German adverbs and adverbials : descriptive, theoretical and comparative perspectives 2021 Сщтаукутсу

Страна: Франция

Город: Bordeaux

Тезисы до: 01.09.2020

Даты: 29.04.21 — 30.04.21

Область наук: Филологические;

Е-мейл Оргкомитета: or

Организаторы: Maison des Sciences de l'Homme d'Aquitaine, Université Bordeaux Montaigne


Adverbs represent a major challenge for any theory of word classes in German. Among the most plausible candidates for this status, we find lexical items that are morphologically and functionally so diverse that the very unity of the class is cast into doubt.

At the morphosyntactic level, only two features appear to be generally acceptable : the lack of flexion and the ability to fill the first slot of a declarative clause (Vorfeld). Yet, not all connective adverbs and particles can occur in this slot. In spite of this, several authors regard these items as (deficient) adverbs...

Functional-syntactic criteria quickly meet their limits, as well. It is well-known that they can not only modify a verb or a VP, but also be part of an NP or specify an adjective. Even within the VP, several scope classes have to be distinguished. Adverbs such as gerade, weiterhin or noch participate in the marking of aspect and Aktionsart, raising the question of their incipient grammaticalization. Sentence adverbs do not form a unified class, either: they can exhibit different scopes, different functions and occupy different syntactic positions. Functional hierarchies ought to be established. Within the core VP, adverbs are often associated either with manner, or with circumstances. But among adverbs of time and place, some seem to be able to enjoy the status of core arguments to the verb (ich wohne hier), so that it becomes necessary to question the distinction between arguments and adjuncts frequently underlying the notion of circumstantial adverbial. But circumstantials can also play a text- or discourse-structuring role as framesetting topics, in which case they should be located at a higher functional level than “normal” circumstances. The syntactic diversity of adverbs is at least partly linked to the heterogeneity of “adverbial functions”. In German, theses functions can also be fulfilled by NPs, PrepPs, conjunctional phrases (“adverbial clauses”) but also adjectives. Further, many German adverbs go back to processes of lexicalization and/or reanalysis of adverbial NPs. Can we link the presumptive emergence of a lexical class of adverbs in German and the downfall of adverbial genitives? Do adverbial adjectives really have access to the same functions as derivated forms like adverbs ending with -erweise? Is there any kind of relation between morphology and semantic resp. syntactic function?

The aim of the conference is to discuss issues on the formal and functional characterization of adverbs in German, crossing language-specific, descriptive and theoretical research and drawing on inputs from all theoretical backgrounds, from cross-linguistic research. Methodological, epistemological and historical contributions are welcome, as well. Among the problems to be addressed are:
- The status of adverbs in linguistic theories of parts-of-speech in German
- The respective relevance of functional and formal criteria and their combination
- Taxonomies and hierarchies within adverbs and adverbials; how sustainable are notions like “manner adverbs” or “sentence adverbs”?
- Adverbs vs adjectives; adverbs vs. adverbial NPs; adverbs and particles
- Lexicalization and grammaticalization in the history of German adverbs
- Adverbs in dependence grammars
- Adverbs and adverbials from an information-structural perspective

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