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The use of the conjunction weil among German-speaking Canadian immigrants

  • Author / Creator
    Miller, Veronica Katherine
  • In standard, written German, causal clauses introduced by the conjunction weil (because) display subordinate, verb-final word order. In spoken German, however, verb-second (V2) or main clause order has been increasingly found to follow weil. Early discussion of weil explored the possible loss of subordinate word order, the influence of English on German word order, and weil V2 as specific to a region or dialect. The present study addresses these and other arguments using a corpus of over 800 weil clauses. Spontaneous, spoken data from two groups of native German speakers who immigrated to Canada before 1970 and after 1985 were analyzed and coded for word order. The data showed an increase in the use of the conjunction weil, and weil V2 among younger native speakers. Earlier hypotheses regarding speaker origin, the influence of English and the loss of subordinate word order were either confirmed or refuted by the data.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3BT6H
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Nadasdi, Terry (Linguistics)
    • Kost, Claudia (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)