Article published in:Bavarian Syntax: Contributions to the theory of syntax
Edited by Günther Grewendorf and Helmut Weiß
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 220] 2014
► pp. 203–222
Really weird subjects. The syntax of family names in Bavarian.
The syntax of (first or last) names shows many interesting properties in Bavarian – as well as in other German dialects. Yet this paper will focus on a type of construction that seems to occur only in Bavarian. Family Names (FN) are combined with a preposition which can be von ‘of’ or bei ‘at’ depending on the regional variety of Bavarian. The PP consisting of the preposition plus an encliticized definite article marked for dative plus FN – von/bein FN – can surface as an argument in a sentence, preferably as subject. It will be argued that these seemingly prepositional subjects are DPs and not PPs. The Bavarian preposition von, comparable to English of, is a functional item used as a substitute for the lost genitive case. Therefore, for the von-type, I will propose a small-clause-structure which was developed for possessive constructions (Szabolsci 1983; Kayne 1993; Uriagereka 2002; Weiß 2008). Although the bei-type is of different origin – locative constructions with a subject clitic – it can be observed that it got assimilated to the von-type. Both types of constructions are convincing evidence for the fact that underlying structures are sometimes much more complex than the surface strings seem to require.
Published online: 26 November 2014
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van Riemsdijk, Henk
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