Filling the prefield : Findings and challenges

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BADER, Markus, Emilia ELLSIEPEN, Vasiliki KOUKOULIOTI, Yvonne PORTELE, 2017. Filling the prefield : Findings and challenges. DGfS 2016 workshop “V2 in grammar and processing: Its causes and its consequences”. Konstanz, 24. Feb 2016 - 26. Feb 2016. In: FREITAG, Constantin, ed., Oliver BOTT, ed., Fabian SCHLOTTERBECK, ed.. Two perspectives on V2 : The invited talks of the DGfS 2016 workshop “V2 in grammar and processing: Its causes and its consequences”. DGfS 2016 workshop “V2 in grammar and processing: Its causes and its consequences”. Konstanz, 24. Feb 2016 - 26. Feb 2016. Konstanz:University of Konstanz, pp. 27-49

@inproceedings{Bader2017Filli-36968, title={Filling the prefield : Findings and challenges}, year={2017}, address={Konstanz}, publisher={University of Konstanz}, booktitle={Two perspectives on V2 : The invited talks of the DGfS 2016 workshop “V2 in grammar and processing: Its causes and its consequences”}, pages={27--49}, editor={Freitag, Constantin and Bott, Oliver and Schlotterbeck, Fabian}, author={Bader, Markus and Ellsiepen, Emilia and Koukoulioti, Vasiliki and Portele, Yvonne} }

Koukoulioti, Vasiliki Ellsiepen, Emilia Bader, Markus 2017-01-27T11:24:30Z 2017 Portele, Yvonne Ellsiepen, Emilia 2017-01-27T11:24:30Z Filling the prefield : Findings and challenges Bader, Markus eng The clause-initial position in German declarative main clauses – the so-called prefield – can be rather flexibly filled with almost any kind of constituent. In the first part of this paper, we give an overview of recent experiments that we ran to investigate the factors governing whether the subject or the object of a transitive verb is put into the prefield. The factors that we tested include the semantic roles assigned by the verb, the animacy of the arguments and the discourse status of the arguments. In agreement with findings from the prior literature, participants put the object argument into the prefield when this was favored by the manipulated factors, but they did not use object fronting for this purpose but passivization instead.<br />Corpus counts nevertheless show that object-initial sentences occur with some regularity, even if their frequency is low in comparison to subject-initial sentences. In the second part of this paper, we therefore make use of corpus evidence in order to explore the conditions under which object-initial sentences are produced. A conclusion emerging from our discussion is that the referential form of an object is an additional factor governing whether it is put into the prefield or not. This conclusion is supported by additional evidence from experiments obtaining acceptability judgments. Koukoulioti, Vasiliki Portele, Yvonne

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