Depictive agreement and the development of a depictive marker in Swiss German dialects

Claudia Bucheli Berger

in Secondary Predication and Adverbial Modification

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780199272266
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191709975 | DOI:
Depictive agreement and the development of a depictive marker in Swiss German dialects

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This chapter discusses the different morphological markers found on (adjectival) predicative complements and depictive secondary predicates in Swiss German dialects. Swiss German dialects can be subdivided into three groups based on the pattern of adjectival inflection and depictive marking that they show. The first group is one where secondary predicates and predicative complements are unmarked and are therefore not formally distinguished from adverbials, thus comparable to Standard German. The second group is one where both depictives and predicative complements demonstrate obligatory agreement with their controller, comparable to Romance and many Australian languages. The final group is one where depictives, but not predicative complements, take a marker which is restricted to this construction, a cross-linguistically rare phenomenon. This chapter also shows evidence of the emergence of a depictive marker in another dialect area, and develops the historical relation between the two phenomena.

Keywords: depictives; depictive marker; Swiss German dialects; Standard German; syntactic function; depictive secondary predicates; predicative complements

Chapter.  11040 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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