The Vorfeld (prefield) of German declarative V2 main clauses is syntactically underdetermined: It is only required that one phrase stands there, but it is not determined what kind of phrase. This is consequently determined by information structure. The goal of this paper is to look whether Centering Theory can make any predictions; this question is addressed after an overview is given over potential forms in which the center can appear. It turns out that the Center is actually not out very often into the prefield; movement to the prefield seems to work in accordance with a ranking of the form: scene-setting elements outrank poset elements with respect to prefield movement, and poset elements outrank centers. If another part of Centering Theory is taken into account, namely coherence relations, we see that the more coherent the connection between two clauses is, the more often is the Center in the prefield. From that follows that one of the tasks of the prefield is to mark local coherence.
© Walter de Gruyter
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.