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Complex Predicates: Verbal Complexes, Resultative Constructions, and Particle Verbs in German

Stefan Müller
In: o.A.. Studies in Constraint-Based Lexicalism. CSLI Publications, Stanford, 2002.


In this book, I develop a theory of complex predicates that accounts for normal copula constructions, subject and object predicatives, secondary predicates like depictives (1) and resultative constructions (2), and particle verbs. (1) Er ißt das Fleisch roh. (2) Er fährt das Auto kaputt / zu Schrott. In the part about particle verbs it is argued that particles should be treated as parts of the predicate complex. They are serialized in the right sentence bracket (3)-(4) and they can be fronted like adjectives or verbs (5). (3) Karl kommt abends in Berlin an. (4) Karl kommt abends in der Stadt an, in der ich wohne. (5) Fest steht, daß Karl nicht der Mörder war. So it seems reasonable to treat the preverb-verb-constructions in the same way as other predicate complex constructions. Frontings as (5) then can be described as instances of Partial Verb Phrase Fronting.