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This project seeks to explore the dimensions of syntactic variability from a diachronic perspective. We will combine corpus study and psycholinguistic experimentation to investigate how language processing strategies might affect speakers' choices of particular syntactic variants. The extraordinary abundance of syntactic variants in Early New High German, which gradually became more constrained during the emergence of present-day Standard German, will provide a suitable empirical basis for this. The project will focus on the emergence of coherent infinitival structures.
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Demske (principal investigator)
PD Dr. Claudia Felser (principal investigator)
Dr. Sina Bosch (postdoctoral researcher)
Ilaria De Cesare (doctoral researcher)
Demske, U. & De Cesare, I. (2018). Grammatical processing and syntactic change: infinitival complements in German. Invited talk presented at lecture series "Linguistic Circle", University of Edinburgh, 22 March.