Volker Harm: Zur Herausbildung der deutschen Futurumschreibung mit werden + Infinitiv
The process by which the New High German future with werden + infinitive developed has been generally regarded as an open question. The present article begins by critically examining previous attempts to explain the origin and spread of the New High German periphrastic form. The discussion here focuses on the question as to why the type werden + infinitive, which was originally peripheral, prevailed against competing constructions, in particular, against the type in which modal auxiliaries were used, a type which is frequently attested in Middle High German. The development of the future formed with werden in German is all the more surprising when one considers that the other Germanic languages have not developed a comparable future form, despite the fact that they all have etymological equivalents of German werden. This can be explained as a consequence of the fact that conditions which were particularly conducive to the establishment of the periphrastic form based on werden + infinitive existed in Middle and Early New High German. The present investigation shows that the particular conditions favouring the formation of the werden-periphrasis in Middle and Early New High German did not exist in the other Germanic languages.