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Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft

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Volume 28, Issue 2


Die Entstehung des periphrastischen Perfekts mit haben und sein im Deutschen – eine längst beantwortete Frage?

Peter Öhl
Published Online: 2009-10-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ZFSW.2009.027


The rise of the periphrastic perfect tenses – past participle + have or be – is a phenomenon for which the analysis is especially promising with regards to the research on grammaticalisation. Firstly, it involved several steps of syntactic reanalysis and lexical recategorisation leading to a construction-specific auxiliary verb form. This allows for conclusions to be drawn about processes involved in grammaticalisation in general. Secondly, it is a grammatical change in which both Germanic and Romance languages converged. This allows for conclusions about universal conditions underlying such kinds of change. Thirdly, in German, the rise occurred rather late and within a relatively short period of time. This allows for the observation of the periphrasis in statu nascendi. In this paper, the grammaticalisation process is modeled and explained in a formal framework of generative syntax, also taking into account performance-based changes and contextual aspects providing the conditions for the relevant changes in the grammar. The main claim is that this process of grammaticalisation was terminated by an abrupt parametric change, leading to a syntactically reanalysed form of analytic inflection and the recategorisation of have as an auxiliary. The result was a full paradigm of periphrastic perfect tense. The preconditions for this grammatical change were provided by a sequence of performance-based changes and minor formal reanalyses, giving the process its gradual nature.

Keywords:: Grammaticalisation; Old High German; Latin; formal and functional accounts

About the article

Received: 2007-11-05

Revised: 2008-06-05

Published Online: 2009-10-13

Published in Print: 2009-10-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, Volume 28, Issue 2, Pages 265–306, ISSN (Online) 1613-3706, ISSN (Print) 0721-9067, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ZFSW.2009.027.

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