Verb Clusters

A study of Hungarian, German and Dutch

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Many languages have constructions in which verbs cluster. But few languages have verb clusters as rich and complex as Continental West Germanic and Hungarian. Furthermore the precise ordering properties and the variation in the cluster patterns are remarkably similar in Hungarian and Germanic. This similarity is, of course, unexpected since Hungarian is not an Indo-European language like the Germanic language group. Instead it appears that the clustering, inversion and roll-up patterns found may constitute an areal feature. This book presents the relevant language data in considerable detail, taking into account also the variation observed, for example, among dialects. But it also discusses the various analytical approaches that can be brought to bear on this set of phenomena. In particular, there are various hypotheses as to what is the underlying driving force behind cluster formation: stress patterns, aspectual features, morpho- syntactic constraints? And the analytical approaches are closely linked to a number of questions that are at the core of current syntactic theorizing: does head movement exist or should all apparent verb displacement be reduced to remnant movement, are morphology and syntax really just different sides of the same coin?

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