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The question is on the highlighted verb in this quote from Rotkäppchen.

Es wird auch erzählt, dass einmal, als Rotkäppchen der alten Grossmutter wieder Gebackenes brachte, ein anderer Wolf es angesprochen und vom Wege habe ableiten wollen. Rotkäppchen aber hütete sich und ging geradefort seines Wegs und sagte der Grossmutter, dass es dem Wolf begegnet wäre, der ihm guten Tag gewünscht, aber so bös aus den Augen geguckt hätte: “Wenn’s nicht auf offener Strasse gewesen wäre, er hätte mich gefressen.”

How would I fully expand angesprochen here?

  1. Es wird auch erzählt, dass einmal, als Rotkäppchen der alten Grossmutter wieder Gebackenes brachte, ein anderer Wolf es habe angesprochen wollen und vom Wege habe ableiten wollen.

  2. Es wird auch erzählt, dass einmal, als Rotkäppchen der alten Grossmutter wieder Gebackenes brachte, ein anderer Wolf es angesprochen habe und vom Wege habe ableiten wollen.

  3. Something else.

In terms of meaning, both versions would make sense to me. Version 1 says that the wolf is reported to have wanted something, namely, speaking to the girl and luring her away. Version 2 says that the wolf is reported to have spoken to the girl and also to have wanted to lure her away. (I mean these are two different things, but in the context the difference is not critical.) From a strictly grammatical point of view, however, I want to know which is the correct expansion of the original angesprochen.

I am interested in learning the most bookish German if the answer depends on (what is called) register.

  • Note that I corrected a grammatical mistake in one of your suggested expansion which I do not consider the core of your question. – Wrzlprmft Jun 29 '15 at 10:12
  • @Wrzlprmft Thank you. Having been so corrected, I now don't see how 1 could be the grammatical expansion of the original quote. So it must be 2? That too would be odd. I can't want for someone to provide an answer! – Catomic Jun 29 '15 at 10:22
  • I reverted this because I realised through your comment that the mistake is relevant to your question. Sorry for any confusion. – Wrzlprmft Jun 29 '15 at 10:26
  • @Wrzlprmft Yes, that would make this post intelligible to posterity. I believe that I so didn't want to accept "angesprochen habe" dropping "habe" in reliance on (the morphologically different) "habe ableiten wollen" that I was willing to invent the grammatical mistake you caught. (If you don't mind a bit of psychologizing.) – Catomic Jun 29 '15 at 10:41
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Actually, (2) is correct. The wolf did talk to Rotkäppchen, but only planned to lure her away.

In the original text, angesprochen can’t belong to wollen because it had to be ansprechen wollen.
The combination angesprochen wollen is just wrong.

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  • Thank you! The difference of surface form between "angesprochen habe" and "habe ableiten wollen" created a mental kink in me, and forced me to look for some other explanation. – Catomic Jun 29 '15 at 10:34
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You cannot expand angesprochen into habe angesprochen wollen, because that is not a valid grammatical form. If there is a wollen auxilliary, ansprechen needs to be in the infinitive form, so it could only be habe ansprechen wollen.

But you cannot change the grammatical form by contracting or expanding, so it is impossible that angesprochen expand to habe ansprechen wollen.

Therefore, although it might seem weird, the only possibility is angesprochen habe — the conjunctive I perfect of ansprechen. It seems weird, because the habe has a different syntactical position in both sentences: it follows the participle in angesprochen habe while it precedes the Ersatzinfinitiv of habe ableiten wollen.


Note that it would be correct to build the sentence

Es wird auch erzählt, dass einmal ein anderer Wolf [Rotkäppchen] habe ansprechen wollen und vom Wege habe ableiten wollen.

contracted into

Es wird auch erzählt, dass einmal ein anderer Wolf [Rotkäppchen] habe ansprechen und vom Wege ableiten wollen.

This would mean that the wolf had tried (but not succeeded) to chat up Rotkäppchen, while the version of your text says that the wolf did talk to her, but did not succeed in luring her away.

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