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Verbal complex phenomena in the West Central German dialects. Shannon Andrew Dubenion-Smith

Verbal complex phenomena in the West Central German dialects.

Shannon Andrew Dubenion-Smith

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ISBN : 9780549633990
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279 pages
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This dissertation is a synchronic investigation of verbal complex phenomena in the West Central German dialects. Chapter 2 provides an empirical overview of verbal complexes, divided into two parts. Part 1 reviews studies that examine the factorsMoreThis dissertation is a synchronic investigation of verbal complex phenomena in the West Central German dialects. Chapter 2 provides an empirical overview of verbal complexes, divided into two parts. Part 1 reviews studies that examine the factors that affect word order in the verbal complex, primarily in the Early New High German period, from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives. Part 2 presents word order data from a number of modern Continental and extraterritorial West Germanic varieties. Chapter 3 is an analysis of 2,578 two- and three-verb complexes in subordinate and main clauses drawn from recordings of West Central German dialects in the Zwirner Corpus. The chapter begins with a classification of these complexes, followed by a statistical analysis in which a set of factors discussed in chapter 2, namely syntagm, verbal prefix type, extraposition, focus, and dialect region, are tested on the raw data to determine their effect on word order. Chapter 4 presents the results of a questionnaire study involving 55 dialect speakers from 17 localities throughout the West Central German dialect area. The results of both a sentence-completion and a multiple-choice task reveal multiple grammatical word orders in the three two-verb and seven three-verb cluster types tested, as well as interregional, intraregional/interspeaker, and intraspeaker variation, particularly in the Hessian dialect area. Chapter 5 begins with an overview of three formal syntactic analyses of verbal complexes and the derivation of sample constructions from the Zwirner Corpus data. A multi-causal account involving grammatical, functional, and performance factors is then developed, with a close examination of the role of language processing in verbal complex formation. The chapter ends with a discussion of broader issues dealing with the speaker-hearer dichotomy as it relates to German clausal structure. Chapter 6 discusses the implications of the dissertation and further avenues for research.