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Wort- und Formenvielfalt

Festschrift für Christoph Koch zum 80. Geburtstag. Unter Mitarbeit von Daniel Petit


Edited By Anna Jouravel and Audrey Mathys

Die Festschrift ehrt Christoph Koch, Professor für Vergleichende und Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft an der Freien Universität Berlin. Zu seinem 80. Geburtstag vereint der Band wissenschaftliche und persönliche Beiträge von Kollegen, Schülern und Freunden. Sie umfassen verschiedene Bereiche der historischen und modernen Sprachwissenschaften wie der Indogermanistik, der Byzantinistik, der Slavistik oder Baltistik, greifen kunsthistorische und editionsphilologische Fragestellungen auf und spiegeln somit das breite Spektrum der Interessens- und Forschungsgebiete des Jubilars wider.

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On the Middle-Field in Old Frisian

Rosemarie Lühr


The Old Frisian text corpus comprises mainly legal texts. Two features are characteristic of legal language. First, the subject can change between denoting the offender and the castigator without the need to indicate this linguistically by an overt expression. The second feature of legal language concerns reference. Normally subjects and objects do not refer to individuals in discourse but to classes of individuals of one kind. When dealing with information structure and the contribution of the subject within the topic-comment-domain, these two features have to be considered. The basic word order of Old Frisian is that of a verb-second language. As verb-second word order also occurs with complex predicates, Old Frisian features a topological structure comparable to German and therefore has a middle-field as well as a pre-field and a post-field. In this paper, we want to investigate main clauses in which the subject is located in the middle-field in Old Frisian. In legal texts many generalizing conditional clauses, conditional adverbials and adverbs, as well as causal clauses and adverbs are found at the beginning of a sentence. Therefore, in investigating the Old Frisian middle-field we confine ourselves to main clauses in which those adverbials appear in the pre-field and the subject in the middle-field. Treating the middle-field as a whole we also want to exploit possible scrambling structures. Old English serves as contrast language. The theoretical framework is Centering Theory.

Old Frisian is attested relatively late in law books and official documents dating from the 13th to...

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