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Schallert, Oliver (2019): Verbstellungsvariation bei Exklamativen aus diachroner Perspektive. In: Beitrage zur Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache und Literatur, Vol. 141, No. 4: pp. 477-506
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Since MHG times, W-exclamatives show variation between verb-second and verb-last word order. Contrary to Naf's pilot study on Gottfried von Strassburg's 'Tristan' (1992), I demonstrate that verb-last is in fact the more common pattern for W-exclamatives in MHG. This means that a syntactic change must have happened as the language develeped into Modern German, in which verb-second is the predominant order. As for the latter period, the long-standing assumption has been that there are no functional differences between these types. I show that at least for MHG, this null hypothesis is still valid, so that recent suggestions by Repp (2016) about present-day German that gradation is the distinguishing feature, cannot be supported for older stages of German.