Journal of Germanic Linguistics


German Linguistics and Grammar

Coding and Word Order of Sentences with Dummy-es in a Valency Dictionary for English-Speaking Learners of German

Ian F. Roea1 c1

a1 University of Reading


A problem in the formatting and coding of entries in a valency dictionary for learners of German is the need to reflect the flexibility of German word order without having recourse to a multiplicity of potentially confusing symbols. In sentences with dummy-es and postponed nominative subject or subject clause, failure to code and indicate the position of the subject may be vital (even if the subject might otherwise be omitted in coding), as errors of the type *Jetzt besteht es keinen Grund, daran zu zweifeln frequently occur. This paper summarises the way the problem has been addressed in earlier valency dictionaries and in a number of standard grammars of German before suggesting strategies for coding and layout with the aim of compiling entries that are easy to understand but which help learners to avoid these and related errors.


c1 Department of German Studies, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 218, Reading RG6 6AA, UK, []