Volltext-Downloads (blau) und Frontdoor-Views (grau)

From genitive suffix to linking element. A corpus study on the genesis and productivity of a new compounding pattern in (Early) New High German

  • Present-day German uses two formally different patterns of compounding in N+N compounds. The first combines bare stems (e.g. Tisch+decke ‘tablecloth’) while the second contains an intervening linking element (LE) as in Geburt-s-ort ‘birth-LE-place’. The linked compounding type developed in Early New High German (1350–1650) from phrasal constructions by reanalyzing genitive attributes as first constituents of compounds. The present paper uses corpus data to explore three key stages in this development: In the initial stage, it shows how prenominal non-specific genitive constructions lent themselves to reanalysis due to their functional overlap and formal similarity. Additionally, compounds seem to have replaced not only prenominal genitives, but also structurally different postnominal genitives. In the second stage, the new compounding pattern increases in productivity between 1500 and 1710, especially compared to the older pattern without linking elements. The last stage pertains to changes in spelling practice. It shows that linked compounds were written separately in the beginning. Their gradual graphematic integration into directly connected words was reversed by a century of hyphenation (1650–1750). This is strikingly different from present-day spelling practice and shows that the linked pattern was still perceived as marked.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar


Author:Kristin KopfORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Germanic genetives
Series (Serial Number):Studies in Language Companion Series (193)
Place of publication:Amsterdam [u.a.]
Editor:Tanja Ackermann, Horst J. Simon, Christian Zimmer
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2018
Date of Publication (online):2018/09/11
GND Keyword:Deutsch; Genitiv; Nominalkompositum; Sprachgeschichte
First Page:91
Last Page:114
This is a postprint of an article that was published in the book "Germanic genetives".
The published article is under copyright of Benjamins. The publisher should be contacted for permission to re-use or reprint the material in any form.
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt