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Form and function of verbal ablaut in contemporary standard German

  • The multiple gradations of German strong verbs are but manifestations of a rather uncomplicated system. There is a small number of ways to make up ablaut forms; these types of formation are identifiable in formal terms and, what is more, they have definite functions as morphological markers. Using classifications of stem forms according to quality, complexity and quantity of vowels, three types of operations involved in ablaut formation are identified. Ablaut always includes a change of quality type or a change of complexity type, and in addition it may include a change of quantity type. Ablaut forms are clearly distinguished as against bases (and against each other): their vocalism meets a defined standard of dissimilarity. On this basis, gradations are collected into inflectional classes that are defined in strictly synchronic terms. These classes continue the historical seven classes known from reference grammars. For the majority of strong verbs, membership in these classes (and thus ablaut) is predictable.

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Author:Bernd Wiese
Parent Title (English):Explorations in Integrational Linguistics. Four essays on German, French, and Guaraní
Series (Serial Number):Current Issues in Linguistic Theory (285)
Place of publication:Amsterdam/Philadelphia
Editor:Robin Sackmann
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2008
Date of Publication (online):2015/10/13
GND Keyword:Ablaut; Deutsch; Morphophonologie
First Page:97
Last Page:151
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 410 Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt