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Title: Topics in Zurich German syntax
Author: Cooper, Kathrin E.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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The primary aim of this thesis is to present a range of hitherto undiscussed data illustrating syntactic phenomena of Zurich German, with a view to establishing the structure of the Zurich German clause. Zurich German is an Alemannic dialect of German spoken in Switzerland. Like other Swiss dialects of German, it is almost exclusively a spoken language and has no written standard. Its syntax is therefore not subject to normative rules and provides a valuable object of study against the background of standardised German, Dutch, English and other Germanic languages. The syntactic theory underlying this investigation is Government and Binding Theory. Chapter one presents a brief introduction to the language and previous literature, as well as a discussion of methodological and theoretical aspects. The focus of chapter two is on the word order freedom in the middle field (Mittelfeld) and on the question of an obligatory subject position. It is argued that there is no strong evidence for functional heads other than COMP and that the middle field is best described in terms of a verb projection only. Chapter three discusses the distribution of clitic pronouns and concludes that subject clitics are lexical clitics, while object clitics are phonological clitics. Cases of apparent referential null subjects are analysed in terms of silent clitics, i.e. clitics with an unexpressed phonetic form. Chapter four looks at the properties of the clause-initial position (SpecCP) and the second position (COMP) in root and embedded contexts. It is argued that COMP is the locus of finiteness and that verb-second clauses are derived by verb movement to COMP.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available