## Morphological underspecification meets oblique case : syntactic and processing effects in German

2001
Meng, Michael
##### Project
Sprachverstehen und variable Wortstellung: Syntaktische und außersyntaktische Faktoren bei der Verarbeitung deutscher Sätze
Journal article
##### Published in
Lingua ; 111 (2001). - pp. 465-514
##### Abstract
In German, oblique Cases (dative and genitive) require morphological licensing while structural Cases (nominative and accusative) do not. This difference can be captured by assuming that in German, NPs bearing oblique Case have an extra structural layer Kase phrase (KP) which is missing in NPs bearing structural Case. Focusing on dative NPs, we will show that the postulation of such a phrase-structural difference between oblique and structural case allows for a unified explanation of a wide array of facts both from the domain of grammar and from the domain of language comprehension. First, with regard to grammar, several asymmetries between dative NPs and nominative/accusative NPs follow if the former but not the latter are included within a KP-shell, including asymmetries with respect to function changing operations, clausal licensing, binding and topic drop, among others. Corroborating evidence for our analysis of dative Case in German will be provided by a comparison with data from English and Dutch. Second, when combined with certain independent assumptions about the human sentence parsing mechanism, the postulation of a KP for datives helps explain several recent experimental findings with respect to on-line sentence understanding, including the facts that dative case is dispreferred in situations of local syntactic ambiguity and that dative case may erroneously override structural case during sentence comprehension but not vice versa.
##### Subject (DDC)
400 Philology, Linguistics
##### Cite This
ISO 690BAYER, Josef, Markus BADER, Michael MENG, 2001. Morphological underspecification meets oblique case : syntactic and processing effects in German. In: Lingua. 111, pp. 465-514. Available under: doi: 10.1016/S0024-3841(00)00041-3
BibTex
@article{Bayer2001Morph-3724,
year={2001},
doi={10.1016/S0024-3841(00)00041-3},
title={Morphological underspecification meets oblique case : syntactic and processing effects in German},
volume={111},
journal={Lingua},
pages={465--514},
author={Bayer, Josef and Bader, Markus and Meng, Michael}
}

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<dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">In German, oblique Cases (dative and genitive) require morphological licensing while structural Cases (nominative and accusative) do not. This difference can be captured by assuming that in German, NPs bearing oblique Case have an extra structural layer Kase phrase (KP) which is missing in NPs bearing structural Case. Focusing on dative NPs, we will show that the postulation of such a phrase-structural difference between oblique and structural case allows for a unified explanation of a wide array of facts both from the domain of grammar and from the domain of language comprehension. First, with regard to grammar, several asymmetries between dative NPs and nominative/accusative NPs follow if the former but not the latter are included within a KP-shell, including asymmetries with respect to function changing operations, clausal licensing, binding and topic drop, among others. Corroborating evidence for our analysis of dative Case in German will be provided by a comparison with data from English and Dutch. Second, when combined with certain independent assumptions about the human sentence parsing mechanism, the postulation of a KP for datives helps explain several recent experimental findings with respect to on-line sentence understanding, including the facts that dative case is dispreferred in situations of local syntactic ambiguity and that dative case may erroneously override structural case during sentence comprehension but not vice versa.</dcterms:abstract>
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