Prof. Dr. Walt Detmar Meurers
Constraint-based approaches to Germanic syntax


W. Detmar Meurers and Tibor Kiss (Eds.)


Stanford, Calif.: CSLI Publications, 2001.


This book is a collection of papers presenting analyses of some of the central linguistic phenomena characteristic of the Germanic languages. It presents approaches to the grammar of Germanic languages from two constraint-based frameworks, Lexical-Functional Grammar and varieties of Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar. These approaches share the idea that declarative constraints are used to describe linguistic structures, and they emphasize the explicit formalization of these constraints and the linguistic data structures they operate on. On the other hand, the technical apparatus employed by the various approaches should not obscure the goal behind the analyses presented within constraint-based grammar theory in general: The goal is not to explore the use of fancy linguistic technology which eventually becomes another l'art pour l'art dead end of the field, but to broaden the empirical coverage of constraint-based linguistic approaches.


Focusing the book on Germanic rather than on a particular syntactic theory is intended to encourage inter-framework discussion of the wealth of problematic constructions which have been investigated in these languages, such as verb-second, semi-free word order, partial fronting phenomena, or complex predicate formation. Among the theoretical issues that have developed from these empirical domains, the following major strands receive particular attention in this volume: the segregation of linear order and constituent structure, a stronger invocation of the syntax-semantics interface, and the idea to capture generalizations in the lexicon.


An introduction serves as a backbone situating the proposals made in the book in the landscape of constraint-based approaches to Germanic syntax developed in recent years.


Table of Contents

Contributors (vii-viii)


  1. Tibor Kiss and W. Detmar Meurers: Introduction (1-6)
  2. Judith Berman: On the Cooccurrence of Es with a Finite Clause in German: An LFG Analysis (7-30)
  3. Kordula De Kuthy: Splitting PP arguments from NPs (31-76)
  4. Anke Holler-Feldhaus: An HPSG Analysis of German Wh-Interrogatives (77-109)
  5. Per Anker Jensen and Peter Rossen Skadhauge: Linearization and Diathetic Alternations in Danish (111-140)
  6. Tibor Kiss: Configurational and Relational Scope Determination in German (141-175)
  7. Jonas Kuhn: Resource Sensitivity in the Syntax-Semantics Interface: Evidence from the German Split NP Construction (177-215)
  8. Stefan Müller: Case in German: Towards an HPSG Analysis (217-255)
  9. Frank Richter and Manfred Sailer: On the Left Periphery of German Finite Sentences (257-300)


Subject Index (301-308)

Name Index. (309-312)



Bibtex entries:

  author        = {Kiss, Tibor and Meurers, W. Detmar},
  title         = {Introduction},
  crossref      = {meurers:kiss:01},
  pages         = {1--6},
  url           = {}
  author        = {Berman, Judith},
  title         = {On the Cooccurrence of \textit{Es} with a Finite
  Clause in {German}: {A}n {LFG} Analysis},
  crossref      = {meurers:kiss:01},
  pages =         {7--30}
  author        = {De Kuthy, Kordula},
  title         = {Splitting {PPs} from {NPs}},
  crossref      = {meurers:kiss:01},
  pages =         {31--71}
  author =       {Anke Holler-Feldhaus},
  title =        {An {HPSG} Analysis of {German} {Wh}-Interrogatives},
  crossref =     {meurers:kiss:01},
  pages =        {77--109}
  author =       {Jensen, Per Anker  and  Skadhauge, Peter Rossen},
  title =        {Linearization and Diathetic Alternations in {D}anish},
  crossref =     {meurers:kiss:01},
  pages =        {111--140}
  author        = {Tibor Kiss},
  title         = {Configurational and Relational Scope Determination 
  in {German}},
  crossref      = {meurers:kiss:01},
  pages =         {141--175}
  author        = {Jonas Kuhn},
  title         = {Resource Sensitivity in the Syntax-Semantics 
  Interface: {E}vidence from the {German} 
  {S}plit {NP} Construction},
  crossref      = {meurers:kiss:01},
  pages =         {177--215}
  author =       {Stefan M\"uller},
  title =        {Case in {German} -- {A}n {HPSG} Analysis},
  crossref =     {meurers:kiss:01},
  pages        = {217--255}
  author =       {Frank Richter and Manfred Sailer},
  title =        {On the Left Periphery of {German} Finite Sentences},
  crossref =     {meurers:kiss:01},
  pages =        {257--300}
  title         = {Constraint-Based Approaches to {G}ermanic Syntax},
  booktitle     = {Constraint-Based Approaches to {G}ermanic Syntax},
  editor =       {W. Detmar Meurers and Tibor Kiss},
  publisher =    {CSLI Publications},
  series =       {Studies in Constraint-Based Lexicalism},
  address =      {Stanford, CA},
  year =         2001