Über die Syntax sogenannter absoluter Konstruktionen im Deutschen
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDeutsche Sprache. 2018, (2), 121-141.
This article argues that so-called absolute nominative and accusative constructions differ syntactically from one another with respect to internal structure, distribution, syntactic function, adjunction sites, binding (principle A, B, and C), and comparative wie-phrases. In both constructions, however, we are dealing with small clause adjuncts consisting (minimally) of a nominative or accusative DP and a predicative XP. However, only the DP of the absolute nominative can be analyzed as the grammatical subject of an absolute construction, i.e. a subject-predicate structure. The absolute accusative, on the other hand, is not a grammatical subject with absolute, i.e. ungoverned, case, but rather the accusative object of the deleted verb in an elliptical structure. In this structure, PRO is the grammatical subject. Thus, these structures are not absolute constructions, but rather free adjuncts (cf. Kortmann 1988). Finally, the PRO subject of absolute accusative constructions proves to be obligatorily controlled.