Contact-induced variation in Transylvanian Saxon verb clusters

  • Ariana Bancu
Keywords: verb clusters, Transylvanian Saxon, contact-induced language change, word-order variation


This article illustrates two-verb clusters in Viscri Saxon, a dialect of Transylvanian Saxon (TrSax) spoken in Viscri, Romania, along with Romanian and Standard German. The orders found in Viscri Saxon verb clusters are encountered in West Germanic varieties related to TrSax (e.g. Moselle Franconian, Luxembourgish), but the distributions differ from the ones discussed in other varieties (Dubenion-Smith 2010, Wurmbrand 2017). I argue that word-order variation in Viscri Saxon is the result of syntactic transfer from Standard German, and show that there is flexible distribution between possible word orders. Furthermore, speakers with different linguistic profiles use the available constructions to different degrees, thus illustrating the roles of German and Romanian in the progression of contact-induced changes in Viscri Saxon.