forms, to almost any noun. The only exceptions are those which do not have a plural form for semantic reasons, such as 14 a. Note that the English words vegetables and cheese, which correspond to the nouns in 14a are not, morphologically speaking, collective nouns.

      Sugar, though, is a collective noun in English, too, and cannot have a plural.