Heterofunctional Coordination in German
Adam Przepiórkowski, Julia Łukasiewicz-Pater, Katarzyna Kuś, Bartosz Maćkiewicz
November 2023

Heterofunctional Coordination (HC), in which conjuncts bear different grammatical functions (as in English “What and when to eat to stay healthy”), is assumed to be solely multiclausal in Germanic languages, i.e., to be underlyingly a coordination of clauses. This is supposed to distinguish Germanic from Slavic, where monoclausal HC – direct coordination of surface conjuncts – is also possible. In the case of German, this multiclausality assumption has not been supported by any empirical studies. This paper offers two such studies – based on corpora and on acceptability judgement experiments – which, however, do not confirm the assumption that German HC is strictly multiclausal. In particular, numerous examples of monoclausal HC constructions may be found in German corpora, while judgement experiments show a great variability of acceptance rates of monoclausal HC in German and demonstrate that the acceptability of such constructions depends on various factors. As this variability does not seem to reflect processing effects, we conclude that a gradient (non-binary) grammaticality approach is needed to model German HC. While the focus of this paper is on deriving the right empirical generalization, we also include an appendix containing a proof-of-concept sketch of such a gradient grammaticality analysis, which builds on Minimalist Gradient Harmonic Grammar and on ideas from Linear Optimality Theory and the Decathlon Model.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007415
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: accepted to the Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics (should appear in 2024, in volume 27)
keywords: heterofunctional coordination, german, gradient grammaticality, acceptability judgement experiments, corpus linguistics, minimalist gradient harmonic grammar, linear optimality theory, decathlon model
previous versions: v1 [July 2023]
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