Das Nachfeld im Deutschen: Rechte Satzperipherie und Diskurstopik- Auszeichnung
The postfi eld Nachfeld in the German utterance: the topic-managing function of the right periphery in discourse
This paper deals with the syntactically non-obligatory filling of the postfield Nachfeld in German utterances; non-sentential constituents which theoretically ‘ought to’ have been placed earlier do in fact occur on the right periphery, after the so-called right sentence brace, i.e., in the postfield. The main point of this study is to investigate the text-structuring uses of non-sentential constituents in the Nachfeld with respect to discourse topic managing and their role for the organisation of the discourse. Based upon a corpus of German newspapers “Der Tagesspiegel”, “Die Zeit”, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, this text-structural analysis shows that the placement in the postfield on the right periphery can serve to mark the referent of the constituent as being the discourse topic of the following discourse segment and focuses on three major types of discourse topic management on the local and global levels: topic introduction, topic shift and topic continuity.