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STUF - Language Typology and Universals

Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung

Editor-in-Chief: Stolz, Thomas

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2017: 0.19

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.166
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.506

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Volume 67, Issue 4


Complementizer agreement in eastern Wisconsin: (Central) Franconian features in an American heritage language community

Joshua Bousquette
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Georgia, Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies, 207 Joseph E. Brown Hall, Athens, GA 30602, USA
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Published Online: 2014-10-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2014-0029


The present study shows that Wisconsin Heritage German licenses complementizer agreement for second person singular, with inflectional affixes developed through the reanalysis of phonetically-derived hiatus effects. Most frequently attested in speakers with direct ancestry to Franconian-speaking regions, this phenomenon is restricted to second person singular, consistent with the input varieties at time of immigration. Analyzed diachronically, complementizer agreement is shown to progress through a linguistic cycle involving the reanalysis and subsequent compensatory reinforcement of subject pronouns, with Wisconsin Heritage German exhibiting the earliest stage of this cycle.

Keywords: complementizer agreement; feature economy; German; grammaticalization; heritage language; linguistic cycle; Wisconsin

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Published Online: 2014-10-25

Published in Print: 2014-11-01

Citation Information: STUF - Language Typology and Universals, Volume 67, Issue 4, Pages 561–588, ISSN (Online) 2196-7148, ISSN (Print) 1867-8319, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2014-0029.

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