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Research Article

Mood Alternations in Old High German Subordinate Clauses

Marco Coniglio    University of Göttingen    

Roland Hinterhölzl    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

Svetlana Petrova    Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Deutschland    



In this paper, Old High German mood alternations in the different types of subordinate clauses (complement, adverbial and relative clauses) are discussed. The use of the subjunctive in subordinate clauses is notoriously more frequent than in Modern German and has not yet been thoroughly investigated. Based on a comprehensive corpus study, the paper will show that the licensing conditions for the subjunctive in Old High German are determined by notions such as veridicality and – in relative contexts – specificity. These conditions are thus similar (but not always identical) to those observed for Modern Greek and Romance languages. Furthermore, a syntactic analysis is provided in order to account for the licensing of the subjunctive in each type of subordinate clause.

Keywords: Old High German. Mood alternation. Subordinate clause. Complement clause. Adverbial clause. Relative clause. Subjunctive. Indicative. Corpus study. Veridicality. Specificity.

Language: en

Submitted: Aug. 3, 2018   Accepted: Aug. 14, 2018   Published: Sept. 28, 2018  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/AnnOc/2499-1562/2018/01/001

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