Recently, it has been argued that verb-first (V1) conditionals are not, as traditionally assumed, integrated into their matrix clauses, but (quasi-)paratactically adjoined to their host clause (Axel & Wöllstein, German verb-first conditionals as unintegrated clauses. A case study in converging synchronic and diachronic evidence, Mouton de Gruyter, 2009 and Reis & Wöllstein, Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 29: 111–179, 2010). As a consequence, the host clause of a left-peripheral V1-conditional clause is considered to be either a V1-declarative sentence or an elliptical V2-declarative sentence. The authors argue with semantic and syntactic properties of V1-clauses and also present diachronic evidence for their views. It is the aim of this paper to take a close look at their arguments in order to show that some do not withstand close scrutiny and that some of the facts presented are at least compatible with other interpretations.
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