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Linguistische Arbeiten

Band 422:
Fertig, David: Morphological Change Up Close. Two and a Half Centuries of Verbal Inflection in Nuremberg. IX/179 S. - Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2000.
ISBN: 3-484-30422-7
Dieser Band ist im IDS verfügbar:
[Buch] IDS-Bibliothek: Sig. QA 2834
Alternatives Medium:
E-Book (PDF). Berlin / New York: de Gruyter. ISBN: 978-3-11-092990-4

Using a data base of more than 86,000 verb tokens taken from a collection of autograph texts written by fifty-one different natives of Nuremberg between 1356 and 1619, this book explores some of the many changes in verbal inflection that took place during the Early New High German period and the implications of these changes for a number of important issues in morphological and diachronic theory. Nearly all instances of change or variation in verbal inflection observable in the texts are described. Changes discussed at greater length include: the leveling of certain stem-vowel alternations among the strong, weak, and preterite-present verbs; the leveling of the consonant alternations attributed to Verner's Law; regularizations of originally strong and preterite-present verbs and irregularizations of originally weak verbs; shifts in the lexical distribution of the past-participle prefix ge-; and changes in many forms of the verb sein. The nature and size of the data base, the number and diversity of writers included, and innovative methods of data collection and analysis make possible a description of these changes that is in many cases more detailed than any previously available account. This empirical work provides a foundation for the discussion of a number of theoretical questions, including: the role of factors such as iconicity, system congruity and type and token frequency in morphological change; the directionality of analogical leveling; the adequacy of connectionist and related models of morphological processing; the nature of morphological haplology; and the relationship between sociolinguistic variation and diachronic change.


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1.   Introduction S. 1
2.   Texts, database and methodology S. 5
3.   Morphological change S. 14
4.   Inflectional endings S. 38
5.   Stem alternations S. 51
6.   Inflectional-class transfer S. 111
7.   The ge- participle prefix S. 128
8.   Sociolinguistic Variation and its relation to change S. 144
Appendix A: Verb frequency list S. 149
Appendix B: Sample lines from data tables S. 159
Appendix C: Text sources S. 161
References S. 163