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On the so‐called Absentive – in German

  • This investigation targets a syntactic phenomenon of German which is commonly referred to as the absentive construction. The absentive is considered a universal grammatical category denoting absence. Its syntax is characterised by the occurrence of an auxiliary or copula verb accompanied by a non‐finite VP containing a main verb. The expression of absence, predicated over the clausal subject, is assumed to be based on a constructional meaning. Reviewing a wide range of syntactic and interpretive properties of this structure in German, we will demonstrate that certain empirical claims about the construction are not well founded and that its seemingly idiosyncratic properties are indeed available for compositional analyses. We will propose a structural analysis of its core syntactic and interpretive properties: The predication expresses the localisation of the subject at the location of the event, denoted by the infinitival verb. The interpretation of absence, then, can be explained by an implicature.

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Metadaten
Author:Christian Fortmann, Angelika Wöllstein
URN:urn:nbn:de:bsz:mh39-94401
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/stul.12111
ISSN:1467-9582
Parent Title (English):Studia Linguistica
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication:Oxford [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2019
Date of Publication (online):2019/12/11
Publicationstate:Zweitveröffentlichung
Reviewstate:Peer-Review
GND Keyword:Absentiv; Deutsch; Verb
Volume:73
Issue:3
First Page:604
Last Page:649
Dewey Decimal Classification:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Grammatikforschung
Licence (German):Es gilt das UrhG