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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 25, 2008

Das Zustandspassiv – Pragmatische Beschränkungen und Regelkonflikte

  • Klaus Welke
From the journal


In constructions of copula + participle II, often called “Zustandspassiv”, we find many unclear restrictions. Maienborn (2007: 83-115) explains these by pragmatics in the following way: One invariant meaning is opposed to different pragmatic readings that are gaining their existence in the pragmatic level only. We explain these restrictions in semantics itself. Restrictions in forming copula + participle II-constructions are due to conflicts between the construction meaning of copula constructions and the construction meanings of participles II. Pragmatics is mediating between the conflicting construction meanings by means of pragmatic implicatures. Due to these accommodations nearly no copula + participle construction is grammatically wrong in a strict sense, but many constructions remain restricted in their acceptability. The construction meaning of Zustandspassiv is opposed to three meaning variants of participle II. The interplay between the construction meaning of copula constructions and the three meaning variants of participles II results in different accomodations between copula-constructions and participle meanings. In some cases participle meanings adapt to copula construction meanings, in other cases the opposite process is going on. On the one hand the construction meaning of copula construction is the predication of a property to the referent of the subject. On the other hand there are a post state (target state) meaning, a present state meaning and a past time meaning of particples II. The interplay with the construction meaning of the copula construction results in four meaning variants of Zustandspassiv: post state (target state) as a property, present state as a property, past time of an event as a property, and past time meaning only. The meaning ‘past time of an event as a property’ is grammaticalizing to a past sein-passive as opposed to past werden-passive with full grammaticality. At least there are constructions that are also not completely wrong, but the accommodation to the construction meaning of copula constructions failed in a way that the only possibility of interpretation is to understand these constructions of sein + participle II as elliptical werden-passives of past tense. In this case the past time meaning of the participle completely has gained superiority to the original copula construction.

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Online erschienen: 2008-04-25
Erschienen im Druck: 2007-September
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