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Vor zwei Jahren hatte sich Bromeis erstmals auf die 1238 Kilometer lange Strecke gewagt, nach knapp 400 Kilometern aber den Belastungen Tribut zollen und abbrechen müssen.

Why is the word order in "nach knapp 400 Kilometern aber den Belastungen Tribut zollen" the way it is? It seems to indicate that this part is a continuation of the first part, i.e.,

Vor zwei Jahren hatte sich Bromeis nach knapp 400 Kilometern aber den Belastungen Tribut zollen.

But this would not be a correct sentence, since "zollen" goes with a dative object, while here we have "sich Bromeis" as the subject.

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The sentence can be simplified as "Er hat Tribut zollen müssen." The catchword here is "Ersatzinfinitiv", i.e. instead of the participle in "er hat zollen gemusst" one uses the infinitive. –  Chris Aug 4 at 21:30
    
"Vor zwei Jahren hatte sich Bromeis ... gewagt". "Nach knapp 400 Kilometern hatte Bromeis den Belastugen Tribut zollen müssen". "Nach knapp 400 Kilometern hatte Bromeis abbrechen müssen". –  karoshi Aug 13 at 17:01

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's not a continuation of the first part, it's just that the two repeated parts ("Bromeis hatte", subject and auxiliary) are left out in the second part.

Also, the subject is "Bromeis". The reflexive pronoun counts as a (dative or accusative) object, and is never part of the subject.

So the full sentence is:

Bromeis hatte nach knapp 400 Kilometern aber den Belastungen Tribut zollen müssen.

It's not unusual that a varying number of parts of the previous sentence is repeated and therefore left out. This never affects the word order.

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Let’s try to order the sentence: You can divide the sentence in two parts: main and sub-sentence.

Main:

Vor zwei Jahren hatte sich Bromeis erstmals auf die 1238 Kilometer lange Strecke gewagt,

Sub:

nach knapp 400 Kilometern aber den Belastungen Tribut zollen und abbrechen müssen.

In this case, the sub-sentence contains further information about the fact discribed in the main sentece.

The second part can be divided in two logical parts, too.

1: nach knapp 400 Kilometern aber den Belastungen Tribut zollen (müssen)
2: und abbrechen müssen.

This is like above; the first part discribes a fact: He has to deal with the consequences (Tribut zollen) of the strains (Belastungen), which happened after 400 km. Now it’s a bit tricky: The second part of the sub-sentence is a reference to the main sentence.

It’s like frame with an aditional sub-sentence:

Vor zwei Jahren hatte sich Bromeis erstmals auf die 1238 Kilometer lange Strecke gewagt, nach knapp 400 Kilometern aber den Belastungen Tribut zollen und abbrechen müssen.

If you just read the bold text, it is still a complete good German sentence with an insertion.

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You're right principally. This continuation of the first clause should respect the reflectiveness startet there, which it doesn't. But this sentence is cramped with high density information that a low information density aspect such as reflectiveness will be forgotten, once you are midway through the second clause.

I had to read the sentence thrice to even see your problem. Native speakers don't care for that detail as much as non-native speakers, if there is so much other information to grasp.

BTW: Your minialized continuation should have the predicate zollen müssen.

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1  
"This continuation of the first clause should respect the reflectiveness startet there" <- I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. -1. –  jona Aug 5 at 9:39
    
I've read your answer thrice and still didn't get your point. –  Em1 Aug 5 at 9:53
    
I don't think the "sich" needs continuation. Even if it is an integral part of the verb, it is only part of that verb, not of the helper verb. "Er hat sich gewundert und mich deshalb angerufen." The "haben" has nothing to do with the "sich" and from the perspective of "haben" we just see two verbs. A missing continuation would be a problem if we were to omit the actual verb, once used reflexively once not reflexively... "Ich ziehe mich und die Mücke an." –  Emanuel Aug 5 at 10:45
    
@Emanuel Das stimmt. Also ist diese Antwort kompletter Unsinn. –  Toscho Aug 11 at 18:58

The sentence consists of 3 activities (2 of which are phrased as obligations):

  • sich auf die Strecke wagen
  • Tribut zollen müssen (can be used without a Dative object)
  • abbrechen müssen (can be used intransitively)

The subject for all 3 verbs is "Bromeis". The tense is past, indicated using the perfect tense. Here are the simplified sentences:

  • Bromeis hat sich auf die Strecke gewagt.
  • Bromeis hat Tribut zollen müssen.
  • Bromeis hat abbrechen müssen.

Now, these sentences are connected.

  • Bromeis hat sich auf die Strecke gewagt, er hat Tribut zollen müssen und er hat abbrechen müssen.

Now, we can remove things that are part of all three clauses... namely the subject (Bromeis), the perfect tense helper verb "haben" and one "müssen"

  • Bromeis hat sich auf die Strecke gewagt, Tribut zollen und aufgeben müssen.

What makes the sentence look more complex than it is is the optional time-information that is given for the latter two activities

  • nach 500 Kilometern

And there is a time-formation for the first clause as well.

  • vor 2 Jahren

Vor zwei Jahren hat sich (accusative, direct object) Bromeis (subject) auf die Strecke gewagt, nach 500 Kilometern aber (adverb) Tribut zollen und abbrechen müssen.

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