Weniger ist mehr: Zur Pragmatik verbloser (Nicht-)Sätze

Monika Schönherr


In spite of the existence of a variety of syntactic approaches, it is generally acknowledged that the verbal clauses are a central topic of the syntax. In contrast, verbless clauses which contain no verb element, and often also no subject, are not included in the prominent theoretical approaches to the syntax. Although there are many similarities between both these categories of clauses, there are also many differences, especially with respect to the way they are usually treated. Verbless clauses are mostly described as a reduction of finite clauses or an exception to the syntactic structures.

This paper is offered as a contribution to the long-standing discussion related to the grammatical status and usage of the constructions without a finite verb. A corpus-based analysis of these constructions shows that the verbless clauses tend to occur in various forms and contexts. Moreover, the results of this study suggest that in many cases verbless clauses are able to fulfill specific communicative functions, which cannot be expressed by any other syntactic units, including finite clauses


verbless clauses; a finite verb; non-finite clauses; communicative function; corpus-based analysis

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Moderna språk - Romanska och klassiska institutionen - Stockholms universitet - SE-106 91 STOCKHOLM
ISSN: 2000-3560