Edited by Monika Schwarz-Friesel, Manfred Consten and Mareile Knees
[Studies in Language Companion Series 86] 2007
► pp. 183–206
The present paper addresses the issue of the grammatical relations in Germanwh-relative clause constructions. It discusses data demonstrating that the ordinary assumption that German wh-relative clauses generally relate to propositional antecedents must be revised. In particular, it shows that the syntactic antecedent of a wh-relative clause has to be separated from its semantic antecedent(s). Wh-relative clauses relate syntactically to a functionally complete sentential projection, while they relate semantically to entities of various kinds. The semantic objects that may function as antecedents of a wh-relative clause are determined by the semantic type of the anaphoric wh-expression introducing a wh-relative clause. The paper provides an account of the described empirical facts in the framework of Discourse Representation Theory.