Word order variation in German main clauses: A corpus analysis
Weber, A., & Mueller, K.
Word order variation in German main clauses: A corpus analysis. In Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics
In this paper, we present empirical data from a corpus study on the linear order of subjects and objects in German main clauses. The aim was to establish the validity of three well-known ordering constraints: given complements tend to occur before new complements, definite before indefinite, and pronoun before full noun phrase complements. Frequencies of occurrences were derived for subject-first and object-first sentences from the German Negra corpus. While all three constraints held on subject-first sentences, results for object-first sentences varied. Our findings suggest an influence of grammatical functions on the ordering of verb complements.