BDSL-Klassifikation: 02.00.00 Deutsche Sprachwissenschaft > 02.11.00 Deutsche Mundarten
Short verbs in Germanic languages : tension between reduction and differentiation
- Extremely short verbs can be found in various Genn::.,nic languages and dialects; the sterns of these verbs do not have a fInal consonant «C-)C-V), and they always have a monosyllabic infinitive and usually monosyllabic fInite forms as weIl. Examples for these 'kinds of short verbs are Swiss Gennan hä 'to have', gö 'to go', g~ 'to give', n~ 'to take' which correspond to the Swedish verbs ha, gä, ge and tao The last example shows that such short verb formations also occur with verbs having (nearly) identical meanings but which do not share the same etymology. Apart from their shortness, these verbs are characterized by a high degree of irregularity, often even by suppletion, which sometimes develops contrary to regular sound laws. Furthermore they are among the most-used verbs and often tend towards grammaticalization. The present paper compares the short verbs of seven Germanic languages; in addition, it describes their various ways of development and strategies of differentiation. Moreover, it examines the question of why some languages and dialects (e.g. Swiss German, Frisian, Swedish, Norwegian) have many short verbs while others (New High German, Icelandic, Faroese) only have few, the paper discusses the contribution of short verbs to questions concerning linguistic change and the morphological organization of languages.
The usage and distribution of "so" in spontaneous Berlin Kiezdeutsch
- In this paper I investigate the usage of the adverb and particle 'so' in spontaneous speech (interviews) collected from 21 speakers of the urban multi-ethnolectal youth language Kiezdeutsch. Speakers from the neighborhoods Kreuzberg and Wedding in Berlin are ranging in age from 14 to 18. The 1454 tokens of so available in the corpus (about 5 hours of speech) were classified into 10 different categories; some were structurally defined while others were defined along dimensions of meaning. Our current results indicate that there are differential usages patterns depending on the speaker's gender and age for some of these categories. Further, it appears that some patterns that have been attributed grammatical meaning may not appear frequently enough to establish a separate meaningful grammatical category. Rather, most instances of this kind of use of so appear to have a hedging function, indicating speakers' non-commitance to a specific circumstance.