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Barbara Joe Beckman

Underlying Word Order-

German as aVSO Language

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Underlying Word Order - German as a VSO Language
European University Papers
Europaische Hochschulschriften
Publications Universitaires Europeennes
German Language and Literature
Reihel Serie l
Deutsche Literatur und Germanistik
Langue et litterature allemandes
Frankfurt am Main- Bern- Cirencester/U.K.
" __ 1-. 1 __ " __ 1 _
Ddr Udr d \.JUt:::pt:::l,;l'\llldll
Underlying Word Order-
German as a VSO Language
Frankfurt am Main Bern- Cirencester/U.K.
CIP-Kurztitelaufnahme der Deutschen Bibliothek
Beckman, Barbara Joe:
Underlying word order, German as a VSO language /
Barbara Joe Beckman. - Frankfurt am Main, Bern,
Cirencester/U.K.: Lang, 1980.
(Europeische Hochschulschriften: Reihe 1,
Dt. Literatur u. Germanistik; Bd. 3221
ISBN 3-8204-6633-9
ISBN 3-8204-6633-9
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University of Washington
By Barbara Joe Beckman
Chairperson of the Supervisory
Committee: Professor Joseph B. Voyles
Department of Germanics
Acting Chairperson, Spring 1975: Professor Fredrick J, Newmeyer
Department of Linguistics
In this dissertation the underlying word order of German is
investigated. The surface structures of German sentences
indicate that there are three possible positions for the finite
verb: very generally stated, the verb can be first (in
independent clause yes-no questions and imperatives), or second
(in declarative sentences and in ~-questions, where the
sentence subject need not be the initial sentence element), or
clause-final (in dependent clauses). An optimal account of
this apparently problematical surface structure distribution
would most naturally involve choosing one order--SOV, SVO, or
VSO--as the underlying order, and deriving the other two surface
orders from this base with transformational rules. Previous
proposals for SOY and SVO bases are discussed in detail, and
derivational possibilities for a variety of T-rules from SOY,
SVO and VSO bases are presented, analyzed and compared. Although
all three base proposals contain strengths, weaknesses and
unanswered questions, it is suggested that a body of data exists
which would offer support for a (Prefield)VSO hypothesis over an
SOY or SVO hypothesis. A VSO base, together with a proposed
Prefield-shift T, appears quite capable of accounting for the
extremely diverse surface configurations of verbal and non-verbal
elements. Certainly, the VSO hypothesis offers a viable
alternative to any other proposal for underlying structure in
I would like to thank my Chairman, Professor Joseph Voyles,
for his very fine assistance and his encouragement throughout
this project. My thanks also to Professor Charles Barrack for
his careful readings and helpful suggestions. I am especially
grateful to my Acting Chairman, Professor Fritz Newmeyer of the
Linguistics Department, for his generosity of time and for his
invaluable insights, suggestions, and challenging comments.
Vielen Dank.
2. SOY ORDER....... 5
T-RULES... . . . . . . . 5
VSO BASE.................................... 20
BIERWISCH AND ESAU............................ 22
COMPLEMENTS (SOV, VSO)...................... 35
(SOV, VSO) ..... -:-................. 52
3. 64
SVO ORDER.........
AS MAIN VERBS............... . . 64
MALING........................................ 74
(SVO, SOV, VSO)............................. 77
BACH (1971)................................... 81
Chapter Page
HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS... ........... . 103
4. VSO ORDER....................... 108
MCCAWLEY. . . . . 108
PASSIVE T (SVO, SOV, VSO)..................... 109
THERE- INSERTION (VSO)......................... US
SUBJECT-RAISING (SOV, SVO, VSO)......... . 120
NEGATIVE-RAISING (SOV, SVO, VSO).............. 128
DATIVE CONSTRUCTIONS (SOV, VSO)............... 13?
Sentence-initial Element Options............ 140
Es-Insertion................................ 142
Constructions with Empty Prefields.......... 144
IMPERATIVES (SOV, VSO)........................ 146
CONCLUSION . ,. . . 148
LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED................................... 151
VITA..... . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 156
deep (underlying) structure
surface structure
subject, object, verb underlying order
subject, verb, object underlying order
verb, subject, object underlying order
underlying question marker
underlying imperative marker
underlying negating marker
transformational rule
phrase-structure rule
structural description
structural change
Chapter I
There are six theoretically possible surface structure
combinations of subject, verb and object in languages. If
Surface Structure (hereafter SS) order in itself could be
assumed to be an unequivocal basis for the underlying word
order, then the syntactic problem of determining underlying
word order would be no more difficult than a simple one-to-one
matching process. But this most certainly is not the case.
Because three orders--Object Verb Subject (OVS) , Verb Object
Subject (VOS) , and Object Subject Verb (OSV)--rarely appear in
SS, we can fairly safely disregard them as contenders for
underlying order.
The problem then centers on determining
which combination--Verb Subject Object (VSO) , Subject Verb
Object (SVO) , or Subject Object Verb (SOV)--most accurately
reflects base order for any given language.
Before word order for a specific language (German) is
examined, it is important to discuss some of the theoretical
considerations necessary in determining an underlying order.
The following are general syntactic criteria and questions that
must be taken into account:
A. One very basic point concerns the general linguistic goal
of limiting the power of a grammar. Those derivations which
accurately account for an infinite number of actually occurring
sentences and their properties must be permitted, while those
derivations which incorrectly or inadequately predict and
reflect must be eliminated. This is done, in terms of current
syntactic theory, by continually striving to constrain the
power of the transformational rules. With regard to the
word-order debates and transformational rules (hereafter
T-rules), it appears at present that it is necessary to
preserve the concept of the T-cycle, whether the orientation
is lexicalism or generative semantics. (It should be noted
that the concept of "extrinsic ordering" itself is another
area of controversy today.)
Additional, more specific criteria and questions pertaining
to T-rules and underlying structure are the following:
B. The rules must always be justified. If not, the underlying
order, no matter what that order is, cannot be valid.
C. It must be asked to what extent anyone order affects
limiting the class of possible Ts in a grammar. Could some
T-rules be eliminated as superfluous? Would more T-rules,
especially movement rules, need to be added in order to account
for various surface structures which differ from underlying
structure? Would some Ts be blocked? Also, would the need for
certain "filters" consisting of SS constraints be eliminated?
or increased?
D. It must be asked to what extent any given order will
simplify the T-rules within a grammar while accurately account-
ing for SS order. Could the number of steps or operations
involved in a particular transformation be reduced? If so,
would this simplification hold for more than one rule, thus
indicating more than an isolated occurrence or exception?
E. On a more general level, if a language X appears to have a
certain underlying structure, would other closely related
languages also have convincing evidence to support that order
themselves? And further, would there be supportive evidence on
a still larger scale for all languages which are historically
related? For example, if language X is German, then the
particular analysis may be valid for all I.E. languages. In
view of such intra-language considerations, are there any
observable general trends in element order? Specifically, do
all three orderings--SOV, SVO, and VSO--appear in different,
related languages as justifiably independent orders; or could
one ordering better be regarded as a derivation of another
underlying order?
F. Although it will not be included within the scope of this
dissertation, it should also be pointed out that in recent
years some linguists (chiefly those concerned with mathematical
linguistics) have gone even further to propose one universal
As described by Stanley Peters, the Universal Base
Hypothesis maintains that "every language is correctly
described by some transformational grammar and all languages
utilize the same base component in their grammars.,,3 But,
concludes Peters, "it appears that present transformational
theory is inadequate to test the universal base hypothesis. We
have not shown this hypothesis to be false, but simply not to be
confirmable on the basis of transformational grammar as it
stands" (p.41).
In view of the preceding general considerations, the under-
lying order of a particular language, German, will now be
investigated. The SS of German sentences indicates that there
are three different positions for the finite verb. Very
generally stated, in independent clauses the verb can be first
(as in yes-no questions and imperatives) or second (as in
declarative sentences and in questions introduced by ~-words,
which need not be the sentence subject). In dependent clauses
the finite verb appears in the third, clause-final position. An
optimal account of this apparently problematical SS distribution
of the German verb would most naturally involve choosing one
order as the underlying order and deriving the other two SS
orders from this base with T-rules.
IJoseph H. Greenberg, "Some Universals of Grammar with
Particular Reference to the Order of Meaningful Elements,"
Universals of Langua~e, ed. Joseph H. Greenberg (2d ed.;
Cambridge, Mass.: T e M.I.T. Press, 1964), p.77. Greenberg's
remarks are, however, made with regard to the surface structure
2Note that "universal base" theorists do allow the PS-rules
to generate different orders, e.g., SOY, SVO, VSO, for different
3Stanley Peters, "Why There are Many 'Universal' Bases,"
parers in Linguistics, 2, No.1 (1970), 28. Subsequent
re erences to thIs source will appear in the text.
Chapter 2
This in fact is what Bach (1962) and Bierwisch (1963) have
done. Both linguists reached the conclusion that the dependent
clause order of SOY is the underlying order for German. Bach
We have here a situation in which the order of
participles and infinitives is fixed but where
there is a contrast (not always minimal) between
the three positions of the finite verb. Unless
we wish to tr~at the three contrasting orders as
completely unrelated constructions (ignoring the
parallelism that otherwise exists and repeating
numerous rules of co-occurrence and government
several times), we must set up the verb phrase
in one order and derive the other orders from
this one by shifts of the finite verb, also
following the general technique ...of deriving
discontinuous constructions from continuous
sequences ....There is already a basic order
in which ~he verb phrase is a continuous
sequence, namely, the order of explicitly
dependent clauses.
The crucial basis for Bach's 1962 argument of SOY word
order is the "topic shift." His justification for the choice
of SOY as the base, with VSO and SVO as surface structures
resulting from optional Ts on the base, rests upon the notion
of topic-shift. Bach believes that the finite verb should be
included among those elements which may be optionally shifted
left to the front position of the sentence. On the other hand,
it "is apparently necessary to exclude shifts of infinitives and
participles ..." (p.268). His rule is stated in the following
"T1. Optional, Topic- shift:
IINP + n / .../ X [~J~IIX / NP + n / ... ['J" (p.268).
1# = sentence boundary
/ element boundary
n nominative case
Concentrating for the moment on the finite verb only as the
topic, this T-rule moves the finite verb from its dependent
clause position as the last element in the sentence, to the
leftmost or front position in the sentence. He states that
the Tl shift rule alone accounts for those [relatively rare]
sentences which, although beginning with the finite verb on the
SS, are not questions. (Refer to footnote 5, p.61.) Further,
Tl is the first necessary step in deriving most yes-no questions.
Though he does not make any' mention of it, the derivation of the
imperative would also need to begin with the finite verb topic
In continuing the derivation for yes-no interrogatives, a
second optional transformation is necessary. He labels this as:
"T2. Optional, Question:
/IX / ... / ZII~w + X / .../ Z ." (p.268).
This is actually a general interrogative T, applicable to both
yes-no and ~-questions. It inserts a question formant, ~,
together with any necessary inflections. A condition must be
placed on T2 which requires the deletion of the ~-form by a
later T, in the event that ~ is immediately followed by the
finite verb (i.e., w must be deleted for yes-no questions.)
Thus under the SOY base treatment, yes-no questions with SS VSO
order require at least three transformations: Tl, T2, and a
Tw-deletion. (Imperatives would require at least two steps:
first, Tl to front the finite verb, and second, a later trans-
formation perhaps labeled TI Optional, Command, to govern
pronoun deletion.)
To illustrate Tl and T2 for yes-no questions, consider the
derivation for the following sentence: Hat der Scheich viel
Geld? First, Tl applies:
1. T1 S.D. INP + n 1 ... 1 X [~]~ IIX I NP + n / .. [~]
S.C. I 2 3 3 I 2
sov A ~
.. 1
v 6 Geld
dALe. ~ I
I hat Ider Scheich viel
.& hat
vie1 Geld
T1: I
for T2: 1 2 3
Next, TZ applies:
T2 S.D. IX 1... 1 ZI==> ~ + X 1... 1 Z I
S.C. I Z 3 w + I Z 3
~/hatl ~ I ~
der Scheich viel Geld
~ + 1
2 3
According to the restriction Bach places on T2, because w is
now immediately followed in this sentence by the finite verb
(haben), it must later be deleted. The resulting SS will be:
Hat der Scheich viel Geld?
In addition to Tl and T2, Bach posits a third transformation
required for SOy base order. This T is the only obligatory T
and the only one to govern solely the finite verb's position.
T3 is required in cases in which the SS finite verb appears in
sentence~second position, namely, in declarative sentences and
direct suppletive questions. The rule statement follows:
(C = number & tense ending)
"T3. Obligatory, Verb second:
IIX I Y 1... 1 Z + C II~ IIX I Z + C I Y 1... 11" (p.269).
"[T3] performs a shift [of the finite V] to second position, if
and only if [this V] still remains at the end between an element
boundary and the final sentence boundary" (p.269). In deriving
declarative sentences: Tl may optionally apply to front a
non-verbal unit; whether or not the Tl option is taken, T3 must
obligatorily apply.
To illustrate Tl and T3, consider derivations for the
following two declarative sentences: 2a. Der Scheich hat viel
Geld, and 2b. Viel Geld hat der Scheich.
2a. In sentence 2a., Tl option for a non-verbal unit is
not taken
T2 does not apply
T3 must obligatorily apply
T3 S.D. IIX I Y 1... 1 Z + C II~ IIX I Z + C I Y I ... II
S.C. I 2 3 4 I 4 2 3 91
.>: <,
NP ~
de~eich I V I NP
4 2 3 I ~
viel Geld
viel Geld
1 2 31 4 1
Resulting .SS Der Scheich hat ~iel Geld.
2b. In sentence 2b., Tl optio~ for a non-verbal unit is
T2 does not apply
T3 must obligatorily apply
Tl T3
-====> NP NP NP V NP V NP
,6 .6. 6
hat hat
I viel der viel der
Scheich viel hat Geld Scheich Geld Scheich
T3 1 2 31 4 1 1 1 1 4 1 2
Resulting SS s Viel Geld hat der Scheich.
In deriving direct suppletive, or ~-questions, all three
of Bach's transformations are applied: first, if the sentence
subject itself is not to be questioned, Tl fronts a non-verbal
element; ~ is then affixed to the initial sentence element by
T2, with unspecified intermediary transformations later needed
to produce the appropriate interrogative form; finally, T3
will obligatorily insert the finite verb in sentence-second
posi tion.
Consider derivations of the following two ~-word inter-
rogatives: 3a. Wer hat viel Geld? and 3b. Was hat der
3a. In 3a., Tl option is not taken
T2 applies--w is added to the initial
nominative NP
w + nom. (person) = wer
T3 must-obligatorily apply
~ T2 ~
A ===> NP
NP V ~
NP V wer hat
I !!. + (der
Scheich viel hat Scheich) viel hat viel
Geld Geld
1 I 2 3 T2: w+l
3 I I 1 I 4 I 2
for T3:
2 4
Resulting SS = Wer hat viel Geld?
In 3b., Tl option for a non-verbal unit is taken
T2 applies--w + accusative NP (thing) = was
T3 must obligatorily apply
6 ~ hlt
viel der
Scheich hat Geld Scheich
for T2: 1 2 I 3
T2 ----r---_
+~el 6 I hlt
II Geld) der
V Scheich
T2.r+-l I 2 I 3
for T3 1 2 4
1 4
Resulting SS Was hat der Scheich?
In summary, using three ordered I-rules, two optional and
one obligatory, Bach feels he is able to account for the SS
order of declarative, yes-no and ~-interrogative (and by
analogy, imperative) sentence types. The following chart com-
piles the derivations found in the preceding paragraphs:
Declaratives Tl optional shift of non-verbal element.
T3 obligatory shift of finIte V. (pp.S-9)
yes-no Questions
Tl shifts a non-verbal element if NP + n
not the element to be questioned.
T2 w + shifted non-verbal element or
NP + n.
T3 obligatory shift of finite V. (pp.9-10)
Tl must shift finite V.
T2 w + finite verb.
T w- deletion. (pp.7-S)
[Imperatives Tl must shift finite V.
TI governs pronoun deletion.] (p. 7) ]
However, I would question the choice of an SOY underlying order
and his three T-rules which result from this order for the
following reasons:
First. there appears to be a problem with the domain and
function of Tl, the Topic-shift Rule. Bach maintains "we find
that a simpler solution can be achieved and several details
accounted for if we make our rules for shifts and questions
general enough to include the finite verb as a possible element
to be shifted and combined with a question-forming symbol"
(p.267). But in "making the rules for shifts general enough
to include the finite verb," he is actually inaccurately
attempting with one T-rule to account for movement from two
quite diverse sources.
The first type of movement is non-verbal. It is found in
declarative statements and, for an SOY base, involves the
optional shifting of a noun or pronoun object (conjunction is
permitted), a prepositional phrase, or an adverb to the initial
d~clarative sentence position. This fronted element serves as
the topic or "contact unit," providing known information or
new information of minor importance. Such fronting in declara-
tive sentences occurs with great frequency in German. In fact,
assuming an SOY base as Bach does, most declaratives begin with
a fronted element and not with the sentence subject.
Once an
element is fronted, it remains in this position throughout the
derivation. The finite verb is eventually inserted to
immediately follow it under Bach's obligatory T3. It should be
stressed that the Topic-shift T for non-verbal elements in
declarative statements is an optional transformation, and does
not result obligatorily from any kind of "Shift" marker
generated by the Phrase Structure (hereafter PS) Rules.
In addition to this first type of optional movement
involving Topic-shifts of non-verbal elements in declarative
sentences, Bach also wishes to include the shifts of verbal
elements under Tl's domain. Note, however, that the shifting
of the finite verb to the sentence-initial position stems from
a very different set of circumstances--namely, the derivation of
yes-no interrogatives (and also, imperatives).5 Given an SOY
base, and assuming that there are Q-markers generated by the
PS-rules (though Bach makes no mention of a Q-morpheme in this
article), there are actually two possible derivational routes
for yes-no interrogatives. The relatively uncommon derivation
results in an interrogative sentence with surface SVO order. A
separate discussion of this sentence type will follow shortly,
since it appears to be impossible to derive given Bach's T-rules
and w-deletion condition. For this less commonly used deriva-
tion of yes-no questions, Tl has no bearing on finite verb
movement. Conversely, for the yes-no interrogative most
frequently used, a shift of the finite verb to the initial
sentence position is obligatory. The resulting SS order is
VSO, with a rising intonational pattern, e.g., Bleibt sie bis
Freitag? The finite verb in such interrogative sentences is not
and cannot be construed to be a contact unit, and certainly not
an optional contact unit.
Although it might seem advantageous to formulate only one
fronting transformation to govern movement of both verbal and
non-verbal elements, an inclusion of the finite verb with the
non-verbal fronted elements fails to reflect the unique,
unrelated sources for obligatory verb movement and optional
contact unit movement. The attempt to account for verbal
(interrogative, and similarly, imperative) and non-verbal
(declarative contact unit) shifts with one common T-rule
necessitates too great an expansion of the Topic-shift T's
domain. Bach's Tl appears to be based on an inaccurate gener-
alization. The use of the bracketed symbols [~ ] in Bach; s rule
formulation attests to a problem of overgeneralization. Recall
that Tl is stated: "T1. Optional, Topic-shift. *NP + n
/../ X [~J~* X / NP + n / ... [~J." Bach has tried to
formulate this rule such that X can be either a finite verb or
a non-verbal unit. If X is a finite verb, then the rule must
always be written: * NP + n 1... 1 X !~ * X I NP + n I ... !.
(Emphasis mine.) This follows since Bach has chosen an SOY
base and has stipulated that underlying verbal order is like
that of surface dependent clauses, with the finite verb as the
last verbal element. Conversely, if ! is a non-verbal unit,
the rule must be written with! followed by the element boundary
symbol L: * NP + n 1 .. 1 X L==>' X I NP + n I .. L. (Emphasis
again mine.) The rule formulation for "!=finite verb" presents
no problem. The formulation of the rule when "X-non-verbal
unit," however, is inadequate when dealing with declarative
sentences. Certainly in such cases TI as it stands does not
account for the underlying clause-final finite verb. or for
infinitives or participles which may be present. Also. there
are many instances in which this rule formulation for non-verbal
XS will strand other non-verbal elements located in the base to
the right of ! (adverbs. prepositional phrases or direct
objects. for example). The following sentences provide illus-
4a. X z a finite verb (ist)
When TI is applied to X finite verb. the formal
statement of the rule Is sufficient to account
for all base elements in the sentence:
1st sein Bruder nie in Hsterreich gewesen?
SOY S..t
.6 .6
sein "nie in
Bruder Osterreich
1 I 2
'r A Phrase ,
is L_l /\ gewesen
sein ~
ruder nie in
3 1 2
b. X non-verbal element (adverb nie)
When Tl is applied to x non-vernal element, ~he
formal rule statement Is inadequate to account for
all the base elements. In the sample sentence,
"Nie ist sein Bruder in Bsterreich gewesen," the
finite verb (ist), the past participle (~ewesen),
and the preposItional phrase (in BsterreIch) are
stranded by the rule's formal structural descrip-
in Osterreich gewesen ist
. *Tl
1 2 3 ?
c. !. non-verbal element (indirect object, dem Jungen)
When Tl is applied to X non-verbal element, the
formal statement is inadequate to account for the
finite verb (gab) and the direct object (einen
Ball). The sentence used here is one of ~s
owrleleven sentences given to "illustrate some
of the facts of order that a German syntax must
account for" (p.26S). "6. (Ein Mann sah einen
Jungen.) Oem Jungen gab er einen Ball" (p.26S).
" Ieinen I einen
Junaen Ball
2 3 ?
The only instance in which all possible underlying
elements to the right of ! will be accounted for by Tl is when
!. finite verb, i.e., when we are dealing with normal yes-no
interrogative or, by analogy, imperative sentence types. These
are the only sentence types for which the finite verb must be
shifted. It can further be argued that the shift of the finite
verb alone is generated mandatorily by the presence of a marker
in the PS-rules (a Q-marker or Imp-marker). There are no such
corresponding markers which generate shifts of non-verbal
topic-shift elements, such as objects, adverbs or prepositional
phrases. These conditions, when viewed together, suggest that
the finite verb is and must be treated as being distinct from
all other topic-shift elements.
A second reason for questioning Bach's T-rules and SOY
order involves the previously mentioned declarative-like yes-no
interrogatives. Such sentences contain features from both the
declarative and normal yes-no interrogative sentences. The
surface order is declarative SVO, while the rising intonational
pattern is identical with surface VSO yes-no questions. To
illustrate the interrelationships, compare the following three
Yes-no Questions Bleibt sie bis Freitag?
SS VSO order
Yes-no Questions Sie bleibt bis Freitag?
SS SVO order
Declaratives Sie bleibt bis Freitag.
SS SVO order
For the derivation of declarative-like interrogatives, Bach
provides only the following information: "(topic-shift of zero
with application of question rule) ." (pp.268-69). Clearly,
at least four steps are required. Tl shifts 0; T2 inserts ~;
T3 obligatorily moves the finite verb into sentence-second
position; ~ is deleted and, Bach maintains, with the same rule
a rising intonational pattern is established. These steps can
be diagramed as follows:
I) Tl moves 0 S 0
v~ 0
S 0 V
2) TZ inserts w
S 0 v..=::} (~ + 0) S 0 v
3) T3 moves
finite verb (~ + 0) S 0 v~ (~ + 0) v S 0
4) Tw-deletion
O~ * V
S 0
The problem becomes evide~t--ordering the ~-deletion transforma-
tion after T3 results in surface VSO order, and not the desired
SVO order.
S. e.g., The above four ordered rules will be applied
to try to derive the declarative-like inter-
rogative, "Sie bleibt bis Freitag?"
. sie PP ,
sie ,
.6 bleibt
2 for T2: 1
.!!:+f i f I <:
sie PP j
.6 bleibt
hlelbt s~e .6
for T3: 1
I 3 I 4
his Fr
2 T3: I 1 4 2 3
=:::} V NP"l.p
I I ./\
bleibt sie ~
bis Fr.
Rather than the desired SS SVO sentence, "Sie bleibt bis
Freitag?", the SS VSO sentence *"Bleibt sie bis Freitag?" is
Unfortunately, reordering the rules will not eliminate the
problem, as illustrated here:
T2:1 w+l
for T3: 1
I) T1 moves 0
o S 0 V7
s 0 V~
2) TZ inserts w
3) Tw-deletion
o S 0 V ~ (~+ 0) S 0 V
* (~ + 0) S 0 V ~ * (~ + 0) S 0 V
At this point, we would like to apply the w-deletion
T in order to obtain the sequence SOY. Then, T3
would apply obligatorily as the fourth step, and
the desired SVO surface order would result. Instead,
Tw-deletion is blocked and T3 produces an unacceptable
4) 13 * (~ + 0) S 0 V ~ * (~ + 0) V S 0
6. e.g., Consider again the declarative-like inter-
rogative, "Sie bleibt bis Freitag?"
his his
Freitas Freitag
for T2: I 1 2 3
~ ~-deletion
sie PP ,
Tw-deletion is blocked.
The envirolllllent must he
"w + finite V." Here,
it is "(!!+III)S."
2 3
I 4
... "
'1'3 --~
~I~ ( ~INIP~I P
bleiht sie ..6.
bis Freitag
4 2 1 3
Rather than the desired SS SVO sentence, "Sie bleibt bis
Freitag?", the unacceptable string ."~ bleibt sie bis Freitag?"
is produced. Clearly, T~-deletion in step 3 is blocked. The
sequence (~ + 0)SOV does not meet Bach's condition on
w-deletion. "It is also assumed that a later rule will delete
a w followed immediately by the finite verb and provide
f2l~lf intonation or the like for yes-no questions" (p.268).
In this case the ~ in step 3 is not followed by the finite verb
and thus cannot be deleted. This fact in turn causes T3 to
move the finite verb to the left of the subject and not to the
desired position at the right of the subject for a
declarative-liKe interrogative. The w-deletion condition
itself cannot be altered to accommodate this special case of
interrogative since any alteration would destroy the condition's
primary function of separating normal yes-no questions from
~-questions. Bach proposed that: "[this special detail--the
declarative-like yes-no question--has] been provided for by
making the original rules more general, a fact which would tend
to support the correctness of the analysis" (p.269). In fact,
the preceding derivations refute this conclusion.
A third main basis for questioning Bach's treatment of SOY
order specifically concerns the number and type of rules and
steps involved in his derivations for w- and the common yes-no
interrogatives. (See further discussions of direct and indirect
interrogatives, pp.S2-60;82-l02.) It will be proposed in this
study that by choosing another base order, namely VSO, deriva-
tions are possible which more accurately capture generaliza-
tions in the German grammar. Bach's Topic-shift transformation
and multi-step question derivations, as well as various other
derivations, can thus be replaced, without ill effect.
A detailed analysis of VSO with regard to specific trans-
formations will be found throughout the following sections,
particularly Chapter 4. For the present, it should be noted
that the underlying order of the verbal elements with a VSO
base will be assumed to be the order found in surface dependent
clauses--i.e., participles or infinitives are followed by the
finite verbal units. (With compound tenses, the verbal parts
must at some time be separated by late T-rules.) In addition,
it is perhaps helpful and necessary at this point to introduce
and briefly discuss the concept of the "prefield" as it pertains
to the VSo hypothesis, and also to Bach's notion of the
The prefield, as defined by Lederer in the Reference
Grammar of the German Language (based on Schulz-Griesbach), is
an optional surface sentence unit which comes directly before
the finite verb and functions as a contact unit to preceding
sentences. (pp.48l, 573) He notes that many kinds of sentence
units may occupy the prefield, but one and only one unit is
permitted per sentence. (p.482) For example, anyone of the
following units may be moved to the prefield of a given
sentence: a prepositional phrase, a noun or pronoun subject
or object (nouns and/or pronouns either singular or conjoined),
an adverb (including phrases such as gestern um vier Uhr which
though compound, answer only one question, here "wann?"), a
dependent clause, or even nicht (when it functions as a part
of the prefield unit as in nicht immer).
There is a noticeable similarity between Bach's "topic"
and the concept of a prefield which may contain a variety of
elements. The important difference is that in Lederer's treat-
ment, the verb is not included among the "shiftable" elements.
Taking the concept of the prefield to the base level, the
implication is that the verb is providing a stable framework
rather than being forced to serve a rather questionable double
role as a framework element and yet at the same time a shifting
element. It is interesting in view of the proposed VSO ordering
with its underlying prefield, to refer back to an observation
of Bach's concerning "the fact that shifts of the other elements
to front sentence position occur only in verb-second and
verb-last clauses, not--or at least not with the same freedom--
in yes-no questions" (Bach, 1962, p.268). He intended this
statement as support for his SOY proposal. However, I suggest
that this lack of shifting freedom when the verb occurs first
can perhaps better be explained by and is thus supportive of an
underlying VSO order. If indeed the underlying order is main-
tained on the SS, we need not expect element movement, whereas
when "freer" element movement is noted on the SS, it is actually
surface evidence of various optional transformations to the
underlying form.
A year after Bach's article appeared, Bierwisch in his
detailed study of the German verb
reached similar conclusions
regarding SOY as the base order, with the DS verbal elements
themselves ordered as in dependent clauses (that is, the finite
verb as the very last sentence element):
Da auch im Formationsteil den auftretenden Elementen
eine bestimmte Reihenfolge zugeordnet wird, ergibt
sich die Notwendigkeit, da6 wir eine Reihenfolge der
Elemente fUr grundlegend ansehen mUssen, da6 wir
also eine Endkette ableiten, aus der die Ubrigen
Satze durch Permutationen hervorgehen. Diese
Endkette mu6 vor allem die Bedingung erfUllen, da6
sie die syntaktischen Beziehungen mHglichst einfach
darstellt, die Auffassungen der Sprecher Uber die
ZusammengehHrigkeit der Elemente plausibel expliziert
und da6 die Transformationen, die dann auf sie
angewendet werden mUssen, in mSglichst einfacher und
allgemeiner For~ formuliert werden kSnnen ....Im
Deutschen werden die Bedingungen, die wir eben fUr
die Endstufe der Ableitung im Formationsteil
aufgestellt haben, weitgehend von der Reihenfolge
erfUllt, die im Nebensatz gegeben ist. (p.34)
A decade later, Esau cited and incorporated several of
Bierwisch' main observations as evidence in his own analysis
of German as an SOY language.
Perhaps the most nebulous
"evidence" offered by Bierwisch and Esau deals with the
"psychological reality of the V-final pattern as the dominant
pattern in German" (Esau, p.23). Bierwisch writes:
Sodann gilt die Tatsache, da6 das Verb den anderen
Gliedern folgt, nicht nur im Nebensatz, sondern
auch bei den Infinitivkonstruktionen, etwa der
Versuch, im Haus einen neuen Leiter zu find~ und
sogar bei der rein lexikalischen Nennung von
VClbalkunsiruktionen: va6 man bei Aussagen tiber
die Rektionen des Verbs stets sagen wUrde jemandem
etwas geben, nicht aber geben jemandem etwas,
zeigt, wie sehr die Nebensatzstellung 6eim
natUrlichen Sprechen als grundlegend angesehen
wird. (p.3s)
Further arguments proposed by Bierwisch and Esau deal more
directly with structural evidence within complete sentences
rather than with "intuitions of our natural speech." One such
observation is that SS separable prefixes are always found at
the end of the independent clause and never found in
sentence-initial or sentence-second position. Esau maintains
that an SOY base facilitates the simplest derivation of this
SS order. (pp. 22-2~ The prefix of a separable prefix verb
remains "fixed" at the end of the independent clause, and the
finite verb alone is fronted according to his general
verb-fronting transformation. Thus, in accounting for the SS
separation of the finite verb and prefix, any special movement
rules would be superfluous. A probable derivation for his
sample sentence would be:
7. "Wir ziehen morgen nachmittag um" (p.22).
morgen nachmittag um + ziehen
11 verb-fronting transformation
The separable prefix verbs are a subclass of German verbs,
and it certainly is desirable to try to derive these verbs in
the most economical way possible--most likely by adding a
restriction to the basic verb-movement rules for the language,
rather than by positing a separate particle-movement transforma-
tion. Esau suggests that this is best accomplished by using an
SOY base. "The simplest description of verbs with separable
prefixes is possible if the finite verb is generated in
sentence-final position" (p.22). However, it is also possible
to formulate an argument for using a VSO base in treating
separable prefix verbs. It appears that a VSO approach would,
at the least, share with Esau's SOY approach the "advantage" of
not requiring an additional special transformation for particle
movement. (A condition on the existing verb-separation T would
be required for a VSO base, specifying that the particle be
treated as all other non-finite verbal units, e.g., participles
and infinitives, are treated.) In addition, a VSO approach
could in some respects enable more adequate explanations of
certain manifestations of separable prefix verb movement.
Under an SOy treatment the prefix remains in its original
DS position and appears on the SS as a remnant of the initial
underlying verb position. Since the finite verb is moved
regardless of the presence of a prefix or other non-finite
verbal units, Esau states that the SS separation of finite verb
and prefix (in simple tense sentences) is achieved "at no
additional cost." The same basic principle is evident in a
VSO treatment. Here, the particle moves, and it is the finite
verb that remains in a stable position, forming the first prong
of the verbal framework. A general transformation is needed to
shift all non-finite verbal units to the right-hand limit of
the independent clause. The separable prefix, by definition a
stressed verbal particle, can easily be included in the class of
shiftable verbal units. (Note that separable "prefixes" are
actually free morphemes, in contrast to true, or inseparable
prefixes, which are always bound morphemes with no meaning of
their own. Because 'of this distinction, the term "separable
particle" is sometimes preferred to "separable prefix.")
Esau is concerned in his article with separable prefixes
alone. Actually, though, the separable prefix verbs are only
one type of element within the broader category of "separable
compound verbs." The distinguishing feature of such compound
verbs is the fact that the modifier, or verb complement, and the
verb stem are directly adjoined only in dependent clauses, and in
the infinitive and present participle forms for independent
clauses. In all other instances for simple tenses, the finite
verb stem serves as the initial SS verbal prong, and the verb
complement forms the rightmost or final prong. With the past
participle, an infix ~ separates the complement and stem.
There are three main classes of elements that function in this
way as verbal complements: (1) primarily, simple separable
prefixes or particles of adverbial origin (~kommen); (2) adjec-
tives which are no longer independent words (loslassen), or
which serve only an intensifying or limiting function (voll-
fUhlen), or which modify only the action of the verb (hochheben);
(3) nouns which are no longer independent words (achtgeben), or
are compound nouns from which the verbs have been derived
(radfahren).lO Adverbs (~urUckgehen) and other verbs (sitzen-
bleiben) may also serve in separable verb compounds. All of
these diverse verbal complements carry stress and demonstrate the
same movement characteristics--given a VSO base, in independent
clauses these modifiers are all forced to the right-hand limit of
the clause, a movement identical to that of the non-finite verbal
elements. With a VSO base the finite verb would remain as an
underlying frame element; and the inherent semantic and syntacti-
cal relationships between the finite verb and the separable verb
complement, which functions as the predicate's second prong,
would be underscored. In contrast, with an SOY base no struc-
tural distinction. between an adverb and a separable verbal
complement is possible on the base level. Consider, for example,
the following sentence pairs. The pattern for the SS of all four
sentences is SVX. The verbs in sentences 1) and 1') are not
separable compound verbs; X is an adverb. The verbs in sentences
2) and 2') are separable compound verbs; X is a separable
complement. Only with a VSO base is a formal distinction
evident in the underlying structure, as illustrated below:
la) " (8cl;;ll) l'a) er
fahrt er !Jclmell schnell fahrt
b) er fllhrt I schnell b) er f~hrt schnell
Prefield-shift Tl
Se2arable Particles:
fahrt er er fahrt
b) er los fllhrt b) er fllhrt los
__ __. _._ ..___ J
Prefie1d-shift Tl
c) er
fllhrt los
"" V-separating T
In discussing various types of "unfeste Zusammensetzungen,"
Duden accepts Hans Glinz's differentiation between the dependent
Verbzusatz and the independent Satzg1ied.
Der nichtverbale Tei1 ist entweder aus einer
Umstandsangabe oder aus einem Objekt hervorgegangen.
[Ein Adjektiv oder ein Substantiv kann aber auch a1s
Verbzusatz in einer unfesten Zusammensetzung
erscheinen (p.373).] Man nennt ihn Verbzusatz.
Wenn er yom Verb getrennt ist, stehen wir vo'r einem
GefUge aus einem Verb und dem nichtverba1en Teil.
Der Verbzusatz ist nicht als Satzglied geprUgt,
sondern er modifiziert nur den Ablauf des vom Verb
bezeichneten Geschehens, er tHnt das Geschehen
sozusagen abo Beide Teile des GefUges sind also
auch bei r~um1icher Trennung eine Einheit, sie
wirken wie die G1ieder einer festen Zusammensetzung.
(Duden, p.370)
In theory the distinction between these two element types
for any given particle or appropriate adjective or noun should
be rather straightforward. Practically speaking, though, in
contemporary German the distinction is sometimes unclear, if
not impossible, since the categories often overlap. A VSO base
might, however, aid in clarifying the deep level differences
between a separable Verbzusatz and an independent sentence unit
where a definite distinction is possible. An example is the use
of zusammen in the sentence "Wir kommen am Samstag zusammen."
The sentence is ambiguous. It can mean either (1) "We are
getting together on Saturday," here, zusammen is a Verbzusatz,
or separable modifier, or (2) "We are coming together (Le., with
each other) on Saturday." Here, zusammen is a Satzglied, or
independent sentence unit. With a VSO base, the two underlying
structures would be more clearly discernible.
VSO 1)
[zus~en] kommen wir am Freitag ~
Verb-separating T
2) .of' kommen wir. am Freitag zusammen
SOY 1)
wir 1am Freitag zusammen [koTen]
2) wir am Freitag
zusammen [kommen]
The distinction would remain clearer with a VSO base even when
the separable compound verb is no longer the finite verb:
10. VSO 1) "Wir wollen am Freitag zusammenkOllllllen."
~ [~l!'!~~~~ _,~~~~1_ !.?~!~~ __~~r
am Freitag
V-separaUng T
2) "Wir wollen am Freitag zusammen kommen."
-t.- ..--- __[~~[~~l ~~!!!~ _!,!r
am Freitag zusammen
V-separating T
SOY 1) wir
am Freitag zusammen kommen [wollen]
2) wir
am Freitag zusammen kommen [wollen)
(With any base, it will be necessary to conjoin the verbal com-
plement to the stem or infix + stem on the surface level when
the infinitive, present participle, or past participle forms are
A final phenomenon concerning verbs with separable comple-
ments should be mentioned. Duden terms this phenomenon the
"Wiederbelebung des Verbzusatzes als Satzglied" (p.37l). In
poetic and also in contemporary colloquial German, we occasion-
ally find examples of separable particles which are disjoined
from the finite verb and placed, for emphasis, in the
sentence-initial rather than in the expected sentence-final
position. Examples from everyday speech include: "Fest steht,
das ... ,It "Auf fallt, da s ... ,""Hinzu kommt, da s .... " (Duden
Grammatik, p.37l) These examples from colloquial German will
be further discussed on p.l44 in conjunction with a proposed
analysis for the surface es in daa-clauses. A well-known
example from the literary realm is Meyer's "Auf steigt der
Strahl ...." The derivation of such independent clauses would
be tortuous from an SOY base:
SOV First, Tl would apply.
auf steigt
Second, a special subject-verb
inversion for non-interrogative
and non-imperative sentences
would be needed.
Strahl steigt auf
Third, another special rule would
be necessary to move the prefix
before the fInite verb.
steigt Strahl auf
Resulting SS: "Auf steigt der Strahl"
A VSO base could account for this illustrative example without
any additional T-rules by moving auf into the prefield. This
prefield-shift could be justified on the grounds that the
Verbzusatz auf does indeed appear to be transformed into an
independent Satzglied.
12. VSO Prefie~d-shift T: Prefield V S
auf steigt der Strahl
Resulting SS: "Auf steist der Strahl"
In another quite different argument Bach, Bierwisch and
Esau propose that, in their opinion, the underlying position
of negating (and for Bierwisch affirming) elements provides a
further indication of SOY base order. Bierwisch writes:
Eine besondere Rolle innerhalb der nichtverbalen
Elemente spielen die Negation und die Affirmations-
partikeln wie doch, bestimmt [nicht] usw. Wenn sie
zum ganzen Satz gehHren und nicnr-zu einem einzelnen
Glied, dann haben sie einen festen Platz vor dem
Glied, das am engsten zum Verb gehSrt, n~mlich vor
der Richtungsangabe, bestimmten Ortsangaben, dem
Pr~dikatsnomen bei KOp'ulas~tzen und einigen anderen
VerbergUnzungen. Unmdglich wUren demnach bei normaler
(s) *Ich habe das Rad in den Schuppen nicht gestellt.
*Dein Freund ist der Schuldige bestimmt.
*Klaus hat auf der Wiese nicht gelegen.
Die Normalform, von der wir ausgehen mUssen, ergibt
sich, wenn man nicht oder bestimmt jeweils vor das
vorangehende ~atzglied stellt.
Wenn wir die Uberlegungen zusammenfassen, die wir
angestellt haben, so IMst sich die Grundform, von
der wir ausgehen werden, in groSen ZUgen durch
folgende allgemeine Form darstellen:
(t) SG
SGm-1 ... SG2 Pv SGI V HVI ... HVn SGl ~is SG
~ie nichtverbalen Gleider,
HVl U&~ nVn ale mbgllchen Hllfsverben, V das Hauptverb
und Pv die Negations- und Affirmationselemente. Die
Indizes geben in gewissem Sinn die syntaktische NHhe
zum Verb an. (p.36)
Esau concurs with Bierwisch and also with Bach: "The only
piece of evidence listed by Bach which actually supports his
proposal is the placement of 'nicht and other negatives at the
end of the clause (but before any final verbal element)'
(1962:267)." (Esau, p.2l) Esau then presents his own statement
concerning the "negative-verb" relationship and underlying word.
order. "But if it is true that negatives start out in preverbal
position and their place in the sentence is best stated with
reference to the verb--as is also assumed by Bierwisch--the
generation of the finite verb in sentence-final position
[i.e., SOY] is the only plausible solution" (pp.21-22). Negation
in German is a difficult area, and a simple solution would be
indeed welcomed, but such an extension of the SS element order
of negating (or affirming) elements as clear evidence of SOY
underlying sentence structure is questionable. There may in
fact be other ways of accounting for the same phenomenon with a
different base.
With regard to Negation, it is assumed that for any base
the PS-rules of the grammar may optionally generate a
Negative-Marker. If a Negative-Marker is generated, a
Negative-Placement T (hereafter Neg.-Placement T) is obligatory.
In English, the negating element most always follows the modal,
have, or be, so that a rule statement for Neg.-Placement is
relatively straightforward. In German, however, there are
numerous possible locations for the negating element nicht, or
kein where appropriate.
Very generally speaking, when an individual element is to be
negated, nicht is placed to immediately precede that element.
(A construction with sondern often follows, e.g., Sie geht
nicht sofort nach Hause, sondern in die Stadt.) When nicht
negates the entire sentence, it generally functions like an
adverb of manner, i.e., it follows the subject, finite verb,
objects and adverbs of time, but it precedes adverbs of place,
other verbal complements, and any non-finite verbal units
present, including separable particles. With any base, the rule
formulation will be rather involved, for it must account for a
great degree of negating-element movement flexibility. The
following sentences represent a variety of possible locations
for nicht. The examples are all found in Lederer, Reference
Grammar, pp.S78-79, 585.
Der Lehrer gab dem SchUler das Buch nicht.
Gestern fand das Symphoniekonzert nicnr-statt.
Faule Kinder werden nicht gelobt. -----
Er dankt seinem Vater n1cht fUr das Geschenk.
Bist du nicht mit dem Autobus in die Schule gekommen?
Er hat meInen Brief nicht an die Universit~t
weitergeschickt. -----
Hans geht heute abend nicht ins Kino.
Ich fahre n~chsten Sommer nicht mit meinen Eltern
nach Europa.
Ich bin im letzten Jahr nicht krank gewesen .
... , daa es ihm der Lehrer-nTcht gegeben hat .
... , daa er seinen Freund n~darum bat. (Emphases
Lederer's.) -----
With an SOY base, Neg.-Placement will either leave the
nicht in its original pre-verbal position, according to Esau's
analysis, or will move it to the left in simple sentences. With
SVO and VSO bases, Neg.-Placement will move nicht to the right
in simple sentences. It might prove helpful to order
Neg.-Placement after the VSO Prefield-shift T to facilitate
the derivation of indefinite nouns which follow the finite
verb. In such cases the sequences *(nicht + ein or 0 + NP)
or *(ein or 0 + NP + nicht) are not permitted, assuming there
is normal emphasis. A declined form o( kein + NP appears
13. e.g., 1) Geld habe icb nicht.
2) *Ich babe Geld nicbt. or *Ieb habe nicht Geld.
3) Icb babe kein Geld.
1) Geld babe ich nicht.
[Neg] V NP NP
habe ich Geld
1st: Prefield-shift T
[Neg] NP V NP
Geld babe ieh
2d: Neg.-Placement T
NP V NP nieht
Geld habe ich
3) Ieb babe kein Geld.
[Neg] V NP NP
habe ich Geld
1st: Prefield-sbift T
[Neg] NP V NP
icb habe Geld
2d: Neg.-Placement T
ich habe nicht + Geld
kein Geld
If Esau's analysis of an original preverbal position for
the negative marker is accepted, then certainly there will be
many sentence derivations in which the negative need not move.
S 0 [Neg] V
This observation is apparently the basis for his conclusion,
cited above, that: "if it is true that negatives start out in
preverbal position and their place in the sentence is best
stated with reference to the verb ...the generation of the finite
verb in sentence-final position [i.e., an SOY base] is the only
plausible solution" (pp.21-22). He maintains that the
Neg.-Marker directly precedes the verb in the underlying
structure, rather than preceding the entire sentence.
[Neg] V
Note, though, that with a VSO base, the underlying relationships
of the Neg.-Marker to the verb as well as to the sentence as a
whole are preserved.
The assertion that an SOY base offers one valid solution to
the problem of Negation and German word order may well be true,
but the assertion that it offers the "only plausible solution"
is questionable. It seems reasonable to conclude that Negation
in German affords no strongly conclusive support or refutation
of anyone base proposal.
As additional evidence for SOY order, Esau cites the
special contiguous relationships of directional or place
complements to the verb:
(II) If the verb is generated in final position
it is possible to explain why directional and place
complements can be topicalized together with the
associated verb as one element:
(14) Nach Hause gehen will er noch nicht.
(15) 1m Haus bleiben solI er ruhig.
If the directional or place complements were not
contiguous to the verb in the underlying structure
the topicalization process would be much more
complicated. (pp.23-24)
His observation does have validity, but again, contiguousness
in itself is not conclusive evidence that another base order,
namely VSO, and other transformations could not equally well
account for the same SS. It will be helpful briefly to present
and contrast two possible general derivations of the topicaliza-
tion to which Esau refers, one derivation using an SOY base,
and the second using a VSO base.
Unfortunately, Esau does not include a derivation. How-
ever, based on his other comments and examples (pp.29-30 in his
article), at least three transformations would probably be
needed under an SOy treatment to account for his sentences:
"Nach Hause gehen will er noch nicht," and "1m Hause bleiben
solI er ruhig" (p.23). First, his finite-verb fronting trans-
formation. TI, shifts the modal:
Tl "SD: X KP
Z Fin
I 3 2
where Z is either the main verb or the rightmost
item under Mod.
KP = Case Phrase
X -;Complementizer or relativizer" (p. 29).
Thus I) er
noch nicht nach Hause gehen [will]
ruhig im Haus bleiben [soll]
Then, secondly, a special new topicalization transformation,
perhaps labeled TTC, is needed to join and shift the final
complement plus the infinitive to the sentence-front position:
2)t er
will noch nicht [nach Hause + gehen]
t er soll
ruhig [im Haus + bleiben]
Finally, a subject-verb inversion transformation must reposition
the finite modal:
3) nach Hause gehen e~l noch nicht
Resulting SS: Nach Hause gehen will er noch nicht.
im Haus bleiben
ek.5.11 ruhig
1m Haus bleiben solI er ruhig. Resulting SS:
Under a VSO treatment, in contrast, only one transformation
would be necessary. This transformation could actually be an
extension of the general prefield-shift T, therefore eliminating
the need for an additional transformation, TTC' whose range of
application would be quite limited. Using VSO as the base, the
final complement of location or direction is moved to the
prefield position. (With both SOY and VSO it must be assumed
that the adverbs have already been ordered according to the
rule of "time, manner, place". Thus the prepositional
expression of place or direction will always be the last or
rightmost verbal complement, i.e., the complement that is
shifted. )
1) Prefield V 5
gehen will er noch nicht [nach Hause]
Prefield:"shift T
Resulting 55: Mach Hause gehen will er noch nicht.
bleiben solI er ruhig [im Haus]
Prefield-shift T
Resulting 55: 1m Haus bleiben solI er ruhig.
Note that McCawley's precedent of omitting Verb Phrase (VP)
constituents is followed here.
The separate elements are now in the desired SS order: direc-
tional or place complement, infinitive, finite modal, subject,
(adverb). It might be argued, however, that although the SS
order is correct, the VSO-based derivation fails adequately to
capture the notion that the complement of place or direction
(nach Hause; im Haus) , and the related infinitive (gehen;
bleiben) are conjoined to form one unique topicalized unit
enact Hause gehen; im Haus bleiben) in which the infinitive has
lost its independent function as a non-finite verbal unit.
This problem might be satisfactorily alleviated through the use
of a constraint on the general obligatory transformation that
separates the parts of compound verbs in independent clauses.
Since only the finite verb may occupy the initial "verbal slot"
of a given sentence, we would expect any non-finite verbs
(infinitives, participles) in an independent clause to be moved
to the end of the clause by a late verb-separating transforma-
tion. But in the particular case in which a location or
directional complement has been shifted into the prefield and
is followed by an associated infinitive and by a finite modal,
a constraint could apply which would block the normal
verb-separating transformation, thus preventing the shift of
the complement-associated infinitive to the end of the main
It appears that even this constraint, though, may .ctually
be unnecessary with a VSO base. The finite verbal "slot" is
inflexible--it can be occupied by only one kind of grammatical
element, the finite verb. The prefield, however, can accom-
modate several elements of various grammatical origins if all
the elements function together to answer one and only one
question. Thus, the infinitive (gehen; bleiben) could be con-
joined to the complement (nach Hause; im Haus) to form one unit
(nach Hause gehen; im Haus bleiben), answering the question
"was?" as in "Was will er noch nicht?" "Nach Hause gehen will er
noch nicht," or "Was solI er (tun)?" "1m Haus bleiben solI er
ruhig." Through fusion of the left-most infinitive to the
prefield in such topicalized sentences, that infinitive loses
its identity as an independent verbal unit, and we can eliminate
the need for any constraint on the general verb-separating T.
Further support for this conclusion is afforded by examples
using the perfect tense. When a location or directional
complement occurs in the prefield, the associated infinitive
will not shift, yet the modal will separate normally under the
verb-separating T. Consider the derivation for the sentence:
"Nach Hause gehen hat er noch nicht gewollt."
1) Prefield Shift of complement:
.Y. S
gehen wollen hat er noch nicht [nach Hause]
Prefield-shift T
2) Complement & related infinitive conjoined:
[nach Hause + gehen] wollen hat er noch nicht
3) Normal verb-separation T moves modal:
nach Hause gahen [wollen] hat
er noch nicht
V-separating T
4) nach Hause gehen hat er noch nicht gewollt
Resulting SS: Nach Hause gehen hat er noch nicht gewollt.
Both of Esau's illustrative topicalized sentences can be
paraphrased by non-topicalized sentences: "Nach Hause gehen
wilI er noch nicht," and itEr will noch nicht nach Hause gehen."
"1m Hause bleiben sol1 er ruhig," and "Er solI ruhig im Hause
bleiben." The presence of the complement+infinitive in the
non-topicalized sentences makes these sentences ambiguous.
"Er will noch nicht nach Hause gehen,H can answer either the
question "was?" or "wohin?" "Er solI ruhig im Hause bleiben,"
can answer either "wa s ?" or "we?":
"Er will noch nicht nach Hause gehen."
"Er soII ruhig im Haus bleiben."
answer "was?": "Was will er (tun or machen)?"
"Was soll er (tun or machen)?"
or "wo(hin)?": "Wohin will er noch nicht gehen?"
"Wo solI er ruhig bleiben?"
Clearly, if the two sentences are topicalized using a VSO base,
we must expect one question to be blocked, since the prefield
restriction prohibits a prefield unit from serving more than
one function, i.e., from answering more than one question. We
find that this is in fact the case. The topicalized complements
lose their role as directional or place complements answering
the question "wo(hin)?" The ambiguity of the non-topicalized
sentences is eliminated with the fusion of the prefield
complement to the infinitive, for now only the desired question
"was?" can be answered. In effect, a general restriction on
the VSO prefield has correctly accounted for the special
contiguous relationship of directional or place complements
and their related infinitives.
"Nach Hause gehen will er noch nicht."
"1m Hause bleiben soll er ruhig."
answer only "was?": "Was will er noch nicht (tun or machen)?"
"Was solI er (tun or machen)?"
not "wo(hin)?":*"Wohin will er noch nicht gehen?"
*"Wo soIl er ruhig bleiben?"
In conclusion, for these representative examples of topicaliza-
tion of place and directional complements, it appears that a VSO
base would offer a viable derivational alternative to Esau's SOY
proposal. Rather than adding a special T-rule to the grammar,
as would be necessary under an SOY treatment, a VSO treatment
would rely on existing general rules with one new condition.
In the final section of his paper Esau includes "Unresolved
Questions" "to be understood as guidelines for further
research ...." One problem of specific interest is his question:
"Why is the verb-fronting-transformation applicable to main
clauses only, thus causing a split of the word order pattern?"
(p.37). He then notes that, in contrast to the relatively free
movement of elements other than the verb in main clauses,
element movement in dependent clauses is limited. The hypothesis
he proposes is that "there exists another force [the
"subordinate-clause-unifying-force" as he calls it] which
prevents the [verb] fronting transformation from being general-
ized" (p.38). He continues:
Notice that German has basically two subordinate
clause patterns: (1) clauses introduced by sub-
ordinating conjunctions such as dass, which require
a finite verb form and (2) clauses-]oined to the
matrix sentence by zu and related complementizers
where there is no finite verb form present. The
verb-fronting transformation, if it were to apply
to subordinate clauses, would be limited to those
clauses where a finite verb form is actually present.
This in turn would cause a split in the subordinate
clause pattern, some clauses fronting the final verbal
element and others leaving it where it is.
It is not implausible to assume an interaction
of these two forces in such a way that the language,
in order to prevent a split in its subordinate
clause pattern, disallows the generalization of the
verb-fronting transformation within subordinate
clauses altogether. Since these forces are not
static and moreover in continuous interaction with
many other processes in the grammar, it is not at
all unlikely that at a given time in German too,
the transformation-generalizing force will win out
over the subordinate-clause-unifying force. (p.38)
His point is interesting. However, the basis for this
theory, namely the distinction he makes between two types of
subordinate clauses, should be examined more closely. The
first clause pattern Esau has identified encompasses a much
larger group of clauses than he indicates, and his second
"basic" clause pattern actually consists of only one very
special type of dependent clause.
German grammar distinguishes between two main types of
subordinate clauses. "True" dependent clauses, or Gliedslltze.
function as complete sentence units. Clauses which function to
modify an element in the main (or another embedded) clause are
termed "attributive clauses." Comparing these labels with
Esau's two basic clause patterns, his Type 1 clauses would be
classified as Gliedsatze and his Type 2 clauses would be
classified as "attributive clauses." Gliedsatze (and Esau's
Type 1 clauses) have clause-final finite verbs, subjects, and
may also optionally have any other sentence units found in
independent clauses. In fact, the only distinguishing struc-
tural differences between this type of subordinate clause and
an independent clause are the presence of a connecting element
(i.e., subordinating conjunction) and the special order for the
finite and other verb forms. Although "attributive" clauses
differ from Gliedsatze in their sentence function, structurally
they are very similar to the "true" clauses. Like Gliedsatze,
the two major types of attributive clauses--relative and
indirect interrogative--also contain clause-final finite verbs,
subjects, and optionally any other sentence units found in
independent clauses. Just as the subordinating conjunctions
serve as connecting elements for the Gliedsatze, relative
pronouns or adverbs introduce relative attributive clauses, and
interrogative pronouns or adverbs introduce indirect interroga-
tive attributive clauses. It must be concluded that the
predominant pattern for all subordinate clauses, whether "true"
or "attributive," includes at least a subject and a clause-final
finite verb.
Esau's Type 2, or infinitive, clauses, when viewed from the
proper perspective of all subordinate clauses, form a small,
exceptional subset; and it seems incorrect to label this subset
as the "second basic subordinate clause pattern." Infinitive
clauses (termed "infinitive phrases" in English) function
as complements and are set apart from other attributive
clauses, from Gliedsatze, and certainly from main clauses by
two major structural differences--infinitive clauses have
neither surface subjects nor finite verbs. (This also holds
by definition for participial clauses.) Infinitive clauses
are composed of: first, the prepositions um, statt and ohne
where necessary, as determined by the matrix sentence; next,
other optional sentence elements (e.g., objects, prepositional
phrases) with the exclusion of a subject; and finally, the verb
form "zu + infinitive" or "past participle + zu + infinitive"
(e.g., "Sie kommen spater, um uns zu helfen.").
Thus, in contrast to all other subordinate clauses,
infinitive clauses are extremely restricted in their general
composition and element order. The derivational process for
infinitive clauses is markedlY different from that of other
subordinate clauses, and therefore it appears improbable that
this small, unique subset could be responsible for creating a
"split" in the general subordinate clause pattern as Esau
proposes. Consequently, the basis for his SOY theory of a
"subordinate-clause-unifying-force" to account for non-fronted
finite verbs is questionable.
VSO order, on the other hand, does seem to offer a viable
counter-proposal to Esau's "conflicting-forces" hypothesis.
First, his remarks and examples (pp.37-38 in his article) on
the ease of topicalization in independent clauses would follow
quite readily from the VSO base and the prefield-shift concept
for the main clause. Only one transformation--the
Prefield-shift T--is necessary to account for all. of his
following sentences:
(SO) Die Lehrerin gibt dem SchUler das Buch fUr
seine Mutter.
(51) Dem SchUler gibt die Lehrerin das Buch fUr
seine Mutter.
(52) Das Buch gibt die Lehrerin dem SchUler fUr
seine Mutter.
(53) FUr seine Mutter gibt die Lehrerin dem SchUler
das Buch. (p.38)
With a VSO base these four variations could be derived in the
following way:
gibt die L. dem S. das B. fUr seine M.
(SO) die L. gibt
dem S. das B. fUr seine M.
(51) dem S. gibt die L. das B. fUr seine M.
(52) das B. gibt die L. dem S. fUr seine M.
(53) fU~seine gibt die L. dem S. das B.
die L.
U~JIl 5.
das B.
seine M.
die Lehrerin
dem Schuler
das Buch
seine Mutter
Furthermore, the movement-rigidity of elements that Esau
observes in the dependent clause, together with the blockage
of the finite-verb-fronting rule, can adequately and more
simply be accounted for with a VSO base. The presence of a
connecting element (e.g., subordinate conjunction, etc.) in the
VSO clause base would trigger a condition on the general final
verb-separating transformation which would shift all the verbal
elements, including the finite verb, to the end of the clause.
Since the underlying verb order will be assumed to be like the
dependent clause surface order--the past participle or infini-
tive first, followed by the finite verb--no further movement
among the verbal elements themselves would be needed. (The
exception for any base would be the double infinitive construc-
tion for perfect modals and a small class of other verbs. For
example, " ...daB sie hat kommen wollen," .....daB sie ihn hat
kommen sehen.") It could be specified that once such a
dependent clause verb shift occurs, any further shifts within
the clause are blocked. Indeed, if the connecting element
is treated as a prefield element in the dependent clause, it
would follow logically that no other fronting transformations
could occur in the clause, since the clause pre field would be
and must remain occupied by the connecting element.
connecting elements include those interrogatives preceded by a
preposition. )
With regard to the positioning of dependent clauses it is
often the case with those clauses introduced by subordinating
conjunctions that the entire clause will be moved to the main
clause prefield. When this occurs, the main clause finite verb
simply remains in its base position. For example:
Main Clause Prefield I V S
DaB die Sonne morgen scheint, hotfen wlr aIle.
Or, the entire dependent clause may be moved to sentence-final
position, and some other element shifted into the main clause
prefield. Here, the Prefield-shift T is applied to the main
clause subject:
Main Clause I
Prefield V
Wlr hoften I aIle, daB die Sonne morgen scheint.
Relative and indirect interrogative clauses, because of their
attributive nature, may be positioned after nouns throughout
the derivation, causing the late verb-separating rule with its
condition for dependent clauses to move the entire ordered
verbal unit to the rightmost dependent clause position. That
the shift of the dependent clause verb(s) is contingent upon
the retention of a connecting element in the dependent prefield
can be demonstrated by examining two special cases.
The first concerns the wenn-clause in conditional sentences
(i.e., wenn-dann constructions). In the following two repre-
sentative sentences the connecting element wenn is carried
through to the S5.
IS. la) Wenn er Geld hat, fahrt er nach Kreta.
Main Clause Prefield
Prefield V S a
v s
wenn hat
er Geld!
fahrt er nach Kreta
V-separating T w/condition
In the dependent clause the presence of the connecting
element wenn signals_the application of the V-separating
T's dependent clause condition. The entire dependent
verbal unit (here, simply a finite verb) is shifted.
The main clause verb does not move.
Resulting SS: Wenn er Geld hat, fahrt er nach Kreta.
b) Wenn er Geld gehabt hatte, w~re er nach Kreta gefahren.
Main Clause Prefield
Prefield V S 0
Geld j [i~fahreffi
er nach Kreta
l' I
ware I
V-separating T w/condition V-separating T
In the dependent clause, the presence of the connecting
element wenn again signals the application of the
V-separatlng T's dependent clause condition. The entire
verbal unit (here, past participle + auxiliary) is
In the main clause, the normal V-separating T shifts
only the past participle.
Resulting SS: Wenn er Geld gehabt h~tte, w~re er
nach Kreta gefahren.
Often, however, the connecting link wenn is deleted from
sentence-initial wenn-clauses. Consider the following
counterparts to la) and b):
Za) Hat er Geld, (dannj fahrt er nach Kreta.
Main Clause Prefield i V S
Preheld V S a
hat Geld
nach Kreta
ranrt er
hat er Geld flihrt er nach Kreta
In the dependent clause, the connecting element wenn is
optionally deleted, and the condition on the V-separation
T does not apply (A dann may be optionally inserted.)
There is no finite vern-movement in either clause.
Resulting SS: Hat er Geld, fahrt er nach Kreta.
b) H~tte er Geld gehabt, (dann) ware er nach Kreta
Main Clause Prefield I V S
Prefield V S a
wenn gehabt h~tte er Geld gefahren w~re er nach Kreta
~ gehabt hatte er Geld " ""
" "
[gehabt]h~tte er Geld [gefahren]w~re er nach Kreta
I ~ L___
V-separating T V-separating T
In the dependent clause, the connecting element is
deleted, and the condition on the V-separating T does
not apply.
Normal V-separation occurs in the dependent and main
Resulting SS: H~tte er Geld gehabt, w~re er nach Kreta
In summary, in sentences la) and b) the connecting element wenn
fills the dependent prefield throughout the derivation. When
it is time for the discontinuous-verb-placement rule to apply,
the dependent clause prefield is first checked to see if a
connecting link is present. If it is, the entire verbal unit
is shifted to the end of that clause. In contrast, for
sentences Za) and b), an optional rule, ordered before the
verb-separating T, is applied which deletes the particular
connecting link wenn in sentence-initial wenn-clauses.
Once wenn is removed, the condition on the
discontinuous-verb-placement transformation no longer applies.
But the general verb-separating transformation does indeed
apply, and the resulting verbal order is like that for
independent clauses. It would need to be further specified
.. "
that once the wenn is deleted, the prefield is permanently
closed to other clause elements. This stipulation is necessary
to prevent ungrammatical surface structures such as *Er hat
Geld, dann fahrt er nach Kreta," in which the wenn clause
subject er was moved into the empty prefield.
A second special case involving verb order and the
presence or absence of connecting elements concerns
sentence-final dependent clauses of indirect discourse
introduced by the complementizer daB. Standard German permits
the following constructions:
la) Sie sag ten uns, daB sie nachste Woche k~men.
b) Sie sagten uns, daB sie nachste Woche kommen wurden.
2a) Sie sag ten uns, sie k~men n~chste Woche.
b) 5ie sagten uns, sie wUrden nllchste Woche kommen.
Short VSO derivations tor these four sentences follow:
Prefield-shift T
sie sagten uns
k~men sie n~chste Woche
["] "
~men sie nachste woche~
V-separating T w/condition
SS: Sie sagten uns, daB sie nachste Woche kamen.
b)1sagten[siel]uns I
Prefield-shift II
aie sagten uns, daB
kommen ~rden sie nachste Woche
[kOmmjn wUrden]s!e nHchste Woche 'i'
V-separating T w/condition
SS: Sie sagten una, da~ sie nachste Woche kommen wGrden.
In la) and b) the complementizer daB is inserted. The
connecting-element condition on the verb-separating T is met,
and those non-finite verbal units present plus the finite verb
itself are shifted to the end of the dependent clause.
Prefield-shift T
k~men [sLe ] n:ichste Woche
Prefield-shift T
SS: Sie sagten uns, sie kHmen n~chste Woche.
b)t sagten [sie,]uns
Prefield-shift T Prefield-shift T
sie sag ten uns
kommen wllrden[sieln~chste Woche
sie [kommen]~rden
nachste Woche l'
normal V-separating T
SS: Sie sagten uns, sie wUrden n:ichste Woche kommen.
In 2a) and b) the conjunction daB is not inserted. Note that
the empty prefield of the daB-clause must be filled, usually by
the dependent subject (e.g., Sie sagten uns, sie kamen n~chste
Woche, not *Sie sagten uns, k~men sie nachste Woche).16 Because
of the absence of daB, the connecting-element condition does
not apply, and the final verb-separating T shifts only the
non-finite verbal units to the end of the dependent clause, just
as it does for the independent clause.
A third type of sentence construction with the daB
complementizer is also possible for German. This construction
involves a sentence-initial daB-clause. The entire clause may
function either as a sentence object, as is the case with an
example previously given on p.46, or the clause'may function
as the sentence subject.
daB-clause as sentence subject:
~a) (Es ist hochst wahrscheinlich, da~ sie nachs~e Wocne
. ,
t<.UUIW~U. J
b) I Main Clause Prefield (-S) I v I
DaB sie nachste Woche kommen, i;t hHchst wahrscheinlich.
daa-clause as object:
4a) (Wir hoffen aIle, daB die Sonne morgen scheint.)
b) I Main Clause Prefield (-0) I vis
DaB die Sonne morgen scheint, hoffen wir aIle
In 3b) and 4b) the entire daB-clause is shifted to the main
clause prefield, and the main clause finite verb appears on
the surface in its original base position. Note that in
contrast to the indirect discourse examples 2a) and 2b) above,
in sentence- ini t i aL das+cLaus es the da s must be inserted and
present on the SS.
The type of "deleted-complementizer" construction found in
2a) and b) is further illustrated by the German linguist Reis:
Er glaubt, er w~re krank.
Er wUnschte, er w~re in Rom.
Ich mSchte ihn davon abbringen zu glauben,
aIle anderen leute h~tten keine probleme.
Ich sehe, da ist noch viel zu tun.
Es kommt mir so vor, als w~ren aIle hierzulande
verrUckt. [In e) the original complementizer is
the compound als ob. Als in this compound
has no word-order-governTng function. The
presence (or deletion) of ob alone determines
dependent (or independent)-Clause word order.]"
Reis believes that sentence constructions like those in her (IS)
"(l8) a)
provide special evidence for an SOY base:
(lS) zeigt, daB beim fehlen von erganzern jede finite
verb-form unabh~ngig vom satztyp in zweitstellung
rtickt....Finitheit, und filr nebens~tze dazu das fehlen
von erganzern, sind notwendige bedingungen fUr die
zweitstellung [i.e., with an SOY base] des verbs. Diese
bedingungen sind in der neuformulierung von verb-zweit
[-stellungsregel] bereits automatisch berUcksichtigt;
in die formulierung von verb-end [-stellungs-regel,
i.e., with an SVO base] kHnnten sie jedoch nur ad-hoc
eingebracht werden. (pp.3l0-l1)
She specifically considers as "ad hoc" the necessity of
moving both finite and non-finite verbs, as well as separable
particles, with an SVO or by implication, VSO base. She main-
tains "daB sprachintern gesehen verb-end [--SVO--] falsch und
verb-zweit [--SOV--] richtig ist....[denn] verb-end betrifft
keine natUrliche klasse .." (p.310). However, her claim that
SOY should be preferred over SVO (or VSO by implication) on the
basis of SVO verbal movement appears to be too strong and over-
simplified when viewed from the perspective of all independent
and dependent clause types which must be generated, together
with the many movement variations and restrictions for
non-verbal movement, as discussed above in conjunction with
Esau's hypothesis.
It would be, for example, more difficult with an SOY base,
under Esau's or Reis's theory, than witha VSO base to derive
complex sentences with initial dependent clauses, or to derive
the general dependent clause verbal order found in the expanded
Type 1 clauses. At this point it is proposed that using
movement arguments basic to VSO order, Reis's SOY dependent
clause argument could be challenged, and Esau's question on
finite verb placement could be simplified without having to
draw up a problematical new "conflicting/unifying forces"
The final topic to be considered in this section is the
formulation of interrogatives. There are two main interrogative
sen.tencetypes in German: yes-no questions or Entscheidungs-
fragen (also called "alternative questions"), and ~-word
questions or Erganzungsfragen (also called "informational
questions"). The structural relationship of these two sentence
types poses a problem in need of further study, as noted by
Es mua schlieBlich noch darauf hingewiesen werden,
daa nicht aIle Annahmen, die in unsere Beschreibung
eingegangen sind, gleich gut motiviert sind. Wahrend
mir z.B. die Endstellung des Verbs oder die Nachstellung
der PrHpositionen durch zahlreiche Eigenschaften
begrUndet zu sein scheinen und mit ziemlicher Sicherheit
als RegularitHten einer hBheren oder abstrakteren Ebene
der deutschen Sprache anzusehen sind, ist die
Reihenfolge SG + W und SG + R, die die Grundlage fUr
die Frage-und Relativpronomen bilden,18 nur durch eine
Tatsache motiviert: Es ergibt sich durch diese Annahme
die einfache MHglichkeit, ErgHnzungsfragen ohne besondere
Regel einzufUhren, indem sie durch die ohnehin notwendige
Regel (T9) von den Entscheidungsfragen getrennt werden.
Diese LBsung fUhrt zu keinerlei WidersprUchen mit der
Intuition, da das Element W nicht mit dem Anfangsphonem
der meisten Fragepronomina identifiziert werden darf.
[His meaning unclear on this point.] Andererseits gibt
es auch keine weiteren intuitiven BegrUndungen fUr diese
LHsung. Da aber auch die Frage noch weiter untersucht
werden mua, ob im Deutschen Entscheidungsfragen und
Erganzungsfragen Uberhaupt so enge strukturelle
Verwandtschaft haben, daa sie abhHngig voneinander
erzeugt werden sollten, kann sich ergeben, daa fUr
das gesamte Problem eine ganz andere LHsung denkbar
ist. (pp.119-20)
Elsewhere in his study Bierwisch has set down certain
general transformations with specific conditions to govern the
two main kinds of interrogatives. A summary of these rules
(T9) is the rather detailed rule of "Satzglied--
Umstellung." (p.103) In effect (T9)is responsible for
forming interrogative adverbs and pronouns, and for separating
yes-no from ~-questions. "Zugleich werden durch die folgende
Transformation [T9] Erganzungsfragen von Entscheidungsfragen
unterschieden: wird ein Satzglied vor das Element W gestellt,
so wird es sp~ter mit diesem zum Fragepronomen vereinigt, wird
kein Satzglied vor W gestellt, so crgibt sich eine
Ja-Nein-Frage. Das fUr die Erg~nzungsfragen Gesagte gilt auch
fUr die Relativslltze" (p.l03). We find then that both types
of questions are derived from the same basic rule. This is
perhaps more evident from his general rule (T16)
"Verb--Umstellung--Hauptsatz." (pp.lll-lZ) (Tl6) actualIy
covers declaratives and imperatives as well as interrogatives.
(T16) SB:
(.Imp j
, X, /Y + Ps)
SV: xi xz X3 ~ xi X3 Xz
wobei: X; I + Z Y; L / U
Xl; leere Kette, wenn Xz = Hl +
+ HZ
L,U,Hl , HZ
beliebige Ketten (p.lll)
[SB = "Strukturbeschreibung" (English S.D. = Structural
SV = "Strukturveranderung" (English S.C. = Structural
Nach der Anwendung von (T16) erhalten wir folgende
II SG / v + Fin + X II [declaratives]
II SG + W / v + Fin + X II [w-questions]
H W / v + Fin + X H [yes-no questions]
H Imp / v + M3 + Ps + X II [imperatives]. (p.lIZ)
Finally, one more transformation is needed for ~-questions.
This rule, (Tl7), is an obligatory morphophonemic T: "(Tl7)
#I W / X H -4 #I X ? H (p.llZ), where "?" is an intonation
In contrast to the detailed nature of Bierwisch's inter-
rogative transformations, Bach's 196Z question-formation rules
are quite succinctly stated. Yet even though the linguistic
statements differ, both of these SOY approaches are based on
the theory of one common source for the two interrogative
sentence types. Bach writes: "In other words, both ~-questions
and yes-no question~ are produced by the same optional trans-
formation [TZ]" (p.Z68). Because specific details of his
treatment have been previously discussed in this dissertation
(refer to pp.6-Z0), only a summary of the main points is given
here. To derive ~-questions the first step, if the subject
NP + n is not to be questioned, is the fronting of a non-verbal
element under the Topic-shift Transformation, Tl. 1Z then
inserts the question-formant ~ before the fronted element, and
eventually the correct interrogative is produced. Finally, T3
obligatorily inserts the finite verb into sentence-second
To derive yes-no questions, Tl first moves the finite
verb to the left into sentence-initial position. Next TZ
inserts a w before the finite verb. The resulting sequence,
w + finite verb, is not permitted, and a third transformation
is thus needed in order to delete the w. As noted earlier,
Bach's condition on w-deletion improperly blocks the
derivation of declarative-like yas-no questions.
Using the same SOY base, Esau has reduced the number of
steps needed to derive yes-no, declarative-like, and ~-questions
by introducing a general finite verb movement rule. This rule,
Tl, is an obligatory verb-shifting transformation that moves
the finite verb to sentence-second position. Tl is the
required initial step in deriving all interrogatives, as well
as declaratives and imperatives. For those sentences contain-
ing a question (or by analogy, an imperative) marker, Esau's
derivation begins with Tl, followed by an optional
subject-finite verb inversion rule. The inversion transfor-
mation is necessary in producing most yes-no interrogatives.
However, he feels that the rule must remain optional in order
to account for those interrogative (and imperative) sentences
which have SS declarative order but interrogative (imperative)
pitch. By first shifting the verb to the second position, and
then optionally inverting the subject and finite verb, Esau has
found a means of deriving the majority of yes-no questions with
two transformations. Further, he is able to avoid Bach's
dilemma with declarative-like yes-no questions.
A crucial problem arises, though, in Esau's formulation
of ~-questions. He states only that, "we can account for
~-questions by introducing into the subject-verb inversion
transformation a condition such as (X ~ w-word)" (p.30).
[subj.] -
(Brackets are Esau's.) This condition will successfully block
the inversion of the finite verb with an interrogative adverb
or pronoun. For example, using his sentence #27, the ~-word
condition would presumably function in the following way:
17. 1) "(2i) Gehen Sie morgen ins Kino?" (p.30).
a) S V
Q Sie
morgen ins Kino gehen
b) Q Sie gehen morgen ins Kino
s-v Inversion
The Question-Inversion applies here since
the inversion condition (X ~ w-word)
is met. [subj.] -
SS: Gehen Sie morgen ins Kino?
2) Wer geht morgen ins Kino?
a) Q wer 1t morgen ins Kino
Q wer geht morgen ins Kino
Here, X - w-word and the inversion
condition is not met.
SS: Wer geht morgen ins Kino?
In the preceding example the ~-word condition functioned
effectively. However, his notation X is confusing for it
implies that when X is a ~-word, it is the sentence subject.
Although in some instances this is true (e.g., Wer kommt da?
Was ist das?), ~-words need not be sentence subjects. This
holds for those w-words that are interrogative adverbs of time,
manner, place and cause; are ~-forms plus prepositions; or are
interrogative pronouns in any case but the nominative (e.g.,
Wann gehen 5ie ins Kino? Warum gehen Sie morgen ins Kino? Mit
wem gehen Sie morgen ins Kino? Was sehen Sie morgen im Kino?)
Since these w-words do generally occur in sentences which also
contain SS subjects, the derivation and structural function of
the question words under Esau's theory is unclear. Thus while
his SOY treatment of interrogative sentences is adequate for
yes-no questions, it is not sufficient to account for most
informational questions.
It appears that the problems of verb fronting and ~-word
deletion/insertion that are encountered in deriving interroga-
tive sentences from an SOY base could be avoided or at least
mitigated by using a VSO approach. For all interrogative
sentences, regardless of the base, some kind of question marker
(Q-marker) must be present in the underlying form. Using a VSO
base the Q-marker might be positioned immediately before the
verb. If no one underlying sentence element is questioned, the
underlying sentence structure as a whole need not undergo any
word-order changes. In such cases the question being asked is
not specifying some particular piece of information in the
response, but is instead leaving the response open to "alterna-
tive" yes-no answers. The sentence Q-marker's primary function
for these yes-no questions will be to assure the proper rising
intonational pattern that distinguishes this type of interroga-
tive sentence. Generally, the finite verb will retain its DS
position on the SS, i.e., will be the initial sentence element.
In a few instances, though, another element will be moved to
the prefield and precede the finite verb. As long as these
elements remain "unquestioned" and are not converted into the
corresponding ~-words, the yes-no intonation rules will still
apply, although the SS word order appears to be that of
declarative sentences. The following examples illustrate the
basic yes-no question sentence pattern, together with the
"declarative order" interrogative.
Prefield V S
flihrt sie nach Kiel
Q 0
fahrt sie nach Kiel
ss: Fahrt sie nach Kiel?
sie fahrt I
nach Kiel
Prefield-shift T
Sie is not converted to the w-word wer.
SS: Sie fahrt nach Kiel?
If, on the other hand, a particular underlying sentence
element is questioned, the Q-marker first converts this
informational element into the properly corresponding ~-word
or phrase. Then the ~-form is moved to the sentence prefield.
That the w-word is indeed shifted to the prefield from the
internal sentence position of its related non-interrogative
sentence unit is illustrated in the following diagram:
fahrt (sie)
wer Q-nom.
(morgen) (mit dem Zug) (nach Kiel)
Q- Q- Q-
~---------------time manner place
~ ~ad~v~. a~d.v. adv.
Wer fahrt morgen mit dem Zug nach Kiel?
Wann fHhrt sie mit dem Zug nach Kiel?
Wie f~hrt sie morgen nach Kiel?
Wohin fahrt sie morgen mit dem Zug?
It is sometimes possible to have more than one w-word in a
sentence. In such cases the prefield can be occupied by one
~-word only, and the remaining ~-word(s) retain their normal
position within the sentence field.
20. Wer fahrt morgen wohin?
Q-formation T: fahrt
tadverb o~
+PN place
wer wohin
shift T: wer fiihrt morgen wohin
Applying the prefield concept to ~-questions alleviates
the problem, found in Esau's theory, of the sentence subject
and ~-word both vying for a position in front of the finite
verb. Another advantage of applying the pre field concept to
informational questions concerns the relationship between
sentence intonation and sentence structure. Both declarative
and ~-question sentences have occupied prefields, followed by
the finite verb, and both of these sentence types share the
same intonational pattern--a pattern markedly different from
that of the yes-no interrogatives, whose prefield is most
commonly empty.
lEmmon Bach, "The Order of Elements in a Transformational
Grammar of German," Language, 38, No.3 (1962), 266 .. Subsequent
references to this source will appear in the text.
2Note that when Tl is applied to a non-verbal unit, X, the
S.D. of the rule is inadequate to properly account for the
finite verb and any other verbal and/or non-verbal units
located to the right of X. Refer to pp.9; 13-16.
3Refer to footnote 2 above.
5Bach--without considering imperatives--feels there are
two types of s en t enc es which r esu l t fr(lIii the Lup i c sh i f t or the
finite verb: (1) yes-no interrogatives with surface structure
VSO order, and (2) " ...those sentences which begin with a
finite verb but are not questions (topic-shift of finite verb,
but without application of question rule) ..." (p.268). Unfor-
tunately, he provides no examples or further clarification for
this second type of verb-initial sentence. He may be referring
to constructions such as: "War das eine Hetze!" "1st es auch
dunkel, wir ... ," "Klime er doch!" (Duden, pp.632-33), "Waren es
doch schon viele Jahre ... ," (Lederer, p.479). These sentences
are examples of Emphatic-Declaratives, Conditional Clauses or
wishes with deleted wenn. The initial finite V could presumably
directly reflect thelUnOerlying verbal position, rather than
resulting from Tl.
6Refer to footnote 2 above.
7Refer to footnote 2 above.
8Manfred Bierwisch, "Grammatik des deutschen Verbs,"
Studia Grammatica, Vol. 2, 3d ed., (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag,
1966). Subsequent references to this source will appear in
the text.
9Helmut Esau, "Order of Elements in the German Verb
Constellation," Linguistics, 98 (15 Feb. 1973), 20-40. Sub-
sequent references to this source will appear in the text.
10Der GroBe Duden: Grammatik der deutschen Gegenwarts-
sprache, Vol. 4, ed. von der Dudenredaktion unter Leitung von
Paul Grebe (2d rev. & enl. ed.; Mannheim: Bibliographisches
Institute, 1966), pp.37l-73. Subsequent references to this
source will appear in the text.
llMcCawley ("English as a VSO Language," Language, 46,
No.2 (1970), 286-99) maintains that a Negative-Raising T does
support the correctness of a VSO hypothesis for English, but
his analysis appears to be inaccurate. See pp.128-32 of the
l2McCawley (1970), pp.297-98.
l3Note that the modal forms its past tense regularly in
these examples, but that the non-topicalized paraphrases must
use double infinitive construction, e.g., "Er hat noch nicht
nach Hause gehen wollen."
1) Prefield Shift of subject:
Pre field V
gehen wollen hat
noch nicht nach Hause
2) Normal verb-separation T:
er [gehen wollen]hat
noch nicht nach Hauset
Resulting SS: Er hat noch nicht nach Hause gehen wollen.
l4Vater V'Zur Tiefenstruktur deutscher Nominalphrasen,"
Vorschlage fur eine strukturale Grammatik des Deutschen,
Vol. l46, Wege der Forschung, ed. Hugo Steger, (1967, rev. rpt.;
Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1970), pp.12l-
49) notes that "intensifying" particles or adverbs may precede
the daB without any effect on clause-word order. Such intensi-
fying-elements include gerade, nur, allein, bloB, etc. He
provides these illustrations: --- ----
(28) (i) DaB er gekommen ist, freut mich.
(ii) Gerade daB er gekommen ist, freut mich.
(iii) Nur das es regnet, lirgert mich. (p.136)
In fact, such intensifiers may be found throughout the sentence
(and prefield):
(32) (i)
Das Buch, das am meisten verlangt wird, wurde
Ausgerechnet das Buch, das am meisten verlangt
wird, wurde gestohlen.
Nur das Buch, das am meisten verlangt wird,
wurde gestohlen. (p.137)
lSNote that the wenn-deletion transformation can apply
only to sentence-initial wenn-clauses, and not to those preceded
by a dann-clause. The following sentences demonstrate this:
Wenn sie bald kommt, kSnnen wir gehen.
Kommt sie bald, dann kHnnen wir gehen.
Wir kSnnen gehen, wenn sie bald kommt.
*Wir kHnnen gehen, kommt sie bald.
Also note that when wenn is not deleted, dann rarely
appears on the SS. But in-tne instances in whrcn-wenn is
deleted, dann (or so) usually is found on the surface. Dann
is positioned before the independent finite verb and functlons
as a coordinating conjunction in that it has no effect on
clause word order.
Kommt sie bald, dann kSnnen wir gehen.
*Kommt sie bald, dann wir gehen kBnnen.
16(\t-hDl"r &lI1AmA>nt-c: .... h"ulTh a .... A c:nmc1-;mAc +,..11"'..1;1"\ ho
..... _ _ .. ---_ _.. _ , - --0 .. ' _ .. - oJ __ __ - _
prefield of such clauses. A prepositional phrase has been
shifted to fill the dependent clause prefield in the sentence:
"Ich habe immer geglaubt, auf den Autobahn kann man fahren, so
schnell man will." (Example taken from Glaettli and
Backenstoss. German Review. Van Nostrand, 1971, p.13.)
l7Marga Reis, "Syntaktische Hauptsatz-Privilegien und
das Problem der deutschen Wortstellung," Zeitschrift fUr
Germanistische Linyuistik, 2 (1974), 310. Subsequent references
to this source wil appear in the text.
l8"FUr die folgende Transformation und splitere Gelegen-
heiten wollen wir folgende Konvention einfUhren: Wir fassen
aIle Nomi mit i = 0, 1, 2, 3 sowie die Adverbialbestimmungen
Adv, Ag, Loc, Mod und Temp zu Konstituenten einer Klasse
zusammen, die wir mit SG symbolisieren" (p.l03).
Chapter 3
Whereas Bach, Bierwisch and Esau conclude that German must
be an SOV language, having the underlying order of the dependent
clause, a different proposal is made by Ross.l He advocates the
choice of SVO as German's underlying order. The central concept
in his argument is Gapping. This he defines as a rule which can
operate both forwards and backwards "to delete infinitely many
occurrences of a repeated main verb in a conjoined sentence"
(p.2S0). For example, Gapping in English converts "(l)(a) I ate
fish, Bill ate rice, and Harry ate roast beef," to "(2)(a) I ate
fish, Bill rice, and Harry roast beef" (p.2S0). Ross describes
Gapping as follows:
Schematically, sentences of the form (6a) are converted
to sentences of the form (6b), and sentences of the
form (7a) are converted to sentences of the form (7b).
SVO + SVO + SVO + + SVO ~
SVO + SO + SO + + SO
(7) (a)
SOV + SOV + SOV + + SOV~
SO + SO + + SO + SOV
Given these facts, an obvious hypothesis suggests itself:
(8) The order in which GAPPING operates depends on the
order of elements at the time that the rule applies;
if the identical elements are on left branches,
GAPPING operates forward; if they are on right
branches, it operates backward. (p.2Sl)
Tn ,..."..,;"..,,...+';,,," . ,';+'h
....... _"'''''J _ _ .......v&& n .....'-"". rt:le of
Scrambling is needed. Scrambling is "the rule which optionally
permutes major elements of a clause" (pp.2sl-52). Because Ross
considers Gapping as an anywhere rule, it can both precede and
follow Scrambling in his analysis. The resulting outputs for
the two bases he considers, 50V and 5VO, are:
A. 5VO + 50 + 50 +
+ 50 J
Forward Gapping
B. 50V + 50 + 50 + + 50
C. 50 + 50 +
+ 50 + 50~
Backward Gapping
D. *50 + 50 + + 50 + 5VO (p.255)
*It is maintained that no language has output sentences of
the form *SO + 5VO.
By positing Gapping as an anywhere rule ordered both before
and after Scrambling, Ross must conclude that languages with an
SOV base order can only gap backwards, while languages which can
gap both forwards and backwards must have an 5VO base. (p.2s7)
This will be discussed in more detail below. He provides
sentences to illustrate that German, specifically, permits both
forward and backward Gapping within subordinate clauses:
(30)(a) Weil ich das Fleisch, und meine Mutter den
Salat aufass, wurden wir beide krank.
(b) Weil ich das Fleisch aufass, und meine Mutter
den Salat, wurden wir beide krank. (p.2s8)
Consequently, German cannot be an SOV language according to his
hypothesis. It must instead be regarded as 5VO.
As a further source of evidence for 5VO order of languages
in general, Ross cites the permutation rule of the form:
2 ==} 0 2 + I" (p.2s7)
This rule permutes elements to the right around a variable and
is, he claims, found only in languages with an SVO base. As an
SVO language under Ross's analysis, German should exhibit such
a rule, and in fact he believes it does. NP Extraposition is an
example Ross uses:
(24) Extraposition from NP
1 2 3 4 ~
1 2 0 4+3
(27)(a) Wir gaff ten, weil eine Frau, die einen Pelzmantel
trug, hereingekommen war.
(b) Wir gaff ten, weil eine Frau hereingekommen war,
die einen Pelzmantel trug. (pp.257-58)
It should be noted that Ross's example demonstrates NP Extrapo-
sition in subordinate clauses, where S.D. 4 must always be
verbal. (It must be assumed that verb-movement and -separation
Ts for both dependent and independent clauses will be ordered
before NP Extraposition.) With main clauses, S.D. 4 may be
verbal or non-verbal. If the final main clause element is
verbal, NP Extraposition may optionally apply, just as it does
for subordinate clauses. However, if S.D. 4 in main clauses is
non-verbal or 0, Extraposition does not apply.
Consider the following examples:
1. NP Extraposition for Subjects (simple or compound V
S.D. 4 = verbal
a. Eine Frau, die einen Pelzmantel trug, war
b. Eine Frau war hereingekommen, die einen
Pelzmantel trug.
a. Extraposition option not taken:
svo ~
r-;-I S I w~r hereingekommen
eihe I ~
Frau I die Frau trug
einen Pelzmantel
~ Relative
I Clause T
die einen P. trug
1 2 3 I 4
rJJ leine Frau
1 2
i ~l
war die eine
hereingekommen P. trug
4 + 3
(\nt-i nna 1 F.vt-'r!:lnnai"of nn
-r ------- -----r--------
is permitted: I NP
2. NP Extraposition for Objects (simple V tense)
S.D. 4 = ill
a. Wir kennen schon den Film, den du uns gerade
empfohlen hast.
a. NP Extraposition cannot apply with objects
where S.D. 4 = 0:
wir ~.~
kennen I rr--- . "s
d~n I ~
Film du hast uns
den Film empfohlen
~ Relative Clause T I rJJ
den du uns
empfohlen hast
4 .
1 2
2. NP Extraposition for Objects (compound V tense)
S.D. 4 = verbal
a. Wir haben den Film, den du uns empfohlen hast,
b. Wir haben den Film gesehen, den du uns empfohlen
a. Extraposition option not taken:
I /"'"
N V y!
wir haben / \
gesehe.. v \
, S
den 6
Film du hast uns
den Film
J ~ ~ Participle
N V A gesehenl
wir I I
, haber' N . o I ,
d~n ~
ilm den du
V-separating T
(& Relative
Clause Forma-
tion T)
b. Optional NP Extraposition is permitted:
If f
Y." -s 1 NP Extraposition Part. ,6.
wir V NP ges~hen den du un
haben d~n empfohlen
Film hast
1 I 2 0 4 + 3
S.D. 4 f verbal
c. Wir bieten eine Wohnung, die frisch instand
gesetzt ist, fUr eine grHBere Familie.
*ttWir bieten eine Wohnung fUr eine grHBere
Familie, die frisch instand gesetzt ist.
(sentence from Duden Grammatik, p.sS6)
Because S.D. 4 is non-verbal, the prediction is
correctly made that NP Extraposition cannot
bie~en I N~
I .,6
eine I die Wohnung
Wohnung ist frisch
instand gesetzt
~ Relative
Clause T
die frisch instand
" "
fur eine groBere
gesetzt ist
3 1 2 4 ; verbal
Furthermore, when the element modified is itself a nominal
attribute, extraposition is blocked.
e.g., 1 2 4 + 3
(Ich habe) (den Vater meines Freundes)(besucht)(der lange
Zeit krank war.) Here, NP Extraposition is permitted.
but, 1 2 3
(ttIch habe) (den Vater meines Freundes) (der lange Zeit
krank war) ( Here, NP Extraposition is blocked.
(sentence from Lederer, p.588)
R05S'S arti~le focuses on the
determining base order. Having posited an SVO base for German,
the scope of his paper does not extend to an analysis of what
transformations would be necessary to derive surface order from
the SVO base for "non-gapped" sentences. It is interesting,
though, to examine this question briefly, particularly in view
of his earlier analysis of German verbs in the article
"Auxiliaries as Main Verbs.,,2 In that 1969 article Ross main-
tains that "there is no category difference between German
auxiliaries [e.g., haben, sein, werden; and all modals] and
other [main] verbs, and that each auxiliary must be immediately
dominated by VP" (p.99). He posits a T-rule of "Verb Final"
for German which will move all embedded "main" verbs to the end,
or right, of their respective dominating VPs:
"Verb Final
[V X]
2 + 1
Condition: this rule works only in dependent clauses"
Consider Ross's own illustration for a declarative
sentence where the subject is the initial surface element:
H(51) Gwendolyn mus von Kas i.m ir ge s ehen wo r den sein" (p.96).
(Note that Ross's sentence and corresponding tree,
reproduced below, are actually the passivized forms
of the sentence: "Kasimir muB Gwendolyn gesehen
+V 1 VP2
+ ModalJ ~
I v.; 8[3]
muB I I
~infJ ~
I V3 s[4]
sein [+ vi ] Jp4
+ Past ~
Part. V4 NP
I I ~
worden tV] von Kasimir
+ Past
It (p.97)
Ross states:
Verb Final will move V2 to the end of VP2, V3 to the end
of VP3, and V4 to the end of VP4, thus reversing the order
of the bottom three verbs. (Note that the order before
the application of this rule corresponds exactly to the
order of the corresponding verbs in English.) If (51)
were itself in a dependent clause, Verb Final would also
have to move VI to the end of VPl, as has happened in
(52) weil Gwendolyn von Kasimir gesehen worden sein muss.
'because Gwendolyn must have been seen by Casimir'
Applying "Verb Final" to his above given tree, the following
tree would most likely result:
___ J{l.l_
NP ~~
Gwenaolyn VI s[2]
mue VP~
.................... :::::::-:s:-[-3]--V
Gwendolyn muB von I s~in
Kasimir gesehen ~
worden sein. ...--St;::::::;;-.w__:------y y ~3
!'if V4
.><, ge~ehen
von Kasimir
No further movement Ts will be needed for verbal or for
non-verbal elements in this illustrative sentence or in any
declarative sentences with a sentence-initial subject.
However, the derivation of declaratives, and similarly,
of ~-interrogatives where the subject is not the initial noun
or w-word remains problematical with an SVO base. Recall that
Esau also has this problem with his SOV base. Even if a
shifting convention for non-verbal elements such as a modified
"Topic-Shift T" were adopted for SVO, the finite verb must also
at some point be moved left--even though it begins in the proper
"second" position at the base level. Thus, an SVO base would
require at least two additional special Ts to derive a large
number of declarative sentences and ~-interrogatives. It should
be emphasized that the question of the "main verb" hypothesis
versus the "separate auxiliary" hypothesis for German has no
direct bearing on these particular derivational problems that
arise with an SVO base (or, with an SOV base).
To account for the SS verb-first placement for imperatives
and yes-no interrogatives, a single NP-V inversion T will be
needed with an SVO base. This is in contrast to Bach's
three- and two-step derivations and Esau's two-step SOV
derivations. Again, note that Ross's "main verb" hypothesis
does not directly affect these derivations.
In summary, an SVO base CQuld reduce the total number of
Ts necessary to derive surface order in those "non-gapped"
sentences where the subject remains in initial or second
position .on the surface. For the many sentences where this
is not the case, however, there remains the crucial problem
found with an SOV base of accounting for "element" or "topic"
An interesting point in Ross's analyses is that he has made
his observations and rule formulations on the intra-language
level, and has then given evidence for selected individual
languages such as German within this universal framework of
reference. Ross interprets his general and specific findings
in the following manner:
If my proposed analysis of German and Hindi as SVO
languages is correct, it will have deep consequences
for the comparative syntax of Indo-European, for it
will mean that Proto-Indo-European was an SVO
language also.
For all other non-free word-order
languages which descended from it seem clearly to
be SVO languages, except for these two and Dutch,
which is closely related to German. (Ross, "Gapping
and the Order of Constituents," pp.2S8-S9)
This observation may provide further support for his SVO
hypothesis. There are, however, two interrelated problems
which vitiate the validity of his proposals, and these must be
examined. The first problem concerns in particular his order-
ing of Gapping and Scrambling, and the second concerns his use
of one general rule, Gapping, to account for both forward and
backward Gapping.
In considering the first problem, it is useful to summarize
Ross's data in another way with regard to base order. The pages
given refer to sources in his 1970 article.
SVO Base
1. forward Gapping (251,55)
2. forward Gapping + Scrambling
3. Scrambling + backward
Gapping (252,55)
SOV Base
4. backward Gapping (251,55)
S.*backward Gapping +
Scrambling (252,55)
6. Scrambling + forward
Gapping (not discussed)
SVO Base
cu" .a. C'1Tn
,... .. ,...... ,.. .....
(A. ) ....,.v . v.v
'::>vv T .,:,V
2. SVO + SVO ~ SVO + SO ) SOV + SO (B. )
3. SVO + SVO ==;} SOV + SOV::::::;> SO + SOV (C.)
SOV Base
SO + SOV (C.)
s. SOV + SOV ~ SO + SOV ~ *SO + SVO (D.)
6. SOV + SOV ~ SVO + SVO~ SVO + SO (A.)
Output (A.)
Output (C.)
Output (B.)
could result from an
" " " "
base only.
base only.
" " " "
" ""
With regard to German there are three surface structure
patterns--SVO + SO (A.) for main clauses, and SOV + SO (B.) or
SO + SOV (C.) for subordinate clauses. According to the pre-
ceding summarization, outputs (A.) and (C.) can be accounted
for with either an SOV or an SVO base. However, only an SVO
base is able to produce output (B.). Because German permits
both forward and backward Gapping in subordinate clauses, an
SVO base is mandatory to account for all three outputs, (A.),
(B.) and (C.). This conclusion in itself supports Ross's
arguments for German. But a question arises concerning the
capability of both SOV and SVO bases to account for languages
having SVO + SO (A.) outputs. Though the preceding chart
demonstrates that both SVO and SOV bases can produce this
output, Ross does not allow, or perhaps more accurately, does
not acknowledge the SVO + SO output possibility with an SOV
base. The ordering of the rules "Gapping, Scrambling, Gapping"
prevents the improper sequence *SO + SVO from occurring with an
SVO base--but at the same time, does cause the incorrect output
(D.) to result from an SOV base. Hence, to block this output,
Ross in effect prohibits Scrambling entirely if the base is SOV.
(Actually, this is not stated formally in his article; it is an
implicit restriction.) This restriction on SOV Scrambling does
alleviate the problem of the improper output (D.), but at the
same time, he has incorrectly blocked an acceptable output,
#6 SVO + SO (A.), for the SOV base. This output results from
the ordering "Scrambling, Gapping" and changes SOV + SOV >
SVO + SO. Regarding this derivation, there is a conflict
between two of Ross's hypotheses. According to Hypothesis (28),
with an SOV base "[the] grammar can contain no rule which moves
verbs to the left ..." (p.2S8). This would block output #6.
And yet Hypothesis (8) states that "the direction of GAPPING
depends on the input phrase-structure configuration" (p.2S9,
underlined emphasis is mine), which, as we have seen with the
SVO base derivations, is not always the same as the base con-
figuration. Thus, according to Hypothesis (8), output #6
should be permitted for an SOV base, since the input
phrase-structure configuration at the time Gapping is to apply
is SVO. (The base configuration is SOV + SOV. Scrambling
then applies: SOV + SOV = SVO + SVO. The resulting order,
SVO + SVO, is the "input phrase-structure configuration" for
This apparent theoretical contradiction, though not dis-
cussed in her article, is actually resolved by a solution
proposes for the second major problem in Ross's theory--
his 1970 claim that there is in essence only one Gapping rule.
Ross himself foresaw criticism on this point when he initially
wrote the article.
It might be objected that it is wrong to collapse the
two rules which effect what I have called forward
gapping and backward gapping, on the grounds that they
perform different operations on trees. Thus while it
seems intuitively reasonable to claim that SVO input
structures are gapped by merely deleting the last n-l
instances of the verb may seem wrong to merely
delete the first n-l occurrences of the verb in back-
ward gapping ... Nonetheless, despite the fact that the
formal operations involved in ... [forward Gapping] are
quite different from those which would be involved in ...
[backward Gapping] I still feel that the rules which
effect these changes should be collapsed ....Thus it is
the rightmost verb that has been kept in backward
gapping, even if it has been raised out of its VP to
become a sister to the conjoined S-node .... I believe
this similarity to outweigh the dissimilarity of the
operations involved, and I will therefore continue to
speak of two varieties of gapping, and to consider
that GAPPING is an anywhere rule. This may be a wrong
decision on my part, but I do not believe it will
affect the argument below one way or the other.
Contrary to this final statement, it has been demonstrated in
the preceding paragraph that the G~pping and ordering rules do
pose a problem which weakens his general theory. As Maling
notes in footnote 6 of her article, Ross himself now believes
that two separate rules are needed to account for the "gapping"
Since 1967, when he first wrote ... [a version of
this] paper, Ross has changed his mind about certain
parts of the analysis. In particular, he now [1971]
believes that forward and backward Gapping are two
separate rules. This agrees with my analysis, which
was written to refute the earlier [1967, 1970]
version. Ross still is of the opinion, however,
that German is SVO (or rather VSO as McCawley has
suggested). It is this claim that I hope to answer
in this report. (pp.142-43)
Maling observes that "Ross claims a language is SOY if and
only if it has no ...movement rules [such as Extraposition,
V~movement, or Scrambling]" (p.137). (Emphasis Maling's.) She
proposes that Ross's Gapping rule should be separated into two
rules, Forward Gapping and Conjunction Reduction. Conjunction
Reduction, which she labels (i), produces the outputs (C.) and
(E.). Forward Gapping, labeled (ii), produces outputs (A.),
(B.) and (E.). She believes that the two rules of Conjunction
Reduction and Forward Gapping account for the same standard
outputs as does Ross's one Gapping rule, while providing
additional advantages. For one thing, by excluding backward
Gapping and using Conjunction Reduction instead for
sentence-final verbs, Maling is able to eliminate the problem
with Ross's "Gapping, Scrambling, Gapping" ordering for the
SOV base. Note, too. that Conjunction Reduction is an
"independently motivated, probably universal rule" (p.U8).
A further advantaie of her analysis over Ross's is that she is
able to include among her predicted outputs the possibility--not
found in Ross's charts--of languages with no Gapping outputs
(e.g., most likely Thai and Chinese). Finally, her treatment
permits a clear separation of the rules of Forward Gapping and
Conjunction Reduction, with their well-delineated environments.
from the more nebulous rule of Scrambling. Her main hypothesis
and Table XIII-2, showing output distribution. follow:
H*pothesis B: If a language has Forward Gapping (ii),
t en It also has Conjunction Reduction (i). Gapping
is ordered after Scrambling (or any V-movement rule)
and works only forward. (p.138)
Table XIII-2.
Input Order
Rules in Grammar
only (i) C none (E)
(i) and (ii) BC A (E)
(i), (ii) and Scrambling ABC (E)
((E.) is the output VSO + SO, which results from either
Conjunction Reduction or Forward Gapping with a VSO base.)
Recalling the problem encountered in deriving output *6
SVO + SO (A.) under Ross's theory from an SOV input structure,
it is evident that Maling's analysis eliminates this difficulty.
By permitting Forward Gapping to apply to verbs in initial,
medial or final position, and by ordering Scrambling before
Gapping, thus removing the "anywhere" option on the Gapping
rule, SVO + SO can readily be derived from an SOV base order.
Attention will now be turned to examining the specific
structures of German in view of Maling's general proposals.
She believes that "German cannot be said to have a scrambling
rule, since the verb has a definite and fixed position" (p.139).
TherefoTe~ let us examine what outputs would be possible for
German, applying just the Forward Gapping and Conjunction
Reduction transformations.
with an SOV base: (i) SO + SOY (C.)
(ii) SOV + SO (B.)
with an SVO base: (i) blocked
(ii) SVO + SO (A.)
with a VSO base: (i) VSO + SO
(ii) VSO + SO
It is evident that with SOY underlying order, both sub-
ordinate clause surface orders can be derived with the Forward
Gapping and Conjunction Reduction transformations. To derive
main clause order, it will be necessary to first gap, aridthen
to shift the finite verb to sentence-second position, using a
rule such as Esau's Tl. It appears that the rules for main
clauses must be ordered 1) Gapping and 2) Tl. For simple
tenses the ordering poses no problem, but for compound tenses,
if Tl were to apply before Gapping, the second (identical) past
participle or infinitive could not be removed.
*l) Tl
Karl'teinen VW gekauft hit Klaust einen Mercedes gekauft ~at
*2) Gapping
Karl hat einen VW gekauft und Klaus he* einen Mercedes gekauft
l) Gapping
Karl einen VW gekauft hat
2) Tl
Karl ~t einen VW gekauft,und Klaus einen Mercedes
Klaus einen Mercedes teke_f.-het
For SOV as well as for SVO and VSO bases, if the finite verbs
are identical, but past participles or infinitives are dis-
similar, only the identical units are gapped. For example,
with an SOV base:
l) Gapping
Karl einen VW gekauft hat Klaus einen Mercedes gestohlen he*
2) TI
Karl ~t einen VW gekauft,und Klaus einen Mercedes gestohlen
With an SVO underlying order. only the main clause surf~C8
pattern can be derived directly. To produce the two subordinate
clause outputs. first the identical verbs must be moved to the
ends of the clauses. Then either Conjunction Reduction can
apply to produce SO + SOV order, or Gapping can apply to give
If a VSO base is chosen, both Conjunction Reduction and
Gapping produce the same order, VSO + SO. For main clauses,
the Prefield-shift T can then be applied to move the subject,
or any other appropriate sentence unit, into the pre-verbal
position. To derive both subordinate clause orders, the
identical verbs are first shifted to the ends of the clauses.
Then. as with the SOY base. either Conjunction Reduction or
Gapping is applied to produce SO + SOV or SOV + SO, respectively.
A summary of all output possibilities for German using the
Conjunction Reduction and Gapping Ts with SOV, SVO and VSO
bases follows:
SOY Base
Main clauses: l) Gapping SOV + SOV
2) Tl.
Subord. clauses: 1) either a) Gapping SOV + SOV=} SOV + SO
or b) Conj.Red.SOV + SOV=> so + SOV
SVO Base
Main clauses: 1) Gapping SVO + SV~ SVO + SO
Subo rd, clauses: 1) verb-shift SVO + SV~ SOV + SOV
2) either a) Gapping SOY + SOV::::> SOV ..SO
or b) Conj.Red.SOV + SOV~ so + SOV
VSO Base
Maln clauses: 1) Conj.Red. or
2) Prefield-shift
+ VS~VSO + so
+ SO
Subord. clauses: 1) verb-shift VSO + VSO==>SOV + SOV
2) either a) Gapping SOV + SOV~ SOV + SO
or b) Conj. Red. SOV + SOV9 SO + SOV
Maling maintains that the base order for German is SOV. As
the above table indicates, this base can readily accommodate the
"gapped" surface structures of German by using the two Ts of
Forward Gapping and Conjunction Reduction. In fact, all three
bases are capable of producing the necessary surface orders. It
becomes a question, then, of determining what, if any, advan-
tages a certain base order has over the other two with
specific regard to the Gapping phenomenon.
It is suggested here that a VSO base does offer some
advantages. At the least, with a VSO base the independently
motivated arguments of Prefield-shift and subordinate clause
finite-verb movement function fully and effectively together
with the Ts of Conjunction Reduction and Gapping. By using the
Prefield-shift, a VSO base appears more capable of accounting
for shifts of elements other than the subject to the head of
the "gapped" main clauses. For example:
3. Sie trinkt Wein und er Sprudel.
Wein trinkt sie und er Sprudel.
VSO Base: trinKt sie Wein trinkt er Sprudel
Conj. Red ,:
trinkt sie Wein und tF1Bkt er Sprudel
sie trinkt
Wein und er Sprudel
w~n trinkt sie
und er Sprudel
Of all the base orders, only VSO has the peculiar property
of producing identical main clause outputs, whether the Con-
junction Reduction or the Forward Gapping T is applied to the
initial base order. As with the other two base orders, th~
predominant subordinate clause pattern, SO + SOV, is produced
with a VSO base by applying the Conjunction Reduction T; the
subordinate clause pattern produced by Forward Gapping, SOV + SO,
is relatively uncommon. When considered together, these obser-
vations strongly support Maling's contention concerning
Conjunction Reduction--that it is an "independently motivated
[T]," "the more basic rule, probably universal" (p.138).
Certainly with a VSO base it accounts for all main and most
subordinate clause "gapped" surface structure configurations
of German.
BACH (1971)
In the same year Maling's article appeared, another article
by E. Bach dealing with German's underlying order was also
published. In "Questions, ,,6 (1971), Bach maintains that German
must have an SVO base. This SVO proposal is in contrast to his
1962 proposal and arguments for an SOV base (see pp.S-20).
Bach's revised hypothesis for German stems from certain general
assumptions he makes concerning the correlation between
question-word movement and underlying word order. He writes:
" ...1 would like to discuss here one particular problem of
general syntax: the formation of interrogative-word questions.
I shall show huw a particular hypothesis about transformations
[namely, that "the power of transformations must be limited in
a substantive way"j leads us to make certain predictions about
question-formation and related rules in various languages and
also how the hypothesis can help solve a problem in setting up
base rules in one language [viz., German]" (p.lS4).
Bach first posits a universal rule of Question-word
I. Question-word Movement
r WH r+ pro]
INp L- Def
r- Verb J
X, L+ Interrogative
, Y,
6 'JIlt
6 7
He maintains that this Question-word T will apply to both
"direct" and "indirect" questions. "Direct" questions are
independent clause interrogatives (either yes-no or w-word
questions). "Indirect" questions for German are those dependent
clause questions found in indirect discourse: for ~-questions,
the first dependent clause element is the appropriate ~-word;
for yes-no questions, the dependent clause will be introduced
by ob,
e.g., Direct Questions:
Wo wohnt er?
Wohnt er hier?
Indirect Questions:
Ich fragte ihn, wo er wohne.
Ich weie nicht, wo er wohnt.
Ich fragte ihn, ob er hier wohne.
Ich weie nicht, ob er hier wohnt.
Note that in formulating rule I as he has to apply .to
direct and also to indirect questions, Bach has accepted Baker's
(1970) hypothesis that both indirect and direct questions
contain a clause-initial Q-morpheme in the base. Katz and
Postal earlier argued that only direct questions contain a
Q-marker having the semantic interpretation of the performative
"I request that you answer.,,8 Indirect questions were regarded
as complements, with no Q-markers in the base. Baker and Bach
disagree with this hypothesis and propose that the indirect
question "is different in nature from the relative clause con-
struction. despite the superficial similarity between them."
"..a clause-initial morpheme Q. having something other than a
performative reading should be assumed for indirect as well as
direct questions in English [and according to Bach. also in
German]." (Baker, p.197)
After formulating his Question-word Movement rule, Bach
discusses four key "assumptions" about the rule. These
"assumptions" might more accurately be termed universal con-
straints on the Question-word Movement T. His own summarization
a. The question phrase is based on an indefinite proform.
b. The Question-word Movement rule is unbounded.
c. The movement is toward a governing verb.
d. Only leftward movement rules may be unbounded.
From these four basic assumptions Bach draws three conclu-
sions regarding the universal Question-word Movement T. The
first conclusion is: "1. Movement of question words [Le.,
wh-phrases] will always be to the head (left) of the sentence"
(p.164). He derives this conclusion from assumptions (b) and
(d). "Movement must be either to the left or to the right (a
tautology). But it must be unbounded and only leftward move-
ment rules can be unbounded" (p.160). His second conclusion is
derived from assumptions (b), (d), and (c): "(ii). Question
Movement will occur only in SVO or VSO languages. never in
(deep) SOY languages;; (p.164). HFor if the movement happens by
attraction to a governing verb (c) then in an SOY language we
would have to move to the right, a result which we have just
shown to be inconsistent with our assumptions" (p.161). Finally,
conclusion three is derived from assumption (a): "If a language
marks the themes of a sentence, question words will never occur
as themes" (p.16S).
Having posited the Question-word Movement T and its related
"assumptions" and "conclusions," Bach next considers the implica-
tions of his analysis for determining the base order of a
particular language, German. He writes:
Modern German exhibits a systematic difference of word
order in subordinate and independent clauses:
(51) Hans hat Marie gekusst.
"Hans kissed Mary."
(52) (Ich weiss) dass Hans Marie gekUsst hat.
"(I know) that Hans kissed Mary."
The question arises whether we should consider the
Verb-end order of the subordinate clause (52) or
the Verb-second order of (51) the basic order from
which the other is derived ....The assumptions
about question movement rules given above give an
immediate answer to this question. [Emphasis mine.]
Suppose the Verb-final hypothesis is correct. Then
the final position of the verb in dependent clauses
would be in effect throughout a derivation as would
the final position of nonfinite verb parts like
particles. There would be no way for the
Question-word Movement rule to apply in questions
embedded in subordinate clauses or in sentences
with compound verbs. Thus we would expect that
Question Movement would not apply in such doubly
embedded questions or in sentences with final
nonfinite forms. But, of course, the movement
applies in such questions exactly as in all others:
(53) Ich fragte, wen Hans gekusst habe.
"I asked who Hans had kissed."
(54) Er weiss, dass ich, wen Hans gekusst habe,
gefragt habe.
"He knows that I have asked who Hans kissed."
(55) Ich habe, wen Hans gekUsst habe, gefragt.
"I have asked who Hans kissed."
(54) and (55) are to be sure somewhat clumsy because
of the double embedding. But (56) and (57), which
would result from our hypotheses and from the
Verb-end hypothesis about German, are quite impossible:
(56) *Er weiss, dass ich, Hans wen gekUsst habe,
gefragt habe.
(57) *Ich habe, Hans habe wen gekUsst, gefragt.
Bach concludes his article with the following statement:
Returning then to the question of the effect of
limiting transformations on base rules we saw how
the question of basic word order in German--a
question that has.been given as a prime example
of the undecidability of base rules under present
theory--could be rendered decidable under the
assumption that our substantive claims about
questions were correct. (p.165)
This is a rather equivocal conclusion. For even if the correct-
ness of his general analysis for interrogatives were to be
assumed, it is questionable that one T-rule alone could provide
a definite and "immediate answer" to the complex problem of
German's underlying order. In fact, the acceptability of some
of his illustrative sentences and/or the derivations themselves
are questioned by Esau (1973) and by this writer. In the
following paragraphs Bach's original sentences (53) through (57)
will be examined, together with Esau's revised sentences.
Neither Bach nor Esau provides derivations. Therefore, possible
derivations will be presented here, based on the discussions and
rules found in their respective articles.
First, Bach's examples (53), (54), and (55) will be
treated. He intended these sentences to be support for the SVO
4. (53) Ich fragte, wen Hans gekUsst habe.
Possible derivation (greatly simplified):
Cycle I--No rules relevant
Cycle II--Because of Object Complement,
Extraposition cannot apply.
Therefore, must apply
Next, Question-word Movement
SS: "Ich fragte wen Hans
gekUsst habe."
i~h /' <,
fragte I
~n Han geku88t habel
Q-word Movement
Conclusion for (53): Because the question-governing verb
(fragte) is to the left of the interrogative, rule 1. correctly
permits the fronting of the wh-phrase (~) to the head of the
embedded clause. The desired surface structure is thus obtained.
5. (54) Er weiss, dass ich, wen Hans gekUsst habe,
gefragt habe.
Possible simplified derivation:
Cycle I--No rules relevant
Cycle II--Again, because of Object
Complement, Extraposition
cannot apply.
Therefore, must apply
"Er weiss es ich gefragtwh_
habe Hans gekUsst habe(wen)'"
weIas '"
ieh r">;
gefragt'habe ~
N 81
es 6
~n Hana gek~sat habe,
Q-vord Movement
Cycle III--daB-Complementizer Placement
. Es-Deletion
55: "Er weiss, dass ich
gefr,agt habe, wen Hans
gekusst habe."
er /\
daB ~ ~
v NP
gefragt habe I
wen Hans gekusst habe
Conclusion for (54): The resulting surface structure--"Er weiss,
dass ich gefragt habe, wen Hans gekUsst habe,"--is an acceptable
sentence. It must be labeled as (54'), however, for it is not
the sentence that Bach claims will result from an SVO analysis.
In his (54), the sUDordinate clause verbs appear at the end of
the entire sentence, i.e., "Er weiss, dass ich, wen Hans gekllsst
habe, gefragt habe." (Emphasis mine.) This results in rather
awkward surface order. The motivation for such a construction
and the process used to derive it is unclear. Given an 5VO base,
Bach's Question-word Movement T, and an interrogative embedded in
a subordinate clause, it appears possible to derive a correct
surface structure, (54'). Bach's particular derivation (54),
however, is questioned.
6. (55) Ich habe, wen Hans gekUsst habe, gefragt.
Possible simplified deriviation:
Cycle I--No rules relevant
Cycle II--Extraposition cannot apply.
Es-Deletion must apply.
"Ich gefragt habe Hans
gekUsst habe ~- ."
. (wen)
Next, Q-word Movement
"Ich gefragt habe wen
gekusst habe."
A verb-separating T is
now necessary for the
main clause verb.
55: "Icn habe gefragt, wen
Hans gekusst habe."
ieh /' "<,
gefragtYhabe A
~ 81
es .6.
" ~n Hans gekusst habet
Q-word Movement
I habe ge,lragt
V-separating T
wen Hans gek~sst habe
Conclusion for (55): Bach's T-rule functions properly, and the
correct surface order--"Ich habe gefragt, wen Hans gekUsst
habe,"--is produced with an 5VO base. As with example (54),
however, the surface structure just derived for Bach's (55)
must be labeled (55') because it does not entirely parallel
Bach's own sentence. (54) and (54'), and (55) and (55') differ
with respect to the surface placement of a verbal unit. For
(54) and (54'), the unit in question was the subordinate clause
verb phrase; for (55) and (55'), it is the main clause past
participle, gefragt. Bach has moved it to the end of the entire
sentence: "Ich habe, wen Hans gekUsst habe, gefragt." (Emphasis
mine.) Again, the ~rocedure and the motivation behind this step
in his derivation are unclear, for the resulting sentence (55)
is less acceptable than (55').
Bach intended sentences (53), (54), and (55) as supportive
illustrations for the validity of his claims concerning indirect
questions and an SVO base for German. He also provides two
further sentences which are variations of (54) and (55) and are
intended to demonstrate specifically why an SOV base will not
work for German. He believes that if an SOV base is chosen,
Question-word Movement in embedded questions is blocked. As
with his SVO examples, he provides no derivations for the SOV
sentences. However, possible derivations are again proposed for
sentence (56)--the SOV counterpart to (54), and sentence (57)--
the SOV counterpart to (55).
7. (56)
*Er weiss, dass
gefragt habe.
Er weiss, dass
gefragt habe.)
ich, Hans wen gekUsst habe,
ich, wen Hans gekUsst habe,
(Emphasis mine.)
of (56):
Cycle III--daB-Complementizer Placement
"Er dass ich Hans (wen)
gekUsst habe, gefragt
habe weiss."
A verb-movement T for
the main-clause finite
S5: *"Er weij\s, dass ich,
Hans wen gekusst habe,
gefragt habe."
NP Z' ~
~r ,,~ ~
R'" V
ith r">:
i1 gefragthabe
wh- LS.
- "
Hans (wen)gekussthabe
Conclusion for (56): As Bach predicts, Question-word Movement
is blocked and an incorrect surface structure results. (Note
that Bach's problematical sentence-final positioning of gefragt
habe follows directly from an SOV analysis.)
8. (57) *Ich habe, Hans habe wen gekUsst, gefragt.
((55) Ich habe, wen Hans gekUsst habe, gefragt.
(Emphasis mine.)
Possible simplified derivation of (57):
Cycle I--No rules relevant
Cycle II--Es-Deletion is applied.
guestion-word Movement
1S blocked since the
governing verb (gefragt)
is to the right of the
wh-phrase (wen).
A verb-movement T is
needed for the
main-clause finite verb.
ss: *"Ich habe Hans
" '
wen gekusst habe,
gefragt." --
ith .r>:
~ gef!agt habe
N 81
es 6
Hans (;en) gek~Bt habe
NP ~
i~h ~/~
habe NP V
I '
Hans gek~Bt habe
Conclusion for (57): As was the case in (56), Question-word
Movement is blocked and an unacceptable sentence is derived.
The shifting of the main-clause finite verb in both (56) and
(57) is linguistically justifiable. However, in (57) it is not
evident why Bach also has shifted the embedded finite verb--*Ich
habe, Hans habe wen gekUsst, gefragt. (Emphasis mine.) This
shift is particularly suspect since he did not move the
corresponding embedded finite verb in sentence (56). Perhaps
a technical cver~ight is responsible. This problem does nut
affect Bach'~ general conclusions. Again, note that for (57),
Bach's problematical sentence-final position for the past
participle gefragt 0110\'/s directly from an SOVanalysis.
The preceding analyses have demonstrated that acceptable
sentences containing indirect questions, though not necessarily
Bach's own illustrative sentences, can be derived from an SVO
base by applying the Question-word Movement T. According to
Bach's hypothesis and examples, an SOV base, however, will not
permit the derivation of acceptable constructions.
Esau in his 1973 article criticizes Bach's SVO analysis.
In a revised treatment of Bach's material, Esau argues that only
an SOV base can accurately account for German indirect questions.
Esau's criticism of Bach's sentences (54) and (55) may be
justified, with reservation, for the surface constructions do
appear marginally acceptable. However, as previously demon-
strated, the problems with Bach's (54) and (55) result from his
final placement of certain verbal units and not from an inherent
fault in his Question-word Movement T or his choice of the SVO
Esau discusses Bach's SVO analysis of indirect questions:
Assuming the correctness of Bach's universal
constraints on question word movement and his
judgment on the grammaticalness of sentences
(19) and (20) [Bach's (54) and (55)], we would
have to conclude that Bach's evidence points
away from an SOV analysis.
However, all the native speakers I questioned
rejected sentences (19) and (20) out of hand.
The corresponding grammatical strings are
rather (23) and (24):
(23) Er weiss, dass ich gefragt habe, wen Hans
gekUsst habe. [54']
(24) Ich habe gefragt, wen Hans gekUsst habe. [55']
indicating that indirect questions embedded in
sentences with paraphrastic tenses are extraposed.
This means, of course, that the question word
movement rule could apply after extraposition
has occurred, resulting in the required left
to right order between dominating verb and
dominated question word, so that the grammatical
sentences (23) and (24) can be produced without
violating Bach's universal constraint (c).
Moreover, the ungrammatical strings (l9) and
(20) [i.e., (54) and (55)], produced by Bach's
description, would now be blocked. (p.27)
A possible SOY derivation of Esau's (23) follows:
9. (23) Er weiss, dass ich gefragt habe, wen Hans
gekUsst habe.
Cycle I--No rules relevant sov
i~h r">,
~ gefragt habe
N 81
es ..6
Hans (wen) gek~Bt habe
Cycle II--Extraposition applies
This is possible
since extraposition
has placed the
wh-phrase to right
or question-governing
er ~
.>, W~iB
N _J~
es ~ ............. -::---
Q NP ..)p --S1
ich ~ \ ~
NP v --
" gefragt ~n Hans
N habe habe
es Q-word Movement
Cycle III--daB-Co~plementizer
a verb-movement T
for ma1n-clause
finite verb. Esau's
Tl, for example.
SS: *"Er weiss, dass
ich es gefraRt habe,
wen Hans gekusst
~ _A
er ~ <,
daB i~h / " . /\.
NP V ~
es gef~agt wen Hans
habe gekUBt habe
Conclusion for (23): On Cycle II, l1-Deletion would not permit
the subsequent application of Bach's Question-word Movement T.
Therefore, Esau proposes that Extraposition should apply, for
this T will produce the structure that meets the requirements of
the Q-word T. The problem is that we are dealing with an Object
Complement. With an SOV base, as well as with an SVO base,
Extraposition cannot be applied with Object Complementation
without stranding the es. Such is the case with Esau's (23)--
the actual surface structure is the unacceptable string *"Ich
habe es gefragt, wen Hans gekUsst habe." As demonstrated
below, the same problem occurs with Esau's sentence (24).
lO. (24) Ich habe gefragt, wen Hans gekUsst habe.
Cycle I--No rules relevant sov
idh : <,
.A gefralt habe
N S1
es ..6
Hans (wen) gekUBt habe
Cycle II--Extraposition applies
Question-word Movement
Again, this is possible
since extraposition has
placed wh-phrase to
right or-question-governing
NP 6
Q Ih w.&n Han "I
ie NP Y gekuBt
Y es gefragt habe
Q-word Movement
a verb-movement T for
main-clause finite
ss: *"Ich habe es
gefragt, wen Hans
gekUsst habe."
Conclusion for (24): As with (23), Extraposition permits the
subsequent application of Bach's Question-word Movement T in
(24). But again, because the complement is an Object
Complement, Extraposition results in a stranded es. The derived
surface structure for (24) reads: ""Ich habe es gefragt, wen Han
gekUsst habe."
A solution for the problem found in Esau's (23) and (24)
would be to assume for German what many linguists today assume
for English--it or es is not originally in the underlying
structure, but rather is inserted. For an SOV base,
Es-Insertion would need to be blocked with the extraposition
of embedded question clauses in those sentences (such as Esau's
(23) and (24)) where the main clause verb does not require a
prepositional object. If the main verb does require a preposi-
tional object, es must be inserted. converted to
and compounded with the proper preposition. The da(r) compound
will occupy the normal object position within the main
..... ,_ ..........
........ dU,;:,c;:
and will function as a correlate, anticipating the embedded
indirect interrogative.
e.g., The verb erinnern takes a prepositional object:
sich erinnern an etwas.
In the sentence: "Sie hat sich nicht an (es)
erinnert, wen Hans gekUllt hat," es must be1nserted.
es~ da(r) + appropriate preposition
~ daran
Resulting sentence: Sie hat sich nicht daran
erinnert, wen Hans gekllet hat.
By adopting this Es-Insertion restriction, Esau would be
correct in maintaining that "[Bach's Question-word Movement
constraints do not] invalidate the SOV proposal in any way"
(p.2S). His next conclusion, though, does not necessarily
follow. "Since all the evidence cited above supports the SOV
analysis rather than the one set forth by Ross (l970) and Bach
(1971). we can reject that proposal [i.e., SVO] entirely" (p.2S).
It has been shown that indirect questions may be derived with an
SOY base, but it has also been shown that this same capacity
exists with an SVO base (e.g., sentences (53), (54'), (55')).
Hence, contrary to Bach's or Esau's contentions, the matter of
German indirect questions alone cannot substantiate the choice
of SVO over SOV, or SOV over SVO.
Furthermore, it is possible to derive indirect questions
from a VSO base, a possibility which neither Bach nor Esau
discusses specifically. Below is a VSO analysis for two of
Bach's and Esau's sentences.
11. (23) Esau, (54') Bach-revised
"Er weiss, dass ich gefragt habe, wen Hans gekUsst
CYcle I--verb-separatin~ T
. with dependent clause
habe N
~ wh-
[gekllSt,habe] Hans (;;n)t
V-separating T w/eondition
Cycle II--~-Deletion
~uestion-word Movement
he verb-placement
requirements for Bach's T
are automatically met with
a VSO base.
daS-Complementizer Placement
verb-separating T
with dependent clause condition
wets e'r
es .
da13 NP
i~h [gefragt !
habe] S1
I .,.
V-separating T
w/eondition wen Hans gek~13t habe
1[= I
Cycle III--~-Deletion
Prefield-shift of subject
ss: "Er weiss, dass ich
gefragt habe, wen Hans
gekUsst habe."
tp' y NP
er weiS I
i~h gefragt I
habe 81
wen Hans gekuSt habe
l2. (24) Esau, (55') Bach-revised
"Ich habe gefragt, wen Hans gekUsst habe."
Cycle I--verb-separating T
with dependent clause
Y i~h. ~ 1
gefragt N' ~
habe es k"St habe]
[ge u l
Hans (;en) l'
V-separating T w/eondition
Cycle II--~-Deletion
Question-word Movement
Aga1n, the question-governing
verb is to the left of the
Prefield-shift of subject
verb-separating T
ss: "Ich habe gefragt, wen
Hans gekUsst habe."
~n Hanslgek~St habe
Q-word Movement
V-separating T
Conclusions for VSO examples: The two preceding derivations
illustrate that a VSO base can also readily accommodate Bach's
Question-word Movement rule without significantly altering any
proposed transformations or violating any constraints, and
without necessitating other new transformations or restrictions.
In concluding the present discussion of indirect questions,
it may be worthwhile to point out the following observation made
by Bach with regard to English but which, it appears, is equally
pertinent to German:
An interesting prediction can be made at this point
with resnect to the nossible deen orders of arbitrary
languages. Suppose that the possible deep order .
types are three: SOV, VSO, SVO. With respect to
Question-word Movement then we might find a language
of the SVO type where, if our analysis is correct,
Question-word Movement would occur in object clauses
but not in subject clauses, that is we would have a
distribution like this:
(35) I asked where he was working.
(36) [He was working where] was obvious.
As far as I am aware, there is no such language.
Whether Question Movement occurs in a clause seems
to be independent of the position of the clause in
surface order in languages like English. Thus some
of our assumptions must be false. Several linguists
have proposed that the underlying order of clauses
in English is Verb-initial. We may therefore
hypothesize with McCawley that there are only two
possible deep structure types: Verb-initial and
Verb-final. (p.l6l)
The correct structure for (36) should of course be: "Where
he was working was obvious," or, for the German equivalent: "Wo
er arbeitete, war klar." The corresponding sentences with final
dependent clauses are: "It was obvious where he was working,"
and "Es war klar, wo er arbeitete." Given the underlying
structure for Bach's (36), there are two derivational possibili-
ties for SOV and SVO bases.,
i~ A war k1ar
es ~ wh-
he was working (where)
er arbeitete (~)
l3. la) "It was obvious where he was working."
lb) "Es war klar, wo er arbeitete."
Extraposition: By applying extraposition on Cycle II, the
wh-phrase will be placed to the right of the "governing" VP.
Question-word Movement can thus apply, producing the
desired sentences: "It was obvious where he was working," and
"Es war klar, wo er arbeitete."
2a) "Where he was workin~ was obvious."
2b) "Wo er arbeitete, war klar."
It-Deletion: The wh-phrase must be moved to the right of
the governing VP for the Question-word Movement T to apply.
!!-(or Es-) Deletion, though, does not accomplish this.
Question-word Movement cannot apply, and the resulting
incorrect sentences are: *"He was working where was obvious."
*"Er arbeitete wo war klar."
Hence, with SOV and SVO bases, only sentences with final
indirect question clauses are generated correctly. Initial
indirect question clauses cannot be derived.
With a VSO ba~e, on the other hand, both correct surface
structures for German (lb. and 2b.) are derivable:
14. lb) "Es war klar, wo er arbeitete."
Cycle I--verb-separating T
w1th dependent clause
-------7 ]Jt_
Q ~ ~S1
w~1ar (:s) ~
[arb~itete] er (;0)1-
V-separating T w/eondition
Cycle II--Question-word Movement
the conditions on the T
are automatically met.
"'8./"'\ 1
wa;]k1ar 81
~ er1arbeitete
Q-word Movement
Prefield shift
of the es
SS: "Es war kl ar , wo e r
*Or, if it is assumed that es is not in the base and is inserted
transformationally into the main sentence field, a condition may
be formulated which states that in certain environments, if the
prefield is empty, an "anticipatory es" will be shifted into the
prefield. Refer to a discussion of Es-Insertion, pp.l42-44.
2b) "Wo er arbeitete, war klar."
Cycle I--verb-separating T
with dependent clause
[arbeitete] er
V-separating T
Cycle II--Question-word Movement T
aga1n, the T-conditions
are met
81 V
~ .6.
wo er war k1ar
Prefield-shift of Sl
The dependent clause
becomes the sentence
ss: "Wo er arbeitete,
war klar."
In response to Bach's observation regarding sentence-initial
wh-clauses and the Question-word Movement T, the preceding
examples demonstrate that SOV and SVO bases cannot properly
account for such clauses in German. Correct derivations with
a VSO base, however, are possible.
It is not within the scope of this dissertation to analyze
German underlying word order in detail from the perspective of
historical linguistics. However, mention should be made of some
of the current representative hypotheses concerning historical
word-order changes. The problematical nature of the topic and
the lack of concurrence among linguists is evident even in the
brief presentation which follows.
As previously mentioned, Ross in his 1970 "Gapping" article
concluded that PIE and the non-free word-order languages which
descended from it were all SVO. Statements in recent writings by
Winfred Lehmann
dealing with PIE syntax and dialect changes
would challenge Ross's SVO position on two main points. (For
summarizations pertinent to Germanic see Lehmann, 1974, pp.66-68,
246, 250-5l; and Lehmann, 1972, pp.984-90).
For one thing, Lehmann believes that all the Insular Celtic
languages are "strictly VSO." (1972, p.67) This hypothesis is
in direct contrast to Ross's hypothesis that "all other non-free
word-order languages which descended from ..;[PIE] seem clearly
to be SVO languages, except for ...[German, Hindi] and Dutch ..."
(pp.258-59). Furthermore, Lehmann maintains that PIE and its
early dialects must be regarded as OV languages, especially in
view of recent work and findings in historical linguistics. (He
believes that an S should not be included in labels of underlying
order for PIE and the early dialects.) From the original PIE OV
base, a general development toward VO order followed, with some
languages, among them Germanic, later reintroducing particular
OV characteristics.
Lehmann writes:
Presumably syntactic systems can modified by
internal patterning and by external influence. Thus
the patterning within the Indo-European family
reflects a development from an OV to a VO type, as
in the southern tier of its European languages.
The northern tier, Baltic, Slavic, Germanic, are
also generally VO, although they have OV charac-
teristics. But these may be because of influence
from neighboring languages.
There is a remarkable development in the
northern Germanic languages suggesting such influence.
Traditional poetry of the Edda has been transmitted
without verbal prefixes. But in contexts where com-
parison with the southern Germanic languages indicates
that a prefix should occur, adverbial particles such
as of and um are found, obviously introduced to meet
metrical requirements. The reasons for the substitu-
tion have never been understood. Loss of prefixes,
however, would be expected in a language undergoing
OV influence. It may be proposed then that at a
relatively late period the northern Germanic languages
came under the influence of an OV language, and that
as a result some of their syntactic characteristics
were modified. The modification strangely was toward
the earlier OV structure of Proto-Indo-European. If
this hypothesis holds, the northern Germanic languages
may have adopted OV characteristics when they were well
on the way to a VO structure. (pp.989-90)
A VSO analysis for modern German would not be incompatible with
Lehmann's historical analysis of Germanic verb placement.
Ross had based his SVO conclusion on an examination of one
rule--Gapping. According to an article by Reis (l974), Ross has
now revised his hypothesis on underlying order as a result of
examing another single rule--the "Penthouse Principle."
translation of the Penthouse Principle as stated by Ross follows:
"'Oben spielt sich mehr ab als unten,' was hei8t: 'Kein
syntaktischer prozeS tritt ausschlie8lich in nebens~tzen
auf,' ..,'Aile syntaktischen prozesse, die in pranominalen
nebensatzen moglich sind, sind auch in anderen nebens~tzen
mBglich. Alle in nebens~tzen mHglichen syntaktischen prozesse
sind auch in haupts~tzen mHglich'" (Reis, p.303). Whereas Ross
previously concluded from his Gapping rule that languages have
an underlying SVO base, he now regards the Penthouse Principle
as evidence that: "Alle sprachen haben OV-ordnung in der
tiefenstruktur" (Reis, p.325; original source Ross, p.408). Reis
comments on possible implications of Ross's hypothesis:
Wenn sich ...das von Ross aufgestellte "privilegierungs"-bzw.
"penthouse-prinzip" als richtig erweist, dUrfte es keine
regel wie verb-end [-stellung] geben, die ausschlieSlieh
eingebettete satze betrifft [e.f. Bach's proposal in
"Questions" "that there exists a universal rule putting
the verb in final position, but none putting the verb to
the head of a sentence" (p.l61, emphasis mine).]; folglich
mUste dem deutschen eine SOV-tiefenstruktur zukommen.
It should be mentioned that Reis regards the Principle with
reservation: "Nicht gegenbeispiele sind das eigentlich
problematische am penthouse-privileg, sondern der mangel an
substanz, an positiven belegen. Das heist: Weniger die
gUltigkeit dieses prinz ips ist fraglich als seine empirische
relevanz" (p.325).
Concerning the question of German's underlying word order
from an historical perspective, Reis herself concurs with Lehmann
that there was a very early (S)OV~ (S)VO Germanic verb shift.
"...SVO emus] also als ziel syntaktischen wandels fungiert
haben ....Deshalb sollte auch fUr das althoehdeutsche und
mittelhochdeutsche eine SVO-tiefenstruktur angesetzt werden"
(p.217). However, she believes that this shift to SVO was then
followed by a gradual but definite trend toward the original
SOV order:
Das mittelhochdeutsche scheint in sehr vie I
konsistenterer weise SVO-sprache gewesen zu sein
als das neuhochdeutsche .... Die schlusfolgerung
ist fast unausweichlich, das im frUhneuhoch-
deutschen SOV-struktur wieder ziel des
syntaktischen wandels geworden war, und folglich
auch, da6 das deutsche zu einer tiefenstrukturellen
SOV-ordnung zurUckkehrte ....Wenn man von langfristigen
syntaktischen trends her argumentiert, dUrfte deshalb
die annahme einer SOV-tiefenstruktur fUr das heutige
deutsch als grundlage fUr die prognose zukUnftiger
entwicklungen mindestens ebenso geeignet sein wie
die annahme einer SVO-ordnung, wenn nicht besser ....
Welche voraussage (und rUckschauend welche annahme
bezUglich der tiefenstruktur) wenn Uberhaupt richtig
ist, kann freilich nur die zukunft weisen. Die
derzeit sich vollziehenden syntaktischen wand lung en
liefern schlUssige indizien weder in der einen noch
der andern rjchtung. (pp.317-lS)
In summary, work in historical linguistics has produced a
variety of familiar base proposals--(S)OV, V(S)O, SVO--but it
appears to date that no conclusive answers to the question of
underlying word order in contemporary German have been provided.
2John Robert Ross, "Auxiliaries as Main Verbs," Studies in
Philosophical Lin~uistics, ed. W. Todd (Evanston, Ill.: Great
Expectations, 196 ), pp.77-l02. Subsequent references to this
source will appear in the text.
3Reis ("Syntaktische Hauptsatz-Privilegien und das Problem
der deutschen Wortstellung," 1974) objects to an SVO (or,
implicitly, a VSO) base, sitice .the V-movement rules for such a
base necessitate combining finite verbs with non-finite verbs,
including separable prefix verbs. She views this combination as
"unnatural". and "ad hoc." (pp.3l0, 3l5) In her footnote 1132,
p.3l0, she states: "Von daher ist es auch unmc;glich, die
deutsche verb-end-[stellungs]-regel als argument fUr die
"Auxiliaries as Main Verbs"-hypothese (Ross 1967) zu benutzen.
Ebenso unmoglich ist eine neuauflage des arguments auf der basis
von verb-zweit[-stellung], da in deren strukturbeschreibung die
terme Verb, Modal, haben usf. nicht vorkommen brauchen.
Bestenfalls kHnnte man aus den deutschen verhUltnissen ein
argument fUr den hauptverostatus von modalveroen ableiten;
aber dieses argument mUSte auf der rekursivitUt der modalverb-
konstruktion beruhen ...nicht auf ihrem permutationsverhalten"
4Ross has since revised this SVO hypothesis. Based on
his 1973 work with the "Penthouse Principle," he has now
concluded that all languages have an OV underlying structure.
See p.104 of the dissertation for a further discussion.
Order of Consti-
6Emmon Bach, "Questions," Linguistic Inquiry, 2 (197l),
153-65. Subsequent references to this source will appear in
the text.
7C. L. Baker, "Notes on the Description of English
Questions: the Role of an Abstract Question Morpheme,"
Foundations of Language, 6 (May 1970), 197-219. Subsequent
references to this source will appear in the text.
8Jerrold Katz and Paul M. Postal, An Integrated Theor~ of
Linguistic Descriptions, Research Monograph No. 26 (Cambri ge,
Mass.: The M.I.T. Press, 1964), p.86.
10Winfred P. Lehmann, "Contemporary Linguistics and
Indo-European Studies," PMLA, 87, No.5 (1972), 976-93. Also,
Winfred P. Lehmann, Proto:-Tndo-European Syntax, (Au~tin: Univer-
sity of Texas Press, 1974). Subsequent references to these
sources will appear in the text.
11J. R. Ross, "The Penthouse Principle and the Order of
Constituents," You Take the Hi h Node and I'll Take the Low Node,
Papers from the Compar a t t ve Syn t ax es t tva I : i nc ua r r e r enc e
between Main & Subordinate Clauses, Ed. C. Corum (Chicago:
Chicago Linguistic Society, 1973), pp.397-422.
Chapter 4
Numerous arguments supporting SOV and SVO underlying orders
for German havebeen analyzed in the preceding chapters. VSO
derivations have then been proposed for each main topic and
compared with SOV and/or SVO derivations. VSO discussions thus
far are summarized below:
a) Introduction to Prefield concept
b) Separable-compound verbs
c) Negation
d) Topicalization; directional & place
e) Dependent clauses; wenn & daB clauses
f) Interrogative main clauses;-Yes-no &
w-word questions
g) Gapping & Conjunction Reduction
h) Indirect Questions
pp. 45-52
pp. 77-Sl
In this final chapter further consideration will be given to the
VSO hypothesis and its specific implications for German.
In an article appearing in 1970, McCawley wrote: "I
conjecture that ..there are basically only two underlying
word-order types, V-initial and V-final; all other surface
word-order types arise from one or the other of these through
transformations ..."l He proposes that English is a VSO
language. Although his concern is solely with English, it is
useful to apply his V50 arguments to German wherever relevant.
These arguments can then be expanded in view of other
language-specific characteristics of German syntax.
One of the major advantages of VSO over SOY underlying order
for English, in his opinion, is that five T-rules can be more
easily and accurately formulated, without violating the concept
of the T-cycle (or the tenants of the generative semantics
hypothesis, which he accepts).
An obvious question to ask what effect the
assumption of underlying predicate-first order
would have on the cycle in English. To answer
that question, it is necessary first to determine
whether the same transformations would be cyclic
for predicate-first order as would be cyclic for
predicate-second order
Of the 15 transformations of English that I can
argue must be in the cycle, there are ten for which
it makes no significant difference whether they
apply to structures with predicate first or
predicate second .... For the remaining five cyclic
transformations, the underlying constituent order
makes a significant difference in the complexity
of the conditions under which the transformation
applies, or in its effect. In each case, the
version of the transformation that assumes
predicate-first order is significantly simpler
in the sense of either involving fewer elementary
operations or applying under conditions which can
be stated without the use of the more exotic
notational devices that have figured in trans-
formational rules. (pp.Z91-Z)
It appears that at least three of these five "significantly
simplified" T-rules are also readily derivable from a German
VSO base, although some modifications for German structures are
necessary or desirable.
The first rule McCawley discusses is the ever-problematical
Passive T:
I should begin by pointing out that no existing
formulation of a passive transformation even comes
close to explaining the various mysteries connected
with passives, e.g., the question of why Hubert
loves God is not funny in the same way that God is
loved b
Hubert is. While I have no concrete
proposa for how passives work, I think that
investigations of passives so far have at least
established that passives arise from some structure
containing an active clause and that the surface
~-phrase arises from the subject of the underlying
active through a movement transformation. Given
that assumption, then if the passive transformation,
whatever it is, applies to a structure with verb
second, it has to move two noun phrases: it has to
move the underlying subject to the end of the clause,
and the underlying object into subject position
(Fig.6a). However, if Passive applies to structures
with verb first, then only one noun phrase need be
moved: if the subject is moved to the end of the
Clause, t.he obj ect will then automatically be in
"subject position", i.e., it will directly follow
the verb and thus will become surface subject by
V-NP inversion (Fig. 6b). (pp.292-93) [Arguments
will be presented shortly that German has no need
for a V-NP Inversion T if a VSO base and the
Prefield-shift concept are adopted.]
McCawley's own illustrations follow:
SVO Base
NP ,
VSO Base
Strictly speaking there are also two noun movements involved
Fig.6b " (p.293)
with a VSO Passive under McCawley's proposal. However, only one
movement--that of the base subject, or agent--must be formulated
specifically for Passive. A general T (for him, V-NP Inversion)
rnTr~r~'v nnc;+;nnc +ho h~r~
--------1 1:"'- .... - .................. oJ ........ - "' .... ..;, ....
rrL _
.... '-- - __ - - "I
LUC UC::C:::U fU1' a
rather complex NP cross-over T, as is required with SOY or SVO
bases, is avoided with a VSO base in English.
This also appears to be true for German. Consider the
following active/passive sentence pair:
1. a) active:
b) passive:
Max kils t Sheila.
Sheila wird von Max gekUBt.
Adopting McCawley's proposals, the initial steps in a German
Passive derivation might be diagramed:
VSO Agent V-NP
~ement A
Inversion S
kl1Bt Max Sheila kUBt ,Sheila Max
(Certainly, as with any base order, additional steps would be
needed to raise the passive subject, insert von
before the agent,
and correctly formulate and place the werden verbal units.)
McCawley's VSO proposal could also accommodate the German
passive construction in which the agent has been deleted.
Examples of such sentences are: Sheila wird gekUBt; Die TUr
wurde geschloBen; Der Aufsatz muB geschrieben werden; Der Aufsatz
ist geschrieben worden; Es wird heute abend getanzt, (here, es is
obligatorily inserted, but is not the passive subject). For such
passive constructions, McCawley would need to order his rules so
that Agent-Deletion would precede the rightward Agent-Movement T,
in order to prevent the superfluous step of first moving the
element and then deleting it.
It thus might appear that a parallel construction to
McCawley's VSO English Passive derivation is well-suited for
German. However, closer examination shows that his
tree-structure and T-rules can account only for those German
passive constructions where the passive subject is the
sentence-initial element. A V-NP Inversion T for German could
not produce sentences which have initial adverbs or preposi-
tional phrases (although it is likely that V-NP Inversion could
handle prepositional objects such as "Vor dem Hund wird
gewarnt"). Examples of sentences beginning with elements other
than the passive subject are:
"Gestern wurde ich von meinem Freund dringend urnein
Buch gebeten."
"Dort wird (von der Baufirma Schweiger & Co.) ein neues
--Hotel gebaut."
"Bei der Feier wurde (von dem Redner) der gefa11enen
HeIden gedacht."
Perhaps also those sentences without objects:
"Sonntags wird nicht gearbeitet."
"Bei der Feier ist viel gegessen und getrunken worden."
"Hler wird nicht geraucht." (These examples are taken
--from Lederer, pp.lOZ-3; 55Z. Emphasis mine.)
Although a VSO derivation for the German passive patterned
after McCawley's proposals for English is not adequate to account
for the above constructions, a different VSO derivation does
appear capable of handling all passive constructions, and to a
degree surpassing possible SOY or SVO treatments. Specifically,
VSO Passive derivations which incorporate the Prefield-shift
concept can generate all three main (declarative) surface
structures which must be produced under a Passive T:
I) Passive subject + finit~ V=w~Tden + (optional
agent) + (non-finite verbal units).
2) Adverb; prep. phrase, etc. + finite V=werden +
passive subject + (opt. von + agent) +
(non-finite Vs). --
3) Adverb; prep. phrase, etc. + finite V=werden +
~+agent + passive subject + (non-finite Vs).
Consider the following illustrative sentences and VSO derivations.
(McCawley's "embedded active clause" construction is perhaps less
suitable for German passive than a more traditional non-embedded
construction in accounting for those passives where the passive.
subject is not the initial sentence element. Hence it will not
be adopted in these illustrations.)
2. la) Ein Hotel wird von der Baufirma Schweiger
dort gebaut.
b) Ein Hotel wird dort gebaut.
1st: Prefie1d-shift T
active object shifted
(becomes passive
I .6
bauen die dort
wird Baufirma
2d:(b) Agent-Deletion s
NP V Adv.
I ..6 I
or(a) Insertion of von
--- before the agent
NP V PP Adv.
I ..6 Ll I
ein bauen von der dort
Hotel wird Baufirma
3d: V-separating T
NP~(S~J dv. Past
I I .6 \ Part.
ein wird ~ dort I
Hotel der gebaut
Za) Dort wird von der Baufirma Schweiger ein Hotel
b) Dort wird ein Hotel gebaut.
c) Dort wird ein Hotel von der Baufirma Schweiger
V NP NP Adv.
.6 I I I
bauen die ein dort
wird Baufirma Hotel
1st: Prefie1d-shiftT
adverb shifted
I .6 \ I
bauen die ein
wird Baufirma Hotel
2d:(b) Agent-Deletion
Adv. V NP
I 6 I
dort bauen ein
wird Hotel
or(a) Insertion of von
--- before the agent
Adv. V NP NP
I ~ .6 I
dort bauen von der
wird Baufirma
(c) Optional ARent Movement
_____-::;7 ~
Adv. V NP NP
I 6 I 6
dort bauen
ein ~ der
Hotel Baufirma
3d: V-separating T
dort wird ein
As demonstrated above, the general Prefield-shift T can be
readily incorporated into a VSO Passive-T to account for all
surface manifestations of passive, not just those with
sentence-initial passive subjects. The VSO Prefield-shift
permits movement flexibility while avoiding the complexities
of an SOY or SVO subject/object switch and possible additional
finite verb and adverb or prepositional phrase shifting. The
inadequacies of a V-NP Inversion T for German under McCawley's
Passive analysis would also be avoided.
The second transformation McCawley considers for English is
There-Insertion. He writes:
...the transformation of THERE-INSERTION which creates
the there of existential sentences such as
-rrr-There is a unicorn in the garden
has to both create the there and move the underlying
subject of be if it applles to an input with
verb-secondorder. However, if it applies to an
input with verb-first order, it is only necessary
that it insert there after the be: the NP which
would have become the surface sucject had there not
been inserted need not be moved, since it rs:no
longer in the environment where V-NP inversion would
affect it... (p.Z93)
In German a strict parallel construction to the English
There-Insertion is not possible. The idiom es gibt is found
instead. The basic derivational principles of There-Insertion
are applicable in German, however, with the stipulation that the
original forms of sein (i.e., ist or sind) be replaced by gibt
whenever es is inserted into a sentence expressing an existential
situation. (Note that the conversion of sein to gibt is
necessary with all bases. Singular or plural NPs following
es gibt are in the accusative case.)
3. e.g., la) Ein gutes Restaurant ist in der N~he.
b) Es gibt ein gutes Restaurant in-aer NHhe.
Za) Einige gute Restaurants sind in der NHhe.
b) Es gibt einige gute Restaurants in der NHhe.
Possible derivations for 1a) and lb) from a VSO base are:
la) Ein gutes Restaurant ist
in der N~he.
vso s
V NP pp
ist ein .6
Restaurant in der
(subject) NKhe
Prefield-shift T
subject shifted
NP V pp
ein ist ..6.
in der
Ib) Es gibt ein gutes
Restaurant in der
in der
1st: FsCoiht)-Tnsp.rtinn
--- -'P --, ------- ---
_____-:7/"'------- .
V-- ,,' .Nf. pp
,.u( / ein .6
, "
gibt / Restaurant in der Nahe
es (object)
Zd: Prefield~shift
of the es
-----~ NP .6
. . V
gibt ein
in der
Derivations for the plural counterparts, Za) and Zb) would be
the same, since es gibt replaces both ist and sind.
In es gibt constructions, es functions in a special way as
the true impersonal subject and not as an anticipatory,
place-holding unit, as is most frequently the case in other types
of surface es constructions. (c.f. pp.14Z-44) Consequently,
because the es gibt es serves as a true subject, it must be
inserted within the sentence field (i.e., to the right of the
verb), as illustrated above in derivation Ib). We would expect
that this inserted subject ~ could optionally remain within the
sentence field, and that some other sentence element could be
shifted to the prefield. Example lc) below shows that this is
3. lc) In der NHhe 2ibt es
- ein gutes Restaurant.
ein ~
Restaurant in der
(subject) N~he
1st: Es(gibt)-Insertion
2d: Prefield-shift
of the preposltional
V / NP pp / ein .6.
gibt // Restaurant in der
~ (object) N~he
.6 gibt ~
in der (subject) ein
N3he Restaurant
l' (object) J
In summary, the derivation of es gibt constructions requires
an insertion of es gibt, the subsequent deletion of ist or sind,
and a case change for the underlying NP from nominative to
accusative, no matter what base is chosen. In a VSO derivation,
however, a general T rule--Prefield-shift--can be applied to
accurately account for all acceptable surface order variations.
In contrast, an SVO base would, as McCawley predicts for English,
require an additional T to move.the underlying subject to the
right of gibt if the inserted ~ is to be the sentence-initial
element on the surface. If the underlying subject (i.e., surface
object) remains in initial position on the surface, es must still
be inserted to precede the base subject and then be moved to the
right within the sentence. If an adverb or prepositional phrase
opens an es gibt sentence, the necessary shifts of the adverb or
prepositional phrase, the underlying subject, and/or ~, and/or
the finite verb become increasingly complex with both SVO and
SOY bases.
It should be mentioned that es gibt constructions do not
constitute the only equivalents for English constructions with
an introductory unstressed there. German may also have a surface
"X + finite V + S" pattern, where X is some kind of deictic,
e.g., an adverb or prepositional phrase. Kirkwood
the following examples of English there sentences and
"high-probability" (p.l02) German equivalents:
There's a very good film on at the Royal,
There are several (some) books on the table,
But there's no one there,
There isn't anybody in the room next door,
There's a student living next door,
There's a car by the door,
There was not a word of sympathy or understanding
for Britain's predicament in the final
communique. (101)
1m Royal lHuft ein sehr guter Film,
Auf dem Tisch liegen mehrere (einige) BUcher,
Da ist doch niemand,
1m Zimmer nebenan ist niemand,
Nebenan wohnt ein Student,
Vor der TUr steht ein Auto,
1m Schlusskommunique war kein Wort von
Sympathie oder VerstHndnis fUr Grossbritanniens
Notlage zu lesen. (p.102)
Concerning the English sentences Kirkwood states: "When the verb
implies existence of a thing in a place and the adverbial
indicates the place of its existence, English will resort to a
construction with the unstressed introducer there..." (p.lOl).
With regard to the German there-equivalents, he writes:
Note that the verb phrase may contain sein, certain
intransitive verbs (e.g., liegen), to which we might
add reflexive verbs of the kind sich befinden.
Common to all the sentences given so far is
the notion of the existence of something in a place.
The subject, a nondefinite noun carrying high
communicative value, does not open the utterance,
but is introduced by some form of deictic which .
prepares the way for the actual communicative core.
This is reflected in the intonation and stress
pattern of the utterance ....One might argue that
the there-introducer allows the nondefinite noun
functioning as subject to move [to the right] into
a position with high communicative value. (p.l02)
Under a VSO analysis for German, the subject would not have to
be "moved" at all. The SS position of both subject and finite
verb would reflect the underlying word order, while the
Prefield-shift T would front the various non-nominative
sentence-initial elements.
McC~wley next considers three other Ts--Predicate-Raising,
Subject-Raising, and Negative-Raising--and proposes that for
these Ts "the underlying [VSO] constituent order makes a
significant difference in the complexity of the conditions under
which the transformation applies, or in its effect" (p.Z92).
Predicate-Raising under McCawley's analysis is contingent
upon the "main-verb" hypothesis. He defines Predicate-Raising
as a "pre-lexical transformation ...which adjoins the predicate
of an embedded sentence to the [right of the] predicate of the
next higher sentence" (p.Z95). A discussion of the applicability
of McCawley's Predicate-Raising T to German will not be given
here, for although it may be compatible with a VSO analysis of
German, I am not aware at this time of evidence which could
actually support or refute his hypothesis.
Aspects of Subject-Raising are, however, applicable to
German. In English, Subject-Raising performs the following:
(1) For a certain class of semantically related intransitive
verbs (e.g., happen, appear, turn out, ~, be likely,
be certain, etc.) the subject of the embedded subject clause and
its VP are moved up to the higher clause. E.g., "Anne appears to
be intelligent," is derived from the higher clause: "It
appears," and the embedded clause: "Anne is intelligent."
(2) For a certain class of semantically related transitive verbs
(e.g., believe, wish, expect, know, etc.) Subject-Raising moves
the subject of the embedded object clause up to the higher
sentence's object position, but does not move the embedded VP.
E.g., "I believe Anne to be intelligent," is derived from the
higher clause: "I believe (it)," and the embedded clause:
"Anne is intelligent." Both types of Subject-Raising in Engiish
apply only with a for-to complementizer, never with a
The surface structures resulting from Subject-Raising with
appropriate intransitive verbs in German are often quite similar
to those in English, wherever respective lexical constraints
permit relatively parallel constructions. The only major surface
variation between German and English in such cases involves the
placement of to(~) + the infinitive.
e.g., Anne appears to be intelligent.
Anne scheint Intelligent zu sein.
On the other hand, there appears to be no German counterpart
to the English "transitive verb" Subject-Raising T with a for-to
complementizer. English may choose between a for-to complemen-
tizer, which requires Subject-Raising, or a that-complementizer,
which blocks Subject-Raising. A daa(that)-complementizer is the
only possibility for German. The presence or absence of the
da8-complementizer in German determines the surface structure
configuration of the underlying embedded clause. '(Effects of
the daB-complementizer have previously been discussed on pp.49-5l
of the dissertation.) Observe the following English and German
"transitive verb" constructions:
la) I believe Anne to be intelligent.
(for-to complementizer and Subject-Raising)
2a) I believe that Anne is intelligent.
(that-complementizer. Subject-Raising is blocked)
lb) *Ich glaube Anne intelligent zu sein.
(unacceptable form)
2b) Ich glaube, daB Anne intelligent ist.
(daB-complementizer Subject-Raising is blocked)
2c) Ich glaube, Anne ist intelligent.
(daB-complementizer is not present. Independent clause
word order results.)
Possible German SOY, SVO and VSO derivations for
Subject-Raising with appropriate intransitive verbs are pre-
sented and contrasted below. First, daB-complementizer
"transitive-verb" constructions will be illustrated for the
three bases:
4. Da8-Complementizer--Embedded Object Clauses
la) SOY Base SOy
"Ich glaube, da8 Anne int'elligent ist.", -
Cycle 11--
da8-Complementizer Placement
Subject-Raising cannot apply.
NP vp
ihh <>;
I gla~be
,,/ I .6
da8 Anne intelligent
Cycle I--No rules relevant
applies to Sl
SS: Ich glaube, daB
Anne intelligent ist.
NP VP ,s;.
I I In
ich V Anne intelligent
glaube ist
1b) SVO Base
"Ich g laube , da s Anne intelligent ist."
Cycle I--
Dependent clause V-Movement
Cycle 11--
daB-Complementizer Placement
Subject-Raising cannot apply.
SS: Ich glaube, daB Anne
intelligent ist.
i~h <>:
"oj NP
gla~be I
lc) VSO Base
"Ich glaube, daB Anne intelligent ist."
Cycle 1--
V-separating T with dependent
clause condition
Cycle 11--
daB-Complementizer Placement
Subject-Raising cannot apply.
-----;;?' ..-/~~
V I h -r> iw ------adj.
g1a~be Lc _ -- V '\" i",eiIi.en' ~
.-- ist Anne
daB ,__
Pre field- shift
of NP 1n 52
SS: Ich glaube, daB Anne
intell igent ist.
daB Anne ist
--- intelligent
A Prefield-shift of the entire daB-clause is also possible and
ich (wohl)."
will generate the sentence: "DaB Anne intelligent ist, glaube
2a) SOY Base
rrrcngIaube, Anne ist intelligent."
Cycle I--
Finite V-Movement, dependent clause
i~h ~~
I gl~ube
l"P VP
Anne ~ intelligent i~t
Cycle II--
Finite V-Movement, main clause
ss: Ich glaube, Anne ist
2b) SVO Base
"Ich glaube, Anne ist intelligent."
Cycle I--No rules relevant
Cycle II--No movement
rules needed
ss: Ich glaube, Anne
ist intelligent.
ich .>">:
glaube I
Anne ist
NP ~
i ch ,/"" '\.
glaube ~
Anne ~
2c) VSO Base
"lch glaube, Anne ist intelligent."
Cycle I--No rules relevant
vso ......... ~
--__........---- <,
glaube ich J
V NP Adj.
1- ist An,ne intelligent
Cycle 11--
Prefie1d- shift
of NP in Sl
Prefie1d- shift
of NP III Sz
ich glaube ,
..,. ) sl
Anne~t intelligent
Subject-Raising--Embedded Subject Clauses
3a) SOY Base
"Anne scheint intelligent
zu sein."
l. NP In Sl is raised
to the left.
2. VP in 51 is raised
to the right.
5S: Anne scheint intelligent
zu sein.
Cycle I--No rules relevant
Cycle II--
zu "Comp1ementizer"
~ NP
Anne /~s
V 11
scheint vp
zu sein
3b) SVO Base
"Anne scheint intelligent
zu sein."
Cycle 1--
Finite-V Movement
in dependent clause
Cycle 11--
zu "Complementizer"
1. NP in Sl is raised
to the left.
z. VP in Sl is raised
to the right.
SS: Anne scheint intelligent
zu sein.
3c) VSO Base
"Anne scheint intelligent
zu sein."
Cycle 1--
V-separating T with
dependent clause condition
Cycle 11--
zu "Comp1ementizer" Placement
NP In Sl raise to S2
Prefield- shift
of raised NP in Sz
SS: Anne scheint intelligent
zu sein.
V sl
scheint \
zu sein
V NP Adj.
~~ein] Anne inte11igen~
A~e scheint I ~
zu sein
The preceding derivations for sentence 3) indicate that with
appropriate intransitive verbs, Subject-Raising from SOY and SVO
bases must not only account for embedded-NP movement, but
embedded-VP movement as well. The SOY and SVO rule statements
for intransitive verbs must therefore be more complex, since
there are actually two distinct operations involved: the
embedded NP must be raised to the left, and the embedded VP
raised to the right. (Note that with an SOY base, all other
V-movement rules shift verbs to the left.)
A comparison of the der~vations presented in 3a), b) and c)
suggests an advantage of the VSO base over SOY or SVO bases with
regard to the problem of Subject-Raising. It would seem
desirable to account for VP movement in embedded subject clauses
with a general verb-movement T. The above derivations indicate
that it is indeed possible with a VSO base to have the
Subject-Raising T peform only one raising operation. The
embedded verb in the VSO "intransitive" constructions moves
predictably and correctly under the proposed dependent-clause
condition of the general V-separating T. Subject-Raising can
thus be uniformly formulated to apply to the embedded NP, but
never to an embedded VP. The proposed Prefield-shift T also
functions effectively in derivations employing Subject-Raising,
and it eliminates the need for the special rule McCawley posits
for English which "takes the subject of the embedded sentence and
puts it outside and to the left of that sentence" (p.295). In
addition, the Prefield-shift T avoids the V-NP Inversion T which
is necessary with his English VSO analysis.
McCawley's remarks on the verb-initial hypothesis with
regard tu limiting the power of transformations appear to
be applicable to German in view of the proposed VSO
Subject-Raising T, as well as the Passive and There-Insertion
derivations discussed above.
The simplifications which underlying predicate-first
order brings about are important in connection with
placing limits on the class of possible transforma-
tions. In particular, it may be possible to impose
the constraint (first proposed, I believe, by
Hasegawa ...) that each transformation may perform
only one elementary operation: Passive and
There-insertation [and Subject-Raising] were examples of transformations that had
to perform two or more elementary operations,
and under my 'analysis they are no longer examples
of that. It may also be possible to banish from
linguistics the ubiquitous curly brackets: the
number of supposed rules in both phonology and
syntax that have been formulated using curly
brackets and which have turned out to be wrong
is rather large--large enough to lead me to
conjecture that in fact all formulations involving
curly brackets are wrong. (p.296)
The final cyclical transformation that McCawley discusses
for English is Negative-Raising. He writes that the
Negative-Raising T in English "takes a negative marker, if
that is in the predicate of the embedded sentence, and puts
it in front of the upper sentence" (p.29S).
[Negative-Raising] ...optionally moves a negative from
an embedded clause to the next higher clause. It
applies both to the object complements of certain
transitive verbs, giving optional variants such as
(lla) I think that Harry won't be here until
(lIb) I don't think that Harry will be here
until Friday
and to the subject complements of certain intransitive
verbs (or adjectives), giving optional variants such as
(12a) It's likely that Nixon won't send the
Marines to Botswana until 197Z.
(lZb) It's not likely that Nixon will send the
Marines to Botswana until 197Z.
To formulate ... [Negative-Raising if it) applied to
structures that had predicate-second order would
require great ingenuity in the manipulation of symbols;
since either the thing being extracted from the embedded
sentence would have to move to the right when
extracted from a subject complement (this is the
case with Negative-raising and Predicate-raising),
or it would be moved over different things
depending on whether it is extracted from a
subject complement or an object complement. (pp.Z96-97)
Although it would be desirable to be able to consider the
Negative-Raising T as additional support for a VSO base in
English or in German, it appears that McCawley's analysis is
incorrect. In particular, it can be shown that the Negative
Movement T with SOY or SVO bases does not actually produce a
left(object complement)/right (subject complement) split in
the direction of the negating-element movement as McCawley has
predicted it must.
Consider the following sketches for these sentence pairs:
S. Object Complement with optional Negative-Placement
la) Ich glaube, daB Harry vor Freitag nicht ankommt.
("1 believe Harry won't arrive before Friday.")
b) Ich glaube nicht, daa Harry vor Freitag ankommt.
("1 don't believe that Harry will arrive before
Subject Complement with optional Negative-Placement
Za) Es ist mHglich, daa Harry vor Freitag nicht ankommt.
(It is possible that Harry won't arrive before
b) Es ist nicht mHglich, daB Harry vor Freitag ankommt.
(It is not possible that Harry will arrive before
SOY Base
Object Complement
ich ~
...----:;Sl glaube
~ ~ believe
Neg] Harr y ankommt
Harry will arrive
If Neg. is raised to pre-sentence position, it moves left.
("" " " II pre-verbal II "" rIght.)
Subject Complement
_______ S~
" Sl mog1ich ist
:~/.6 possible is
[Neg] Harry ankommt
Harry will arrive
If N~g. is raised to pre-sentence position, it moves left.
(" II II II pre-verbal II II II right.)
Conclusion: ~.-Raising for SOY subject and object complements
IS uniform.
SVO Base
Object Complement
iCh ..........---__
gla~be I
believe ~
~ ----[Neg] Harry ankommt
Harry will arrive
If N~g. is raised to pre-sentence position, it moves left.
("' " II II pre-verbal II "" left.)
Subject Complement
~"" VP
N) S .6
t I~~ ~/\ ist mllglich
~ ~ L is possible
[Neg] Harry ankoDDDt
Harry will arrive
If N~g. is raised to pre-sentence position, it moves left.
(" " "" pre-verbal II II II rlght.)
Conclusion: ~eg.-Raising for SVO subject and object complements
IS uniform when, as McCawley defines the T, Neg. is
placed in front of the upper sentence.
VSO Base
Object Complement
~'Ube 10h I
believe I Sl
[N~t Harry
will arrive Harry
If N~g. is raised to pre-sentence position, it moves left.
(" " II II pre-verbal " II II left.)
Subject Complement
L:::. I
ist m~glich Sl
is possible ~
------ rNeg1 ankoremt Harry
will arrive Harry
If N~g. is raised to pre-sentence position, it moves left.
(" " II "pre-verbal " II " left.)
Conclusion: ~.-Raising for VSO subject and object complements
IS uniform.
In summary, McCawley's proposals for Negative-Raising are
not substantiated in the preceding examples. The Neg.-Raising T
offers no real criterion for preferring one base over another in
English or in German.
McCawley states that there are ten other T-rules "for which
it makes no significant difference whether they apply to
structures with predicate first or predicate second [order)"
(p.Z9Z). These rules are not specified, so evaluation in German
is not possible.
He does suggest that the rule ordering: (1) To-Dative,
(Z) Passive, which is necessary with an SVO base for English
might be altered with a VSO base so that To-Dative could either
precede or follow Passive. A direct application of his
observation to German is not possible, for there is no uniform
correspondence between English and German dative constructions
or derivations. In English the underlying object sequence is
considered to be "accusative NP + [for
sequence "dative NP + accusative NP" is
+ dative NP]." The
optionally derived by
the To-Dative T. In contrast, for German the underlying object
sequence is considered to be "dative + accusative." For
particular verbs, an alternate "accusative NP + [preposition +
(accusative) NP)" construction is permitted. Although there is
thus no one-to-one correspondence between English and German
dative constructions, certain other aspects of the German
Dative should be mentioned at this time.
In general German does not permit "zu + dative NP"
e.g., "I gave $10 to Max."
or "I gave Max $10."
*Ich gab $10 zu Max.
Ich gab Max $10.
(Above sentences in quotations are from McCawley, p.291)
Some German structures are possible, though, which paraphrase
the English "to + (dative)NP" constructions by inserting another
appropriate preposition:
e.g., Er schreibt seiner Freundin eine Karte.
Er schreibt eine Karte an seine Freundin. (accusative
German paraphrases of the English "for + (dative)NP" construction
are also possible with certain verbs:
e. g., Er kauft seiner Freundin ein Geschenk.
Er kauft ein Geschenk fUr seine Freundin.
(Again, the accusative-case is used in
the paraphrase.)
The basic SS order for German objects in sentences without
special contrastive emphasis is "1.O.(indirect object), D.O.
(direct object)," although some variations in order do occur.
If contrastive stress is placed on the 1.0., for example, the
D.O. moves left to precede the 1.0. If the D.O. is replaced by
a pronoun, the object order becomes D.O. [+ PN], 1.0., regardless
of whether the 1.0. is a noun or a'pronoun. The following
sentences illustrate various ordering possibilities:
6. 1) Er gibt dem Mann die Zeitung.
1.0. D.O.
(Normal order--no special emphasis.)
2) Er gibt die Zeitung dem Mann.
D.O. 1.0.
(Contrastive-stress ordering.)
*Er gibt die Zeitung zu dem Mann.
3) Er gibt sie dem Mann.
[+ PN)
4) Er gibt sie ihm.
D.O. 1.0.
[+PN) [+PN]
Bierwisch believes that the normal surface "1.0.,0.0."
(noun) ordering bears evidence of an underlying SOV base for
Laat man die ...Probleme der Artikelform und der
Pronomina beiseite, so gilt im allgemeinen, daa
im Satz ohne kontrastive Hervorhebung die
Satzglieder um so n~her am Satzende stehen, je
enger sie zum Verb gehHren. Das Akkusativobjekt,
das aus vielen intuitiven, aber explizierbaren
grUnden als n~heres gilt, folgt normalerweise
dem Dativobjekt, das als ferneres oder indirektes
Objekt gilt. (pp.3S-36)
Maling accepts Bierwisch's hypothesis and goes even further
to propose a universal Deep Structure Principle, "Principle C:"
The Direct Object occurs closer to ihe verb than
the Indirect Object (in the unmarked or dominant
order). In a language with dominant SOV order
[such as German under her analysis], the
Indirect Obj. precedes the Dir. Obj.; in a
language with dominant order SVO or VSO, the
Indirect Obj. follows the Dir. Obj. (p.139)
She must conclude that:
the principle does not depend on the surface
structure position of the finite verb: in
German, the unmarked order is Oat. Acc. in
both main and subordinate clauses. If the
principle is to be stated at the level of
Surface Structure, then it can only refer
to the direct and indirect Objects, and not
to the Verb. (pp.141-42)
If Maling's (and Bierwisch's) "closeness of construction to
the verb" principle (Maling, p.141) were indeed valid for
object NPs, then under a VSO hypothesis for German, the expected
underlying object order would have to be "accusative, dative."
Special rules would then be required to manipulate the object
sequence in order to derive the predominant surface 1.0., D.O.
pattern. In contrast, an SOY base would automatically produce
the deep and surface 1.0., D.O. order.
The "closeness 'principle" is frequently cited as support for
a German SOY base. It is not evident, however, that the
principle does in fact provide an independently valid criterion
for concluding SOY base order. The correctness of the "closeness
hypothesis" is itself contingent upon the correctness of the
hypothesis which separates the sentence's major syntactic
categories into: (1) Noun Phrase (Subject), (2) Verb Phrase
(Objects + Verb). The validity of such a binary division has
been questioned by some linguists, including McCawley, Ross,
Lakoff and Falkenberg. Falkenberg, for example, writes:
Lakoff und Ross 1967 [mimeographed handout] kommen
schliealich durch die Beobachtung Lakoffs, daa
"apparently there are no rules which must refer to
VP which could not equally well refer to a S whose
subject has been deleted" selbst zu dem auch hier
vertretenen Schlua: "there seems to be no syntactic
reason to group V and NPZ more closely together than
NPI and V". Allerdings ist die von ihnen befUrwortete
Elimination der Kategorie VP weitgehend dadurch
motiviert, daa sich bei der intendierten Ersetzung
der Tiefenstrukturebene durch eine semantische
Repr~sentationsebene in der Art eines logischen
KalkUls keine VP entsprechende logische Kategorie
finden lieB.6
McCawley also comments on the elimination of the VP constituent,
with particular reference to his VSO proposal:
One aspect of the [VSO] analysis being presented
which the reader will have undoubtedly noticed is
the absence of any constituents labeled VP. The
absence of such a label is, of course, implicit
in the proposal of predicate-first word order;
if the subject of a verb originates between that
verb and its object, there could hardly be an
underlying constituent consisting of verb and
object. The absence of the label VP is, I
maintain, no great loss. The few existing
arguments that purport to provide evidence for
a syntactic category of VP in English actually
only provide evidence that surface structure has
a constituent consisting of the verb and its
objects but not the subject. Lakoff and Ross
have observed that this constituent structure
arises automatically, given the transformations
referred to above; they have argued that the
supposed VP's are merely remnants of embedded
sentences, and that what little evidence can
be found bearing on their category membership
indicates that they retain the label S rather
than requiring a new label VP. (pp.197-98)
McCawley's VSO hypothesis for English has not gone
unchallenged. His argument for a V-NP Inversion rule in
particular has been disputed by Newmeyer.
McCawley writes:
Postal (personal communication) points out that
this [V-NP Inversion] rule comes at no cost: there
must be a rule that gives rise to an alternation
between verb-first and verb-second word orders so
as to account for word order in questions. What
are usually stated as conditions for the application
of a rule of NP-V inversion can just as easily be
stated as conartrons for the non-application of a
rule of V-NP inversion; i.e., having a rule of
V-NP inversIon makes it unnecessary to have in
aaaItion a separate rule of NP-V inversion such
as has figured in most accounts of questions. (p.294)
In response, Newmeyer argues "that McCawley's claim is incorrect.
If English is an underlying VSO language, we will need at least
two inversion rules to do the work that one rule can do under
the more traditional verb-second hypothesis" (p.391). One rule
would invert the NP with the main verb only, and the second
rule would invert the NP with "the verb plus at least part of
the auxiliary" (p,391). (Newmeyer believes that the problem
exists whether auxiliaries are regarded as "true" auxiliaries,
or as main verbs.) His arguments, and subsequent
counter-arguments by Postal
specifically involve the interaction
of the V-NP Inversion T with the T of Do-Support. It should be
noted that for German, there would be no problem in formulating
a V-NP-Inversion T with regard to Do-Support, since German has
no distinct lexical counterpart to the emphatic auxiliary do.
provides examples to illustrate how German accounts for
the four main obligatory functions of the English do:
1) Negation.
They don't work here
He dianrr-come on time
2) Interrogation.
Did you write a book?
Where does she live now?
3) Truth-value insistence.
Do come in!
He does look silly!
4) Echo-substitute and
Now it works, doesn't it?
Hilde likes coffee but
Herbert doesn't.
sie arbeiten nicht hier
er ist nicht rechtzeitig
haben Sie ein Buch
wo wohnt sie jetzt?
Kommen Sie doch herein!
er schaut wIrKIich blHd aus!
jetzt geht's, nicht?
Hilde trinkt gern Kaffee, aber
Herbert nicht.
With regard to English, Newmeyer feels that the necessity
of accounting for "auxiliaries" (or "main verbs") such as do
leads to "serious complications in the statement of ... [the
V-NP Inversion] rule" (p.392). Postal acknowledges that the
V-NP rule itself is complex. He remarks that, "a complete and
accurate specification of the conditions blocking V-NP Inversion
has, of course, never been worked out. In part, moreover, these
conditions are subject to some idiolectal variation" (p.134).
He does believe, though, that the VSO V-NP Inversion T is
entirely adequate if the following conditions are accepted:
(I) all auxiliaries are main verbs, (Z) auxiliaries obligatorily
trigger Subject-Raising, and (3) V-NP Inversion is post-cyclic.
In view of the debates surrounding V-NP inversion, it
would be most desirable if another means could be found of
accounting for verb-second surface order from a VSO base which
would not rely on a problematical V-NP Inversion T.
German, there appears to be a valid and indeed advantageous
alternative to an inversion T. By positing a prefield and a
Prefield-shift T, V-NP inversion would be superfluous. A
Prefield-shift T would furthermore provide the advantage of
readily generating all acceptable sentence-initial elements
under one general movement T-rule, without necessitating a set
of separate movement rules such as flY-Subject Inversion,"
"Adverb Preposing," "Prepositional Phrase Preposing," "Dependent
Clause Forwarding," etc. A remark in Lederer underscores the
need for this general movement flexibility:
It is important to realize that the so-called
"inverted" word order (Le., subject following
the first part of the predicate) is really the
normal German sequence. What traditional grammars
have called "regular" word order occurs only if
the subject occupies the prefield ....Most German
sentences in fact do not begin with the subject.
(p.482. Emphases Lederer's.)
The Prefield-concept was introduced in Chapter 2 and
illustrations of its application with a VSO base have been
provided throughout the dissertation. Further aspects of the
prefield and the Prefield-shift T will be discussed in the
following paragraphs.
The need to posit some kind of surface unit in front of
the finite verb in declarative sentences is discussed in
Duden Grammatik:
In den nachstehenden S~tzen steht die Personal form
des Verbs in Zweitstellung. Vor dieser Form hat nur
noch ein Satzglied Platz. Es sei hier gleich
vorweggenommen, daB dieses den Satz erHffnende
Glied, wenn es sich nicht um eine Ausdrucksstellung
handelt ... , am spannungslosesten ist, weil es eine
Gegenbenheit bezeichnet, die sich aus der
vorangegangenen Rede ergibt oder die als bekannt
vorausgesetzt werden kann:
Der Sprecher berichtet Uber eine Person und
fahrt fort:
Dann ging er nach Hause. Oder der Sprecher
gestaltet ohne RedeanschluB aus einer
bekannten Situation:
In diesem Jahr ist der sonnige Marz ein
wlrkliches Geschenk des Himmels. (p.631)
Similarly, Lederer describes the function of a prefield for
declarative sentences:
Declarative statements normally have one sentence
unit preceding the first part of the predicate.
This unit in the prefield of the sentence fulfills
the function of a contact member with the preceding
sentence of a cunnected utterance or discourse, or
serves to arouse interest by referring to a
particular concept. It neither loses its grammatl~al
and logical function within the sentence, nor its
claim to its normal position within the sentence
field ... , to which it reverts if the sentence assumes
a different form. (pp.481-82)
It should be noted that under the proposed VSO analysis for
German, the prefield is present in main and dependent declara-
tive, conditional and interrogative clauses. (It is also
possible in imperative sentences, although it is rarely
utilized.) In dependent clauses the presence of a connecting
link in the clause prefield will affect V-movement. In main
clauses the finite verb will appear on the surface level in its
original base position. The subject NP will also appear on the
surface in its original position, unless of course, it is
fronted by the Prefield T.
Sentence-initial Element Options
The following list summarizes those elements which
frequently may be shifted under the Prefield T to
sentence-initial position. (Unless otherwise noted,
illustrative sentences appearing in quotes are found in
Kirkwood, pp.93-9S).
1) sentence subject
IDer Touristl kommt
I Wer I"
I Er I"
aus Amerika.
" "
tt "
2) accusative object
I"Diese Auffassungl vertri tt Hans Glinz."
I Welche " I "
r'Eine ganze Reihe weiterer Felde~ hat Leo Weisgeiber
IWelches Zie~ haben PrUfungen?
" ?
3) dative object
IMirlbrannten die Wangen.
~eml ?
4) preposi~ional hrase . .
as an aavero or place- - I"Vor dem Geset zt] steht em
TUrhUter." (Kafka)
"" " "time -- IBis sechs Uhrl haben wir auf dich
"" " " manner-- IMit dem Zugl f~hrt er nie.
as a predicate adjective-- r'Von ausschlaggebender Bedeutun~
ist das Verhalten der einzelnen
Konstituenten unter verschiedenen
of tlme-- IAeutekommt er sicher.
of place-- IHierl i st man gut.
I Wo I" " ?
of manner- - IPI<>tzlichlist sie verschwunden.
6) ~redicate adjective
rSehr bemerkenswertl ist die zeitliche Verteilung der Belege."
(Lederer, p.5ll)
8) "s ecial em hasis" verbal units
(past participle; infinitive
ln mo a constructlons
"Der Deutsche Bundestag mUB bauen. 1V0rgeseheni ist ein
Bilrohaus mit 30 Stockwerken."
I"Gegebenlhabe ich ihm das Buch nicht; er hat es sich selbst
genommen." (Lederer, p.491)
l"Arbei tenl sollen Sie h i er, nicht herumspielen."
(Lederer, p.491)
9) dependent clause (examples from Lederer, pp.5ll, 596-97)
as subjects:
l"Um wieviel Uhr unser Ausflug stattfinden wird,1 ist noch
nicht sicher."
I"Wer morgen die Fabrik besichtigt,1 ist mir nicht bekannt."
as objects:
l"Auf welche Art er das getan ha t j ] ist mir une "
l"Ob mein Freund morgen kommt,1 ist noch ung ew i s ;"
as predicate nominative:
I"DaB das Haus zuerst renoviert wird,1 bleibt meine
Bedingung f:lr den Kauf des Hauses."
as predicate modifier:
l"Ohne da s wir es bemerkten, I ve rLies er da s Zimmer."
r'Da uns die Winterabende oft lang werden,ltreffen wir
uns h~ufig mit unseren Freunden."
IAls sie jung waren,lwohnten sie in LUbeck.
Nominalizations might also be included in the above list of
frequent prefield elements. Hugo Moser,12 for example notes an
increase in the number of nominalized constructions appearing in
contemporary German. In his discussion of the "Zunahme
nominaler FUgungen" he provides the following example:
I"Die Geltendmachung meines Anspruchslbehalte ich mir vor."
as compared to:
l"lchlbehalte mir vor, meinen Anspruch geltend zu machen."
Moser comments: "Mit Hilfe der Nominalisierung gelingt es, den
Inhalt des Verbums gleich zu Beginn des Satzes zum Ausdruck zu
bringen, und darin liegt eine SprachHkonomische Leistung."
The unstressed es fulfills a special function as a prefield
element. If a simple declarative sentence has no special
emphasis and no other unit is shifted into the prefield, an es
must be placed in the prefield. This es disappears in surface
constructions when another element is optionally shifted to
the prefield.
8. e. g. , Prefield
Viele Studenten
*Viele Studenten
sind drUben.
sind viele Studenten.
sind viele Studenten drUben.
sind es drUben.
sind es viele Studenten.
In a similar way, the unstressed es fills the empty prefield of
complex sentences in which the dependent clause functions as a
subject. Es also fills the prefield of passive sen~ences
without subjects.
DaB wir bald gehen
*DaB wir bald gehen
ist nHtig.
~st nHtig,.daB wir bald gehen.
lS t es nd t i g .
wird tUchtig gearbeitet.
wird hier tUchtig gearbeitet.
The above examples suggest that there is a rule of Prefield
Es-Insertion, which is ordered after the Prefield-shift T.
However, it has been previously discussed that there is a rule
of Es-Insertion which places an es within the sentence field for
constructions such as es gibt, es gelingt, es scheint. The es
in such constructions functions as an independent sentence
element and, in contrast to the unstressed es in example 8 above,
does not disappear on the surface if another element is shifted
to the prefield. This also holds for the es which anticipates

dependent object clauses, and infinitive object and subject

clauses. To avoid positing two distinct rules of Es-Insertion
for German (e.g., "Pre field" Es-Insertion for the unstressed
particle es, and "Sentence-field" Es-Insertion for the subject
or object es), it appears possible to formulate one rule of
"sentence-field" Es-Insertion. This T would be ordered before
the general Prefield-shift T. A SS filter would then be
necessary: If es is the sentence subject (as in es gibt
constructions), or if es anticipates an object dependent clause,
~ or a subject or object infinitive clause, then es is retained
on the SS whether it is shifted to the prefield or remains in
the sentence field. In all other cases, the es is deleted if
it is not shifted to the prefield. It appears that a filter
would be necessary with any base if two separate Es-Insertion Ts
are to be avoided. By ordering the Es-Insertion T before the
Prefield-shift T, however, the conditions on the filter are more
easily formulated with a VSO base.
The interaction of Es-Insertion with the Prefield-shift T
might offer a possible explanation for the unusual, though
acceptable surface constructions which begin with the separable
particle of a separable-compound verb. Examples are the
previously cited constructions: Fest steht, daB ..., Auf f~llt,
daB ... , Hinzu kommt, daB .... Normally, the separable particle
would be shifted under the proposed V-separating T to the end
of the main clause, and the unstressed es would be shifted into
the empty prefield under the Prefield-shift T. The resulting
constructions would be: Es steht fest, daB ... , Es fallt auf,
daB ... , Es kommt hinzu, daB .... For reasons of unusual emphasis,
however, the separable particle could be placed in the prefield.
The unstressed es would accordingly be deleted on the surface,
resulting in the constructions: Fest steht, daB ..., Auf f~llt;
daa ... , Hinzu komrnt, daB ....
Constructions with Empty Prefields
The preceding paragraphs have discussed sentence construc-
tions in which the prefield is filled. There are, however, four
main sentence types which contain no elements in the prefield
and do not meet the conditions for Es-Insertion. These sentence
types are:
9. 1) yes-no Interrogatives
(These are dlscussed in some detail in Chapters 2 and 3,
pp.52-60; 81-102.)
e.g., Bleibst du lange?
Suchen Sie noch Arbeit?
2) Imperatives
e.g., Komm bald wieder! Kommt bald wieder!
Kommen Sie herein!
3) emphatic Declaratives
"Waren es schon viele Jahre ..."
"Bin ich doch kein-Kind mehr!"
(Lederer, p.479)
(Fourquet, p.l52)
4) conditional clauses or wishes with deleted wenn
"W!lre nur eln Zaubermantel mein!" (Faust, as quoted in
Fourquet, p.l52)
"Brlichte er mir nur das Geld mit!" (Lederer, p.478)
"Hatte ich doch nur meine Aufgabe besser vorbereitet!"
(Lederer, p.478)
"Hatte ich meine Aufgabe besser vorbereitet, (dann) ...."
(Lederer, p.479)
In all four varied sentence types, no movement of the finite
verb is necessary to derive the surface verbal placement from a
VSO base. Clearly, because the prefield is unfilled, the base
position of the subject is also directly reflected in the
surface order. (There are minor exceptions: Recall that yes-no
interrogatives do on occasion assume the form of a declarative
when the subject is shifted to the prefield, e.g., Kommen Sie
bald?~Sie kommen bald? This is also possible for imperatives,
e.g., Kommen Sie bald!~ Sie kommen bald! Occasionally an
adverbial expression may also be found in the prefields of
yes-no interrogatives or imperatives. For example: "B~i diesem
schlechten Wetter macht ihr wohl keinen Ausflug? Doch ..."
(Lederer, p.474). In general, however, the verb-initial
constructions are most frequently found. The above-mentioned
exceptions can be readily accounted for with the proposed
VSO T-rules.
Imperative constructions with a VSO base will be the final
topic to be considered. First, a special imperative construc-
tion, the "impersonal imperative," will be examined. Examples
of impersonal commands are: "Einsteigen und Tl1ren schlieBen!";
"Langsam fahren!"; "Nicht vergessen--in 100 Tagen ist
Weihnachten!" Esau and Reis cite such constructions as possible
support for an SOy base. Reis in particular feels that such
constructions are not derived from underlying modal (sollen)
forms, in which the main verb and first person pronoun have been
deleted. She states:
Obwohl diese satztypen zu wenig erforscht sind, um
schlUssige aussagen zuzulassen, scheinen mir einige
indizien dafUr zu sprechen, daB ...sie nicht, wie
nahel~ge, durchweg als ellipsen (d.h. mittels
tilgung eines tiefenstrukturell vorliegenden
matrixsatzes ...) zu erklaren sind ....Da imperativ
nur in hauptsatzen operiert, zudem nichts darauf
hindeutet, daa modal-tilgung teil dieser regel im
deutschen ist, scheint dies zu zeigen, daB ... [her
examples] echte infinite hauptsatze sind. (p.311)
In English impersonal imperative constructions, an under-
lying modal and pronoun subject are posited, for there is
surface evidence of their existence in constructions containing
Tag-Questions. To illustrate: "Come over, won't you?" is
derived from the underlying structure:
"(Yo~l..12. come over, ~n' ~u?"
A similar analysis is not possible for German, since
Tag-Questions are uniformly generated with nicht wahr. It
does not seem illogical to posit an underlying structure of
"infinitive + modal + pronoun + X (where X = optional objects,
prepositional phrases, adverbs, etc.)" as the base form for
impersonal imperatives. First the normal V-separating T would
apply, and then the modal and the pronoun would be deleted:
10. e.g., einsteigen sollen sie
V-separating T: sollen sie einsteigen
modal & PN
deletion T: ~ ~ einsteigen
ss: Einsteigen!
If a modal were not posited for VSO, the form *steigen-ein would
result from the V-separating T. But Einsteigen! is correctly
derived when a modal is originally posited in the base.
Conversely, if a modal were not posited for an SOY base, there
would need to be a restriction on the V-fronting T to prevent
the split of separable prefix verbs such as einsteigen in
impersonal imperatives.
Impersonal imperatives with objects can also be correctly
derived from a.VSO base:
11. e.g., TUren schlieaen!
schlie Ben sollen
V-separating T: sollen
Sie Turen
Sie TUren schlieaen
modal & PN ~~
deletion T: ~ ~ TUren schlieaen
SS: TUren schlieaen!
(Note that there must be a pronoun-deletion T for standard
imperative constructions which is independent of the proposed
VSO pronoun-deletion for impersonal imperative constructions.
There is no evidence of a similar independent modal-deletion T.)
Although it is possible to derive acceptable "impersonal
imperative" constructions from a VSO base, I know of no definite
arguments at the present which could either substantiate or
disprove the "underlying modal + PN" hypothesis in general, or
for a VSO base base in particular.
Standard imperative constructions, on the other hand, would
appear to firmly support a VSO base hypothesis for German.
Whereas in English we often speak of a surface "you understo,od"
in commands, as in "(You) go now," in German the pronoun is
always retained with the formal commands (second person singular
and plural), e.g., "Gehen Sie jetzt!" The pronoun also always
appears on the SS in the first person plural commands, e.g.,
"Gehen wir jetzt!"
The informal singular and plural imperatives do not
generally retain the pronouns on the SS, e.g., "Geh(e) jetzt!"
"Geht jetzt!" For special stress, though, these pronouns do
appear, e.g., "Geh du jetzt!" or "Geht ihr jetzt!" In both
instances the underlying V-S order is clearly reflected on the
surface structure, just as it is with the formal and first
person plural constructions. No additional S-V inversion or
V-movement rules are needed with a VSO base, while both SOY and
SVO bases would require them.
The problem of German's underlying word order is indeed
complex. In this dissertation major aspects of three base
hypotheses--SOV, SVO, and VSO--have been presented, analyzed
and compared in the attempt to determine which order most
accurately accounts for the rather problematical surface
distribution of German verbal and non-verbal elements. In
particular, the implications of (Prefield)VSO underlying order
for German have been investigated. Although all three base
proposals contain strengths, weaknesses and unanswered questions,
it is suggested that a body of data exists which would offer
support for a VSO hypothesis over an SOY or SVO hypothesis.
Certainly the VSO proposal seems to offer a very valid alterna-
tive to any other proposal for underlying structure in German.
IJames D. McCawley, "English as a VSO Language," Language,
46, No.2 (1970), 298. Subsequent references to this source
will appear in the text.
20ccasionally durch is used if the active voice subject
relates the "means"ratner than the "cause" of the action,
e.g., "Die Eltern verwClhnen die Kinder./Die Kinder werden
von den Eltern verwHhnt," but "Das viele Geld verwHhnt die
Kinder./Die Kinder werden durch das viele Geld verwHhnt."
(Lederer, p.lOO)
3With any base there would need to be a special
adverb-movement rule for Passive which optionally shifts an
adverb left to immediately precede von+agent,e.g., Ein Hotel
wird dort von.der Baufirma Schweiger gebaut.
4Henry W. Kirkwood, "Aspects of Word Order and Its Communi-
cative Function in English and German," Journal of Linguistics,
5, No.1 (1969), 85-107. Subsequent references to this source
will appear in the text.
5The insertion of both daa and zu affects dependent
clause word order: with a V~or SVO-base, all verbal units
shift; with an SOY base there is no verbal movement. However,
as previously noted on pp. 42-44, further similarities between
the actual daB and zu constructions do not exist.
With a-v50 base; zu, like daB, is originally inserted
into the prefield, but-Unlikc daS, zu can never remain indepen-
dently in the prefield. It mu~belmoved directly before the
infinitive form of the embedded verb, This holds even when zu
appears initially in the compounds ohne zu, (an)statt zu, or--
urn zu. Ohne, (an)statt, and um are retalned in the prefield,
wnrre the-zll must shift. --
e.g.,~r geht. ohne mir zu helfen.
Er geht, statt mir-Zu helfen.
Er kommt, um mir zuJnelfen.
6Gabriel Falkenberg, "Drei Argumente gegen die Zweiteilung
in NP und VP," Zeitschrift fUr Germanistische Linguistik, 2,
No. I (1974), 42
7Fredrick J. Newmeyer, "A Problem with the Verb-Initial
Hypothesis," Papers in Linguistics, 4, No.3 (Dec. 1971),
390-92. Subsequent references to this source will appear in
the text.
8paul M. Postal, "A Remark on the Verb-Initial Hypothesis,"
parers in Linguistics,S (Spring 1972), 124-37. Subsequent
re erences to this source will appear in the text. .
10According to Reis, p.323, footnote 61, such an alternate
VSO proposal is made by Haiman in an unpublished English Ph.D.
dissertation, "Targets and Syntactic Change." Original source
was unavailable to me.
IIFor unusual emphasis the underlying main verb may also
be shifted--in infinitive form--into the prefield of a simple
declarative. An intermediary T will be required in such cases
to insert the verb tun into the vacated finite-verb position,
e.g., Er liebt-sIe nicht, aber er hat sie gern~
I"Lieben Itut er sie ni cht , abel' er hat sie gern."
Ich arbeite nicht gern ....~
l"Arbeiten~tue ich nicht gern, sondern lieber faulenzen."
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Personal Data
Education and Degrees
Full Name: Barbara Joe Beckman
Born: 5.13.1948, Tacoma, Washington
Parentage: Lois Margaret Chisholm
Beckman and
Joseph Carl Beckman Jr.
l versity of Washington 1971-75
.A. (Doctor of Arts)
Linguistics doctoral minor
Semester in Heidelberg, 1972
D.A. Intern, Whitworth College, 1973-74
Spokane, Washington
University of Washington M.A. 1970-71
Middlebury College B.A.
(cum laude) 1967-70
Semester at UniversitMt
Mainz, 1969
...... '.' '.'~., , ,.."..,."'.' _, _,,,.,.~ ' ",; ..., " ,,, "." ,_ " ., "'''~ """~''''''''''.,"" , u. ,.,'....., ~". ', , ,'" ,"" - _"~.,, ",,- , j " ,. ~
_ ... -.-.,--.---.~-.. -.~.~- ....-._. --"'---~" _.. _ .._-_.
In this work the underlying word order of German is investigated. Previous
proposals for SOV and SVO bases are discussed in detail, and derivational
possibilities for a variety of transformational rules from SOV and SVO as
well as VSO bases are presented, analyzed and compared. It is proposed
that a body of data exists that offers support for a (Prefield)VSO Hypothesis
over an SOV or SVO hypothesis configurations of verbal and non-verbal
Barbara Beckman received her M.A. and D.A. degrees in German, with a
linguistics minor, from the University of Washington. She has worked as a
technical writer and translator and has taught at Whitworth and Oberlin
Colleges. She is currently an Assistant Professor of German at Southern Illinois
Un iversity-Carbonda Ie.