Article published in:Rightward Movement in a Comparative Perspective
Edited by Gert Webelhuth, Manfred Sailer and Heike Walker
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 200] 2013
► pp. 63–98
Constraints on intra- and extraposition
Complement clauses in German are subject to two conflicting requirements. First, the grammar requires complements to precede the clause-final verb. Second, considerations of parsing complexity require clausal complements to move rightward to a position following the clause-final verb, thereby avoiding center-embedding. We explore how the two major types of infinitival complement clauses – infinitival complements of modal and control verbs – behave with regard to the tension created by these two conflicting requirements. Based on two grammaticality judgment experiments – one for each type of infinitival complementation – we argue that the observable pattern of intra-and extraposition, including certain mixed cases, is best understood as a gradual relaxation of the grammar-internal OV constraint in reaction to parsing pressure.
Published online: 16 July 2013