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Crossing the lake

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Abstract

The Alemannic dialects spoken in Switzerland and in south-western Germany are structurally very similar. This seems to extend to the motion verb construction where the motion verb is obligatorily followed by an element <i>gi/go</i> followed by an infinitive. Upon closer inspection, however, intriguing asymmetries emerge. We account for these differences by treating <i>gi/go</i> as belonging to different syntactic categories. This synchronic difference in categorization can be related to different historical developments, as proposed by L&#246;tscher (1993): both elements go back to the preposition <i>gen</i> &#8216;towards&#8217; and developed into a functional head with purpose/goal semantics that combines with a non-finite verbal projection. We will show that while <i>gi</i> in Bodensee-Alemannic still heads this functional projection, <i>go</i> in Swiss German has been reanalyzed as a verbal element and is now integrated into the Verb Raising and Verb Projection Raising system.

References

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