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Academic Paper


Title: The Introduction and Extension of the -st Ending in Old High German
Author: Katerina Somers Wicka
Institution: University of Georgia
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: German, Old High
Abstract: This article seeks to explain the synchronic variation found in the second person singular inflectional ending (attested both as -s and -st) in the Old High German Evangelienbuch, while at the same time providing a diachronic account of the introduction and extension of the -st ending in German. In order to achieve these goals, in my analysis I rely on the notions of cliticization and formal analogy, arguing that the innovative and original endings correlate with different syntactic environments (V1/V2 versus Vfinal), on the one hand, and different formal shapes (is versus ôs/ês), on the other. After presenting an account of the development of -st in OHG, I draw conclusions regarding the broader question of how clitics become (part of) inflection, a discussion which in turn has implications for the theories scholars use to describe and explain language change, specifically that of grammaticalization.

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This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 23, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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