Edited by Eva Zehentner, Melanie Röthlisberger and Timothy Colleman
[Studies in Germanic Linguistics 7] 2023
► pp. 80–114
In modern Standard German, the base order of direct and indirect full noun objects in the ‘Mittelfeld’ is considered to be IO>DO. Deviation from this order is influenced by various linguistic factors such as prosody, complexity, syntactic structure, animacy, definiteness, and information structure. Does this also hold for dialectal and historical varieties of German? In order to answer this question, I present results of a comprehensive diachronic corpus study (8th–20th century) on the significance of these factors, which in sum involved about 2,100 instances of ditransitives. My data shows that, at least since the 11th century, information structure has been the most important and stable factor for the inversion of the base order: A given or more salient DO significantly increases the likelihood for DO>IO. However, IO>DO remains the predominant order throughout the history of German.
For any use beyond this license, please contact the publisher at email@example.com.