Volltext-Downloads (blau) und Frontdoor-Views (grau)

Der Schein trügt nämlich

  • The German particle nämlich is puzzling because it seems to have two independent semantic functions which strictly correlate with specific syntactic environments: if nämlich precedes an ,,orphan constituent" (Haegeman 1991) it specifies an underspecified discourse referent in the previous clause, and if nämlich appears in a whole clause its function is marking that the hostclause delivers an explanation to the previous clause. A polysemy- or even homonymy-analysis seems problematic precisely because of this strict correlation between syntactic environment and semantic function. In this paper we propose a unified analysis of nämlich. We argue that nämlich marks the property of the context that there is an implicit question to which the host of nämlich delivers a direct (short) answer (Jacobson 2008). Crucially, constituents are good short answers to constituent-questions (Who?), while whole clauses are only good short-answers to ,,sentence"-questions like Why p? Building on these intuitions we show how both readings of nämlich can systematically be derived and implement our analysis formally.

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar


Author:Edgar Onea, Anna Volodina
Parent Title (German):Linguistische Berichte
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2009
Date of Publication (online):2016/09/15
GND Keyword:Deutsch; Kausalsatz; Partikel; nämlich <Lemma>
First Page:291
Last Page:321
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 410 Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Lexikologie / Etymologie
Licence (German):Es gilt das UrhG