section 3. Syntax I - Verb clusters

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This paper presents the major synchronic facts about verb clusters in modern Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsylvania German) and indicates how they have developed historically. Although Pennsylvania Dutch is descended from primarily Palatine German dialects, the behavior of verb clusters in the modern language is distinct from what is found in European German dialects. Focusing on three- and four-verb clusters in subordinate clauses, it is observed that Pennsylvania Dutch observes a strict rule whereby a maximum of one lexical verb may occur within a clause; additional lexical verbs are located to the right of the clause periphery. The analysis presumes that non-lexical verbs in verb clusters, specifically the finite auxiliary <i>hawwe</i> 'have' and a non-finite modal, form a single syntactic unit.


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