Unaccusatives and Anticausatives in German

Markus Steinbach

in The Unaccusativity Puzzle

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780199257652
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191717772 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

Unaccusatives and Anticausatives in German

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In German, anticausatives are either unaccusative or transitive reflexive. This chapter focuses on the latter, which are discussed in the context of other interpretations of transitive reflexive sentences (TRSs). In addition to the anticausative interpretation, TRSs also yield a reflexive, a middle, and an inherent-reflexive interpretation. This semantic ambiguity of TRSs is systematic and can be found in many other Indo-European languages. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 7.2 provides a brief overview of the basic properties of anticausatives and embeds reflexive anticausatives in the wider context of other TRSs. Section 7.3 argues for a different and, until now, new way of deriving TRSs. Section 7.4 turns to unaccusatives again. The final section briefly summarizes the main findings.

Keywords: German language; anticausatives; unaccusative; transitive reflexive sentences

Chapter.  11020 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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