Complement clauses in spoken German and English. Syntax, deixis and discourse-pragmatics

Regina Weinert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines features of spoken German and English complement dass/that-clauses. It focuses on clauses with and without a complementiser, correlative constructions and unintegrated complement clauses, as well as a related English copular construction. Differences between the languages are discussed in terms of the role of the complementiser in relation to word order, assertional vs presuppositional clauses, epistemic main clauses, deixis and discourse function. While German and English have a similar set of possible complement clauses, they are shown to differ in terms of what is typical in spoken language. The article underlines the need to examine spoken language structures in use on their own terms and further confirms that complementation by a finite-clause is not a unitary phenomenon within each language. The analysis is carried out from a usage-based perspective of language which works with the concept of constructions and sees a close relationship between lexis and grammar. The article also has implications for typological work on complementation in spoken language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-265
JournalFolia Linguistica
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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