Microparameters in the verbal complex

Guido Mensching

in Parameter Theory and Linguistic Change

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659203
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745188 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics

Microparameters in the verbal complex

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This chapter investigates changes in word order in the German verbal complex. While Modern Standard German prescribes certain orders, Middle High German and some modern dialects allow word-order variation in the verbal complex. This variation is sensitive to syntagm type and to non-syntactic factors such as prosody, focus, and register. The chapter argues that changes in the verbal complex do not result from any change to the core OV parameter, as surface VO patterns are very restricted in every stage of the language. Rather, these developments result from changes to one or more micro-parameters at the periphery of the grammatical system.

Keywords: focus; micro-parameter; Middle High German; Modern German; prosody; Swiss German; verb raising; verbal complex

Chapter.  6858 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

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