Colorado Research in Linguistics

Document Type

Working Paper


This study explores the nature of oral explanations in German university teaching and focuses particularly on projections, which are a widely-used feature in order to guide the students’ attention. Projector constructions facilitate the production and organization of complex statements and allow the speaker to draw the students’ attention to crucial pieces of information. Furthermore, projections facilitate the drawing of inferences for the listener: The projector phrase opens up semantic and syntactic slots that need to be filled, so that the number of possible contents to follow is restricted. In German, the placement of the conjugated verb in the projected unit plays a crucial role for this construction.