Seeking help with a sentence: what is the subject and what the object?

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edmont
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Seeking help with a sentence: what is the subject and what the object?

Beitrag von edmont »

Consider the verb mittrug in the partial sentence below.  Is Strömung the subject and Welle the object of mittrug? Or Welle the subject and Strömung the object? Is there a way to tell grammatically?  I don't see a way to tell from gender and case.  I believe Strömung is the subject of mittrug because that makes better sense of the sentence -- but is there a grammatical way to know?

Aus der Sicht der Arbeiterschaft kam die Bewegung einer breiten Strömung entgegen, welche die zweite revolutionäre Welle mittrug ...

______________________________________________________

I suppose the English version should be roughly this:

From the perspective of the workers, the movement accommodated a broad current which contributed to the second revolutionary wave ...

Thank you for any assistance.




tiorthan
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Re: Seeking help with a sentence: what is the subject and what the object?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

edmont hat geschrieben: Is Strömung the subject and Welle the object of mittrug?
Yes.
but is there a grammatical way to know?
Not as such. However, German's natrual word order is SOP-V2, so when it is ambiguous we'd assume the subject coming first.
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edmont
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Re: Seeking help with a sentence: what is the subject and what the object?

Beitrag von edmont »

Tiorthan, thank you! That clears things up.

Not sure I know this acronym: SOP-V2

I suppose it means:

subject first, inflected/finite verb second, object third, and the rest of the predicate fourth?

Thanks again.

tiorthan
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Re: Seeking help with a sentence: what is the subject and what the object?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

edmont hat geschrieben: subject first, inflected/finite verb second, object third, and the rest of the predicate fourth?
Almost. SOP describes relative position while V2 describes absolute position. Lets just take a look at an example.

Die Katze hat die Spinne aufgefressen.

Here the structure is SVOP = subject, finite verb, object, non-finite predicate, so exactly what you've described. But when I add a time positions change a bit.

Gestern hat die Katze die Spinne aufgefressen.

The constituent structure is now AvVSOP (Av = adverbial phrase). The "hat" now comes before the subject because V2 means that the finite verb is always in an absolute second position no matter what comes before it. SOP only means that subject needs to come before object and that before the non-finite part of the predicate.

Keep in mind that SOP-V2 is only the formula for unmarked independent clauses.
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edmont
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Re: Seeking help with a sentence: what is the subject and what the object?

Beitrag von edmont »

Wow, nice explanation. I like the almost mathematical clarity. I don't suppose you offhand know a good site or source where that method (using symbols, SOP, Av, V2, absolute, relative, etc.,) is used to explain German? Would like to know that approach better.

Thanks again.

tiorthan
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Re: Seeking help with a sentence: what is the subject and what the object?

Beitrag von tiorthan »

I don't really remember the sources. This was something I learned during my computer linguistics studies.
There aren't many useful formulas though (I could probably list them all). As soon as it comes to emphasis, semantic focus, insertions, adverbial etc. things get a bit messy.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
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edmont
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Re: Seeking help with a sentence: what is the subject and what the object?

Beitrag von edmont »

Understood. Pretty neat.

Thanks.

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