German Linguistics: Syntax and Morphology of the German Verb

lgerm2711  2017-2018  Louvain-la-Neuve

German Linguistics: Syntax and Morphology of the German Verb
5 credits
22.5 h
Sabel Joachim;
Main themes
Study of the problems of the syntax of the German verb. We will especially deal with the aspects that are difficult for francophone students. For example, the positions of finite/infinite verbs (verb-first, verb-second, and verb-last in different finite and infinite sentences), will be discussed from a synchronic and diachronic point of view (and in comparison with French); the specific problems with the acquisition of these verb patterns in Modern High German; the morphological forms of German verbs (auxiliaries, modals, full verbs, participles, and other infinite verbs).

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


At the end of the course, the students should:

- have developed a knowledge of the synchronic, diachronic, and psycholinguistic problems of the syntax/morphology of the German verb.

- have developed a knowledge in theoretical and applied linguistics.

- have acquired the competence in linguistic argumentation.

- be able to present competently one of the topics of this course.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
We will discuss the relevant empirical generalizations concerning the positions of the verb in German and we will introduce modern grammatical theories that have been proposed to analyse the German verb patterns. The phenomena that we look at are : word order in German with respect to the position of (finite and infinite) verbs; the connection between verbal morphology and parameters of verbal positions; diachronic development of the changing positions of the German verb (i.e. the rise of the verb-second constraint); psycholinguistic studies of the acquisition of the correct German word order with respect to verbal morphology and the position of verbs in first- and second language acquisition; selection of auxiliairies and infinitives in German; separable and in inseparable particle verbs.
The students will be invited to present personal work on one of these topics.
Teaching methods
The course is a lecture that requires the student's active participation in discussions, in dealing with exercises, and in reading scientific texts. Furthermore, every student has to give a short presentation on the "morphology and syntax of the German verb" at the end of the course.
Evaluation methods
Presentation of one of the topics of the course and a written exam. 
Other information
Support. 1. Syllabus, 2. scientific articles/chapters in books, 3. a written guideline for " how to present a linguistic work ", 4. the students get aid with the workout of their presentations (content, structuring, ') during office hours.Pré-requis. Introduction to German linguistics.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Linguistics

Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Master [60] in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Master [60] in Modern Languages and Literatures : German, Dutch and English

Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : German