Edited by Łukasz Jędrzejowski and Constanze Fleczoreck
[Studies in Language Companion Series 231] 2023
► pp. 269–310
This chapter discusses the development of two German causal subjunctions weil and zumal. In particular, it introduces a new proposal for the syntactic reanalysis of weil in the C0-position from a free relative clause. Later, weil-clauses also underwent a shift in meaning in the course of which weil developed from a temporal into a causal subjunction. The development of temporal into causal meaning is widely-attested cross-linguistically. This chapter argues that in the case of German, the actuation of this general path was probably enabled by prior extensions of the temporal meaning, which had made the subjunction into a universal subjunction of simultaneity relations. The subjunction zumal, by contrast, developed from the combination zumal weil ‘especially since’ after zumal had been reanalyzed in the C0-position. The reanalysis only concerned the internal syntax of the clause. Its external syntax and the meaning remained stable and corresponded to zumal weil-clauses. Based on these findings, it will be argued more generally that the development of new elements in the C0-position takes place through the fusion of the properties of the new and the old C0-elements. After the reanalysis, the new C0-element has the subordinating force of the old C0-element as well as the semantic content of the new and the old C0-element.