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Live fast, die young - the short life of Early Modern German auxiliary ellipsis

Anne Breitbarth UGent (2005) LOT dissertation series.
abstract
This dissertation presents an analysis of the diachronic development and the licensing conditions of finite auxiliary ellipsis in Early Modern German, in particular the so-called afinite construction. The historical development of the phenomenon has rather peculiar properties as compared to other known processes of language change. Usually, such processes go to completion after their initiation and a period of transition. EMG auxiliary ellipsis, however, disappears from language use before it could entirely replace constructions with auxiliaries in the relevant contexts. This curious behaviour is explained by a combination of formal and functional factors. Certain parametric changes in the formal marking of embedded clauses are argued to be crucial input conditions for the rise of the afinite construction. These changes concern the C-system as well as the placement of verbs in embedded clauses. It is argued that the afinite construction develops as a means of marking clausal dependency. The spread and demise of the construction on the other hand are attributed to stylistic factors, having to do with shifts in text complexity. Also the discussion of the licensing conditions combines formal and functional considerations. As the ellipsis of the finite auxiliary never fully replaces constructions with overt auxiliaries, it must have been optional even at the time when it was most ‘established’. Therefore, any account of its licensing conditions also has to take this optionality into consideration. It is argued that the ellipsis develops as a marker of subordination, expressing the lack of assertion.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
promoter
Henk van Riemsdijk
organization
year
type
dissertation
publication status
published
subject
keyword
afinite construction, finiteness, language change, subordination, finite auxiliary ellipsis, Early New High German
in
LOT dissertation series
pages
203 pages
publisher
LOT
place of publication
Utrecht
defense location
Universiteit Tilburg
defense date
2005-11-02 10:15
ISBN
90-76864-82-9
language
English
UGent publication?
no
classification
D1
id
1088287
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1088287
alternative location
http://www.lotpublications.nl/publish/issues/Breitbarth/index.html
date created
2010-12-16 12:19:52
date last changed
2017-01-16 10:37:57
@phdthesis{1088287,
  abstract     = {This dissertation presents an analysis of the diachronic development and the licensing conditions of finite auxiliary ellipsis in Early Modern German, in particular the so-called afinite construction.

The historical development of the phenomenon has rather peculiar properties as compared to other known processes of language change. Usually, such processes go to completion after their initiation and a period of transition. EMG auxiliary ellipsis, however, disappears from language use before it could
entirely replace constructions with auxiliaries in the relevant contexts. This curious behaviour is explained by a combination of formal and functional factors. Certain parametric changes in the formal marking of embedded clauses are argued to be crucial input conditions for the rise of the afinite construction. These changes concern the C-system as well as the placement of verbs in embedded clauses. It is argued that the afinite construction develops as a means of marking clausal dependency. The spread and demise of the construction on the other hand are attributed to stylistic factors, having to do
with shifts in text complexity.

Also the discussion of the licensing conditions combines formal and functional considerations. As the ellipsis of the finite auxiliary never fully replaces constructions with overt auxiliaries, it must have been optional even at the time when it was most {\textquoteleft}established{\textquoteright}. Therefore, any account of its licensing conditions also has to take this optionality into consideration. It is argued that the ellipsis develops as a marker of subordination, expressing the lack of assertion.},
  author       = {Breitbarth, Anne},
  isbn         = {90-76864-82-9},
  keyword      = {afinite construction,finiteness,language change,subordination,finite auxiliary ellipsis,Early New High German},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {203},
  publisher    = {LOT},
  series       = {LOT dissertation series},
  title        = {Live fast, die young - the short life of Early Modern German auxiliary ellipsis},
  url          = {http://www.lotpublications.nl/publish/issues/Breitbarth/index.html},
  year         = {2005},
}

Chicago
Breitbarth, Anne. 2005. “Live Fast, Die Young - the Short Life of Early Modern German Auxiliary Ellipsis.” LOT Dissertation Series. Utrecht: LOT.
APA
Breitbarth, A. (2005). Live fast, die young - the short life of Early Modern German auxiliary ellipsis. LOT dissertation series. LOT, Utrecht.
Vancouver
1.
Breitbarth A. Live fast, die young - the short life of Early Modern German auxiliary ellipsis. LOT dissertation series. [Utrecht]: LOT; 2005.
MLA
Breitbarth, Anne. “Live Fast, Die Young - the Short Life of Early Modern German Auxiliary Ellipsis.” LOT dissertation series 2005 : n. pag. Print.