Thursday 15 October —Melissa Farasyn

Speaker: Melissa Farasyn  (University Gent)

Title: Agreement patterns in Middle Low German non-restrictive relative clauses

Date: Thursday 15 October

Venue: Lipsius 235B

Time: 15:15 – 16:30 hrs 


In this talk I will focus on agreement patterns in Middle Low German (MLG) non-restrictive relative clauses, particulary in relative clauses with a first or second person antecedent. This implies the following kinds of structures, in which some kind of agreement has to be achieved between antecedent, relative pronoun and VfinRel:

            O here de du my geschapen hefst

            O lord REL you me created have-2SG

‘O lord who has created me’

(Ey(n) Jnnige clage to gode, Münster, 1480)

            dat=tu mijn vader woldest wesen de mijn schepper bist

that=you my father would be REL [ ] my creator are-2SG

‘that thou wouldst be my father, who [thou] art my creator’

(Dat myrren bundeken, Münster, 1480)

The establishment of agreement between these elements can result in different agreement types, which will be called agreement patterns or agreement chains (Kratzer 2009). Starting point of detecting these patterns will be the ones found in High German (HG), since these were already largely described (f.e. Ito & Mester 2000, Kratzer 2009, Trutkowski & Weiß to app.). I will use the constraints for detecting the phenomenon in HG to explain how we can find these – not that common – patterns in a MLG corpus. Based on a focused corpus study, I will give an overview of the syntactic distribution of the agreement patterns and I will focus on the patterns themselves. Using a privative feature system, a preliminary analysis of the agreement chains and the mismatches in MLG will be given. Further evidence for this analysis will be shown by looking at a former pilot study about null pronominal subjects in MLG (Farasyn & Breitbarth to app.), revealing some remarkable similarities to phenomena found in this study as well, as for example a strong influence from the discourse and the frequent occurrence of deficient pronouns (Cardinaletti & Starke 1999) in the Wackernagel position .



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