Clines of subordination &#8211; constructions with the German &#8216;complement-taking predicate&#8217; <i>glauben</i>

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The German &#8220;complement-taking predicate&#8221; (Thompson/Mulac 1984, 1991) <i>glauben</i> occurs in a number of different syntactic constructions. For example, it can be realized as part of a matrix clause followed by a subordinate clause with or without a complementizer. As the term &#8220;complement-taking predicate&#8221; suggests, these matrix constructions should be expected to be the standard ones with <i>glauben</i>. An empirical study of the uses of <i>glauben</i> in spoken German reveals, though, that the majority of all cases involving <i>glauben</i> are hybrid constructions resembling modal particles or adverbs. With those instances of <i>glauben</i>, a new &#8220;small construction&#8221; (Thompson 2002a) is about to be grammaticalized into a kind of epistemic qualifier. The process of this reanalysis is not yet finished, resulting in constructions that cannot be allocated to any conventional category such as <i>matrix clause</i> or <i>modal particle</i>.


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