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Catasso, Nicholas (2015): On Postinitial Aber and Other Syntactic Transgressions: Some Considerations on the Nature of V2 in German. In: Journal of Germanic Linguistics, Vol. 27, No. 4: pp. 317-365


At least since the seminal works on the clause structure of German (Bierwisch 1963, Thiersch 1978, Den Besten 1983 in the generative framework; Drach 1963 and Höhle 1986 within the Topological Field Model), much attention has been devoted to cases of apparent violation of the strict Verb-Second (V2) word order that characterizes matrix but not embedded clauses in German. In particular, phenomena such as multiply-filled prefield (Müller 2003, 2005, 2013; Speyer 2008; Bildhauer 2011; Müller et al. 2012) and so-called postinitial adverbial connectors (Métrich & Courdier 1995, Pasch et al. 2003, Breindl 2008, Volodina & Weiß 2010) in main clauses have been discussed. In this paper, I propose a novel approach to the nature and formal status of V2 in German, showing that a slightly different postulation of its structural features solves the problem of finding ad-hoc solutions to each “deviant” phenomenon.