Franziska Münzberg, Sandra Hansen-Morath
"Die Wucht und Strömung war immens" – wie stark ist der Ellipseneffekt?
Abstract Our corpus study is concerned with subject-verb agreement in contemporary German, more precisely the variation in verb number. We focus on subjects consisting of noun phrases coordinated by the conjunction und (‘and’). In our samples, both nouns are in singular. Number resolution – i.e., plural verb despite of the singular nouns – can be regarded as the default choice in contemporary German. However, our data show that eliding the second determiner in the subject enhances the probability of using the singular verb. This ellipsis effect is highly significant in German and Austrian texts. It seems to be weaker in Swiss texts. Regression analyses reveal that the ellipsis effect is stronger than both the highly significant influence of subject individuation and the significant effect of subject agentivity.
Keywords Kongruenz, Subjekt, koordiniert, Ellipse, Numerus, Regressions-analyse