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Academic Paper

Title: The Phonology and Morphology of Function Word Contractions in German
Author: Barış Kabak
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Institution: Universität Konstanz
Author: René Schiering
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Institution: Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Morphology; Phonology
Subject Language: German
Abstract: The observation that adjacent function words are typically contracted has/L/been made for a number of languages including German. However, the problems/L/this phenomenon poses for phonology still need to be treated. Furthermore,/L/the extent to which function word contractions set the stage for the/L/evolution of inflected function words from simple cliticization remains to/L/be explored. This paper first addresses issues with regard to the prosodic/L/representation of function word sequences preceding lexical words (i.e.,/L/[Fnc Fnc Lex]). Investigating such contractions in a number of German/L/dialects, it will be shown that a sequence of Fnc Fnc constitutes a special/L/phonological unit of its own, which is arguably a trochaic foot that adjoins/L/to the neighboring prosodic word. It will be argued that this analysis/L/accounts for several phonological processes that are peculiar to function/L/word contractions, and also predicts phonological fusion in which the second/L/function word is reduced. Second, the paper suggests that the phonological/L/fusion of function words sets the stage for a number of diachronic processes/L/such as reanalysis and analogical extension, which arguably lead to the/L/evolution of paradigms of inflected function words.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Comparative Germanic Linguistics, 9
Publication Info: to appear

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