Verb Doubling in Zürich German: Syntactic Contexts and Change in Progress

Christa Schmidt

Universität Freiburg, Germany
The Swiss German dialect feature of verb doubling has been the object of several studies in the frameworks of Generative Grammar and Grammaticalization Theory. The aim of this talk is to show what a sociolinguistic approach is able to reveal about the feature. It is based on an empirical study using questionaires and an additional analysis of a corpus of written dialect texts. The syntactic contexts investigated include tense, mood, different word order patterns and the verbs with which the phenomenon can occur.

The focus of the talk are certain aspects of verb doubling which currently show variation within Z¨rich German, in particular the cho/go-variation after the verb choo ('to come') and the occurence or non-occurence of verb doubling with the verb laa ('to let'). In both cases, the comparison of age-groups reveals a regular pattern which indicates on-going changes in the use of the phenomenon.

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Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects (SAND)