Part ofLanguage Change at the Interfaces: Intrasentential and intersentential phenomena
Edited by Nicholas Catasso, Marco Coniglio and Chiara De Bastiani
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 275] 2022
► pp. 165–188
This paper aims to investigate the so-called gehen+infinitive construction in German, in which an inflected form of the (movement) verb gehen ‘go’ is combined with the infinitive of another main verb and, thus, seems to behave like an auxiliary syntactically. Supported by two questionnaire studies, we will argue that (i) this construction undergoes a currently observable grammaticalization process, and that (ii) it is generally used to encode an aspectual reading, namely ingressivity. Finally, we provide a proposal for the diachronic development of the gehen+infinitive construction, arguing for a transition from a biclausal structure to a monoclausal one, and discuss the consequence of this shift at the syntax-semantics-interface.