Gutzmann, Daniel and Katharina Turgay. 2015. Zur Stellung von Modalpartikeln in der gesprochenen Sprache. To appear in Deutsche Sprache.


While the syntactic and semantic properties of German modal particles are well documented, they recently became a major topic in formal syntax and semantics as well. However, empirical studies that are directly connected to this line of research are yet to be done. Therefore, this paper seeks to shed some new light on questions that arose in the ongoing theoretical discussions, for instance, whether there are different classes of modal particles and how they behave with respect to adverbials. In order to do this, we analyze a corpus of authentic data of spoken German. As it turns out, modal particles are not as frequent as one might have imagined, which is even more true of modal particle combinations. Modal particles mostly follow subjects or pronouns, which is in accordance with the theoretical research, whereas MPs mostly precede all kinds of adverbials. In addition, modal particles can be groups depending on their syntactic linearization. Surprisingly, these syntactic groups do not coincide with a semantic classification in speech act and propositional particles.

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