The variation of the subjunctive II in Austria
Evidence from urban and rural analyses
The primary goal of this paper is to investigate areal-horizontal as well as the social-vertical (morpho-)syntactic variation of subjunctive II in urban and rural areas in Austria. The data come from two different corpora that consist of spoken data gathered in two different projects on German in Austria, collected using the method of Language Production Experiments. The high degree of comparability of our data between the two studies highlights the success and reliability of this elicitation method. Beyond this methodological insight, the study has found a global tendency towards a decline of synthetic subjunctive II constructions, whereas periphrastic constructions show an increase, both in more dialect and more standard oriented registers. Our findings further suggest that the city of Vienna exerts a minor influence on neighboring locations regarding the use of subjunctive II forms. At the same time, our data provide evidence for a more decisive influence of the dialect region.