Syntactic base positions for adjuncts? Psycholinguistic studies on frame and sentence adverbials

Melanie Störzer 1  and Britta Stolterfoht 2
  • 1 SFB "Bedeutungskonstitution" Universitaet Tuebingen Nauklerstr. 35 72074 Tuebingen
  • 2 Deutsches Seminar Universitaet Tuebingen Wilhelmstr. 50 72074 Tuebingen


Syntactic approaches to the positioning of adjuncts (e.g., Frey and Pittner (1998), Maienborn (2001), Frey (2003), Pittner (2004), Steube (2006)) postulate base positions for frame as well as for sentence adverbials above the entire proposition. The question arises how these two adverbial types are positioned in relation to each other. Syntactic accounts respond differently to this question. Furthermore, the role of semantic and pragmatic factors for the positioning of adverbials is disputable. The current paper presents the results of two psycholinguistic experiments that provide evidence for a base position account of frame and sentence adverbials. Furthermore, a non-syntactic factor - namely the referentiality of frame adverbials - is shown to influence position preferences.

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