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Cook, Philippa: Between complex predicates and regular phrases: German collocational clusters

I argue for a new type of non-standard constituent in German; a modifier-collocational-cluster. This type of cluster combines (i) a modifier and (ii) a PP from a light-verb construction (or a Funktionsverbgefüge (FVG) as they are known in German) or a bare noun. Such strings are found in German in initial (prefield) position in certain cases of apparent multiple fronting. We are dealing with a syntax-semantics mismatch here since the modifier does not semantically modify the element with which it can first syntactically combine. I show that the modifier is a collocate of both its co-prefield element but also of the verb. I propose a schema which lexically licenses the building of such clusters and I show how we can encode information about what I refer to as collocational selection in the lexical entries of the type of lexemes involved in these multi-word strings. The analysis can be seen as lexical but does not require lexical storage of phrasal elements.

Maintained by Stefan Müller

Created: October 20,2014
Last modified: December 10, 2021

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