The Effect of Clause Type on Long Extraction in German

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Dokumentart: ConferenceObject
Date: 2017-08
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Allgemeine u. vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
DDC Classifikation: 400 - Language and Linguistics
430 - Germanic languages; German
Keywords: Linguistik
Other Keywords:
Long extraction
Relative clauses
Modern German
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Long extraction is the movement of a phrase over a clausal boundary. Although long extraction into embedded clauses used to be acceptable in previous stages of German, it is considered to be unacceptable in Modern German. In this paper, we first review experimental evidence from our ongoing investigation of long extraction in Modern German. We then present a new experiment which compares the acceptability of the four major types of long extraction: long topicalization, long extraction into comparative clauses, embedded wh-questions and relative clauses. In accordance with the prior literature, the results indicate that long extraction is of marginal acceptability in Modern German. Long extraction into comparative clauses was found to be most acceptable, followed by embedded wh-questions. Long extraction into relative clauses and long topicalization received the lowest acceptability ratings. Overall, the results show that long extraction into embedded clauses is no less acceptable than long extraction into main clauses. The experimental findings are corroborated by observations from a corpus study.

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