# V to T movement in German

Consider the the embedded clause "du Schach gespielt hast" in this sentence

Ich glaube dass du Schach gespielt hast.

I think that you chess played have

‘I think that you have played chess.’

How do I draw the underlying structure ("deep structure") and transform it into the "surface structure" and see whether there is V to T movement?

Assuming the VP internal subject hypothesis, one option is that the embedded TP has two branches: the empty DP and the T'. The T' node branches to VP (on the left) and T (on the right). The T has "hast/have" in it already in the level of D-structure. And the VP has two branchs: the DP "du/you" and the V' which branches further to the DP "chess" and V "played".

If "hast" is not present in T in the underlying structure but moves to T from somewhere, I don't see how to draw the underlying tree. And how to see if it moves or not?

(I'm working in the framework of the first 10 chapters of Carnie)

Addition: it is also known that the following sentences are ungrammatical:

* Ich glaube dass du hast Schach gespielt.

* Ich glaube dass du hast gespielt Schach.

* Ich glaube dass Schach hast du gespielt.

• Those examples marked as wrong are orthographically wrong, but "Ich glaube das: Du hast Schach gespielt" is not only correct, though nowhere common, but also my best guess at the origin of the "dass ..." construction following DWDS, though I'm rather skeptical; It would still be natural if "das" were a relative pronoun meaning ca "what was said" instead of a determiner. Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 20:19
• The second one is completely unnatural, and I think that's the clue, in that "schach spielen" may be thought of as one word (as indeed "Schachspiel" is a fixed though transparent compound). Just today, given the thread speculating about Proto-Indo-European "and", that was bumped to the front page, I wondered how--or whether at all--German perfective ge-, akin to Lat. co- "with", was an obligatory infix similar to and; compare "go and see", "I tried and nailed it", etc, perhaps in combination with the prefix "be-" ~ "by". Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 20:23
• Third, since dass-relative clauses aren't obligatory, and kinda ugly, they can almost always be reordered to make sense: "Ich glaube, du gehst jetzt besser", "Ich glaube, dass du nicht verstanden hast", "Ich glaube, das wird nichts"; Consequently, "* Ich glaube, das Schach hast du gespielt" would be odd only because Schach is uncountable and doesn't take an article; other nouns would disagree in gender of the article ("Ich glaube, die Frage habe ich nicht richtig verstanden", "Ich gebe zu, dass ich die Frage falsch verstanden habe"). Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 20:36
• Take a look at work by Hubert Haider and Josef Bayer: they both argue that there is no V-to-T in German, and that there is no T evidence to assume T in German to begin with. Also, there is no evidence to assume obligatory raising of subjects in German. Furthermore, German does only have semi-auxiliaries (aux that behave just like lexical verbs in almost every syntactic regard). They form clusters (word-like structures) with the verbs they embed ('coherent verb constructions' in Bech's terms). As a result, the assumed phrase structure would simply be [CP dass [VP du [Schach [[gespielt] hast]]]] Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 17:53

`du Schach gespielt hast` as you say is an embedded clause, and string-identical to the underlying form Carnie is referring to. (To answer your first question.)

As for the question on how to detect V->T movement, see @aslakr's comment on whether we should even assume that for German. My own work currently suggests for Alemannic (which is not Standard German, but related to it) that V->T movement does exist, so I'm biased here myself.

A way to find out about T, V (and little v etc.) levels in a phrase when by looking at the string is not obvious, is inserting T or V level adverbials:

``````1.a. du heute Schach gespielt hast

b. du heute einhändig Schach gespielt hast

c. ?du einhändig heute Schach gespielt hast
``````

The ? in c means it's not perfect (still not ruled out though in German, where almost every word order has some meaning). German is a bad example language to study this kind of stuff, since word order is a mess (see research on "Scrambling"). I thought that the Carnie textbook you're referring to has also French and English example pairs on this topic.