Project B8 (Hartmann, Kleemann-Krämer)

Grammatical status and pragmatic function of the Nachfeld


The literature offers a multitude of theories on the relation between information structure and word order in the left periphery of a sentence. The right periphery, on the contrary, has not yet been studied in detail. The project on the grammar and the pragmatics of the postverbal position seeks to fill that gap by examining the correlation between the syntactic position of a postverbal constituent and its pragmatic function in verb final languages (SOV languages). There are two aims: On the one hand the project contributes to the research on the grammar and pragmatics of the German Nachfeld, the position of certain phrases after the verb in sentence final position. On the other hand, it includes a comparative study of postverbal constituents in different SOV languages (based on results on the German Nachfeld). The plan is to look at Dutch, Turkish, Japanese and Hindi. The focus of the project is on the investigation of factors related to information structure (complexity for instance) which promote, force, or prevent the realization of postverbal constituents in SOV languages. The hypothesis to be tested is that the non-sentential prepositional, nominal, and adverbial phrases in the postverbal position (just like preverbal ones) are multifunctional and serve to structure the discourse. The research also involves the question whether the information structural interpretation influences the syntactic structure directly or whether this relation is rather indirect.

Full description 3rd phase SFB 632 / B8 (excerpt from the application) pdficon small


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