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Word order and morphological case

German is a language with a rich case system. The overt morphological realisation of case is marked on nouns, adjectives, determiners and pronouns (Haege- man 1994: 157), see (391).

A structural account of German

The position at the right periphery of the sentence (VE, verb-end) is assumed to be the base position of the verb in generative approaches to German sentence structure, which implies that with respect to VP headedness German instantiates the head-final (OV) option.

Descriptive accounts of the verb placement asymmetry that characterises German word order differ with respect to whether or not main and embedded clauses are assumed to be generated on the basis of a common underlying structure (Grewendorf 1988, Vikner 1995, Gawlitzek-Maiwald et al. 1992, among others). In this study, we adopt the asymmetry hypothesis according to which main clauses are based on a head-initial IP (as in (392) and (393)), whereas com- plementiser introduced clauses are generated on the basis of a CP with a head- final IP (as in (394)). In main declarative clauses, finite verbs raise from V to I. As the preverbal position cannot remain empty, the subject or any other constituent (XP) is topicalised to the sentence-initial position. In complementiser introduced embedded clauses, verbs pick up the grammatical features in the sentence final INFL position.

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