This project seeks to explore the dimensions of syntactic variability from a diachronic perspective, starting from the hypothesis that structures that are easier to process tend to prevail in syntactic change. During the second phase of the CRC, we will examine the extent to which the principle of dependency length minimization can account for variability and syntactic change in the history of German. Focusing on the placement of subordinate clauses in German, psycholinguistic data from present-day speakers will be compared to data from diachronic corpora to test the hypothesis that the distance between dependent constituents has decreased significantly over time.
Potsdam Research Institute for Multilingualism
Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25, House 2, Room 0.02