[SynSem] Ellen Brandner (Stuttgart)
Tense recursion and the functional make up of auxiliaries in the history of Germanic (joint work with Ida Larsson)
In this talk I will deal with superperfects or perfect doubling in Germanic of the type given in (1)
(1) Ich habe das ganz vergessen gehabt
I have.pres that completely forget.ptc have.ptc
Not all Germanic languages allow this construction and interestingly the distribution correlates with the possibility of allowing (specific) temporal adverbials in the perfect (in contrast to e.g. English) and aux-selection between have and be. It will be argued that the auxiliaries in these languages have a semantically nearly empty AUX, specifically a version of HAVE where there is no incorporated temporal preposition AT in the Kayneian sense which will be the base for explaining the properties mentioned above, as in Larsson & Brandner (to appear).
The second part of the talk will address the role of the prefix ge- in the participle and where to situate it within the functional spine, Wiltschko (2014); thereby especially considering the fact that it occurs twice in the double perfect, i.e. is it indeed ‘simple’ tense recursion or do we need an even more complex structure?
In the last part I will discuss some peculiarities concerning word order: although Alemannic is known to show a high flexibility of word order in the verbal complex (consisting of a lexical, modal and auxiliary verb), this is rather different with double perfects: the participle auxiliary can virtually never occur linearly before the lexical verb. Assuming that the “free order” is confined to the verbal domain, this bolsters the claim that the second auxiliary is indeed directly inserted in the functional Tense-Aspect domain.