Chapter published in:Germanic Genitives
Edited by Tanja Ackermann, Horst J. Simon and Christian Zimmer
[Studies in Language Companion Series 193] 2018
► pp. 149–188
The Genitive Rule and its background
In the German Language, there are two types of rules that determine whether a DP/NP may bear genitive case or not. The type I rules handle the case assignment as in other languages with morphological case, including a visibility condition for the genitive case. The type II rules refer to the DP/NP-internal feature distribution. The interaction of these rules can be formulated as a corollary, the Genitive Rule. Since the type II rules are merely descriptive generalizations, the question arises to what extent the Genitive Rule really covers the diverse constructions with genitive case. On the whole, the Genitive Rule seems to predict the distribution of the genitive constructions and their competitors with other cases correctly. Nonetheless, two deviations are to be expected (and can be observed): (i) A construction is grammatical in spite of violating the Genitive Rule; (ii) a construction is ungrammatical in spite of complying with the Genitive Rule. In both circumstances a second question arises: Which factors trigger the unexpected behavior?
Published online: 26 April 2018
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