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Theoretical Linguistics

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Volume 32, Issue 3 (Dec 2006)


Is German V-to-C Movement Really Semantically Motivated? Some Empirical Problems

Marga Reis
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Tübingen.
  • Email:
Published Online: 2006-12-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TL.2006.023


1. The central issue for a linguistic theory of sentence types is to what extent their meanings (‘sentence moods’) can be compositionally derived from their form. T[ruckenbrodt]'s paper is a valiant, and altogether fascinating attempt to identify a specific contribution of the central formal feature of German sentence types – verb position viz. finite verb movement to C (V-to-C ) – to these meanings. His central claim is that V-to-C is triggered by a context index in C containing crucial sentence mood elements that must be checked in order to yield the appropriate illocutionary interpretations of V-in-C root clauses. In short, according to T, German V-toC has a purely semantic viz. illocutionary motivation. It is this central claim that I will take issue with in the following.

About the article

Published Online: 2006-12-14

Published in Print: 2006-12-01

Citation Information: Theoretical Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 1613-4060, ISSN (Print) 0301-4428, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TL.2006.023. Export Citation

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