Zentrum und Peripherie in der deutschen Syntax.
Erprobung des theoretischen Modells (Konditionalität, Passivstrukturen)
The present paper is the first part of a larger essay which, due to space constraints, will be published in two separate parts. Using evidence of two small corpora, I develop a centre-
periphery model inspired by the prototype theory and apply it to the syntax of German. In doing so I proceed in two steps. In the first part, published here, the graded four-level model of linguistic variation presented below (with the categories “prototype”, “variants”, “competitive forms” and “free stylistic variation”) is tested and refined on two already well-researched grammartical phenomena, namely conditionality and passive structures. In the second part (to be published in the next issue of Linguistik online) I apply the model to the more complex subject of sentence types in German, in particular the so-called minor sentence types. A complete description of a language should not only list the grammatical categories, but also contain quantitative information, on both the frequency of occurrence of a particular category and on the position and relative share of this category in the field of its competing means of linguistic expression. A grammar of contemporary German, which not only records the structures, but shows the “structures in use” in different domains and text types, still remains a desideratum.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.