Scrambling is a cover term for a specific kind of word order variation.
in German an object may follow or precede an adverb (object and adverb may be scrambled):
(i) a Er hat ihr vielleicht dieses Buch gegeben he has her maybe this book given b Er hat ihr dieses Buch vielleicht gegeben
Two objects may be scrambled as well:
(ii) Er hat dieses Buch vielleicht ihr gegeben
And sometimes an object - den Max in (iii) - may even scramble over the subject, as in (iii)b:
(iii) a ... dass jeder den Max kennt that everyone (the) Max knows b ... dass den Max jeder kennt
It seems that definiteness is a factor interfering with scrambling. Nonspecific indefinite NPs cannot be scrambled and neither can particles or small clause predicates. One point of controversy is whether scrambling is a case of movement (of NP) and if so whether it is A-bar movement or not.
- Grewendorf , G & W. Sternefeld (eds.) 1990. Scrambling and Barriers, John Benjamins,Amsterdam/Philadelphia.
- Neeleman, A. 1994. Complex Predicates, diss., Utrecht University
- Ross, J.R. 1967. Constraints on variables in syntax, doctoral dissertation, MIT (published as 'Infinite syntax!' Ablex, Norwood (1986)).
- Webelhuth, G. 1989. Syntactic Saturation Phenomena and the Modern Germanic Languages, Diss, UMass.
- Webelhuth, G. & H. Den Besten 1987. Adjunction and Remnant Topicalization in the Germanic SOV-languages, GLOW conference Venice, .
German Scrambling (de)
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