Cognitive Constraints on the Order of Subject and Object in German
The ordering of subject and object, especially in the so-called clause "middle-field," is a perennial problem both for the grammar of German, and for syntactic theories of linearization. While formalist accounts (e.g. Engel, 1977) and semantic accounts (e.g. Lerenz, 1977a) have made valuable contributions to an understanding of S/O order, their monocausal approaches have only limited descriptive adequacy. This paper presents evidence that the ordering of S and O in the clause middle-field in German results from the interaction of multiple cognitive performance factors: agency, animacy, situational definiteness, and contextual givenness.
Published online: 01 January 1985
Cited by 8 other publications
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Bornkessel, Ina, Matthias Schlesewsky & Angela D Friederici
JACKSON, CARRIE N.
Jackson, Carrie N.
KATO, Mary A
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