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Mittelfeld
Middle field

 
 
The Mittelfeld is the topological field that is enclosed by the sentence brackets (see Topological fields).

The Mittelfeld is occupied by constituents that can be placed between the sentence brackets. It can be occupied by any type of constituent. In principle, the number of constituents in the Mittelfeld is not limited:

Sentence brackets
Er  hat  seinem Enkel das Buch sicher gestern beim Essen im Restaurant zum Geburtstag geschenkt.

The order of the constituents in the Mittelfeld is very free:

(
Mittelfeld
)
Er  hat  seinem Enkel das Buch gestern  geschenkt.
Er hat  seinem Enkel gestern das Buch geschenkt.
Er hat  das Buch seinem Enkel gestern geschenkt.
Er hat  das Buch gestern seinem Enkel geschenkt.
Er hat  gestern seinem Enkel das Buch geschenkt.
Er hat  gestern das Buch seinem Enkel geschenkt.

Nevertheless, the order of the constituents in the Mittelfeld is governed by some (partially conflicting) rules and tendencies. Grammatical factors as well as factors such as the speech situation and the intention of the speaker affect the word order in the Mittelfeld.

The interaction between these rules and factors often results in a multitude of possible word orders, which we can only describe, here, by means of general tendencies and rules.

There is a so-called neutral, basic word order that is often changed for different reasons. The basic word order is as follows:

 Subject     >   Dative object   >   Accusative object 
 > 
 Adverbial adjunct    >   Adverbial complement
 
Genitive object
 Prepositional object 
 >   (Predicative)  

The main factors affecting the word order in the Mittelfeld are:

Type of the constituent
      Position of the subject
Position of the objects
Position of the adverbials
Position of the modal particles 
Position of the predicative
Relevance of the information
      "Old before new"
Form of the constituent
      Definite before indefinite
Pronoun before noun
Meaning
Animate before inanimate

If the general tendencies and rules of word order are not obeyed, a sentence is not necessarily incorrect. Often, an unusual word order is marked. Marked word orders have different functions such as emphasizing a particular constituent.





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