This article addresses the impossibility of topicalization in verb final complement clauses in German. In the first part of the paper, existing research dealing with this phenomenon is discussed. Following this, an alternative approach is suggested which is embedded in a general theory of finite verb movement to the left periphery and topicalization in interrogative and declarative clause types. In a nutshell, it will be established that both syntactic processes are triggered by respective clause type features whose interpretation leads to an update of the question under discussion or the common ground of the context in prototypical utterance situations. Finally, the paper is concluded with the proposition to treat the feature triggering topicalization asa functor that modifies the interpretation of the feature which is triggering verb movement and therefore presupposes its presence for reasons of interpretability.