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Two for the Price of One: An LFG Treatment of Sentence Initial Object es in German

Nadine Theiler and Gerlof Bouma


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We present an analysis of sentence initial object es 'it' in German. The weak pronoun esmay only realize such an object under specific information structural conditions. We follow recent work suggesting these conditions are exactly those that licence the use of the presentational construction, marked by a sentence initial dummy es. We propose that the initial objects are an example of function amalgamation, show that only objects that may also appear in the clause-internal postverbal domain can participate in this fusion and make this precise in LFG. We end the paper with a contrastive discussion.

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