Word order constraints on event-internal modifiers
Tibor Kiss, Jutta Pieper, Alicia Börner
November 2023

There is a long-standing debate whether adverbials assume base positions in Ger-man clause structure. A major division can be drawn between analyses proposing base positions dependent on class membership, and analyses allowing free genera-tion of adverbials unless adverbials from different classes modify the same event. Based on two experimental studies on event-internal modifiers we present an analysis which rejects base positions, as well as free generation of adverbials in isolation. The results indicate that event-internal modifiers may occupy several positions in German clause structure. They are base generated but constrained by a structural condition together with linear precedence rules. Event-internal adverbials combine with a verbal projection (identifying the respective event variables) but require the identification of an additional individual variable with its reference phrase. Linear prec-edence rules apply to all event-internal adverbial types in both affirmative and priva-tive interpretation, except for one linearization constraint based on thematic roles which only applies to affirmative comitatives. The interaction of the identification re-quirement with the linear precedence constraints accounts for the diverging patterns of serializations observed with event-internal modifiers. This is version 7.0 of the paper, again revised (of course, one could argue why did not revise it in one fell swoop – that's life!). I would strongly urge every linguist who read a prior version to discard it (not because we want to boost downloads, but because the analysis now is much clearer, and better …). Most importantly, we have now added a Maximum Entropy Grammar to deal with linear precedence rules, which we take to be violable, weighted constraints.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006319
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted for publication
keywords: german, adverbial modification, event-internal adverbials, syntax-semantics interface, experimental syntax, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v6 [March 2023]
v5 [November 2022]
v4 [October 2022]
v3 [January 2022]
v2 [November 2021]
v1 [November 2021]
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