In spoken varieties of German, causal adverbial clauses introduced by weil are frequently used with V2 order. Interestingly, weil-V2 clauses are not simply a colloquial variant of standard verb-final clauses, but have also many specific syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic properties. On the one hand, weil-V2 clauses differ systematically from their verb-final counterparts. While V2 clauses yield causal interpretations not available for the corresponding verb-final clauses, verb-final clauses show a higher degree of syntactic integration and syntactic flexibility than V2 clauses. On the other hand, weil-V2 clauses share crucial formal and functional properties with other kinds of embedded V2 clauses such as V2-complement clauses and V2-relative clauses. Weil-V2 clauses can therefore be subsumed under the notion of ‘embedded root phenomena’. In this paper, we develop an analysis that derives all syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic properties of weil-V2 clauses at the interfaces between syntax, semantics, and pragmatics from their paratactic syntactic structure and the assertional force potential triggered by V-to-C movement. The results of a questionnaire study provide independent empirical evidence for our analysis.
© 2010 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York
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