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Grammar between Norm and Variation

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Alexandra N. Lenz and Albrecht Plewnia

The articles collected in this volume offer the most various access to the discussed questions on norm and variation. In their entirety, they reflect the current discussion of the topic. Focusing on the object languages German and English ensures a high level of topical consistency. On the other hand, the four large topic areas (emergence and change of norms and grammatical constructions; relationship of codes of norms and ‘real’ language usage; competition of standard and non-standard language norms; and subsistent norms of minority languages and «institutionalised second-language varieties») cover a large range of relevant issues, thereby certainly giving an impetus to new and further investigations.

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Renata Szczepaniak: Während des Flug(e)s/des Ausflug(e)s? German Short and Long Genitive Endings between Norm and Variation 103

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Renata Szczepaniak (Hamburg) Während des Flug(e)s/des Ausflug(e)s? German Short and Long Genitive Endings between Norm and Variation 1. Introduction This article addresses the formal variation between the short genitive -s and the long genitive -es in contemporary German, e.g. in während des Flug(e)s/Aus- flug(e)s ‘during the flight/the excursion’, which can be traced back to a dia- chronic norm change. For the most part, the Old High German (OHG) norm -es, i.e. the obligatory way of expressing strong genitive singular, has gradually given way to the New High German (NHG) norm -s. The resulting present-day variation between -es and -s is one of the most problematic cases within the normative German grammar. This has made it difficult to satisfactorily describe the distribution of these two formal variants (s. Duden-Grammatik 2005). This article will document this norm change and, based on the analysis of written corpora of contemporary German, it also will offer a phonological explanation of the diachronic development as well as of the present-day variation, taking into account the parameters of the phonological word, its size and its shape. 2. The strong genitive suffix in Old High German The es-ending developed into a norm, i.e. the obligatory way of expressing strong genitive singular, during the OHG period. As a legacy of the Germanic language, the OHG nominal system comprised a series of declension classes with different types of so-called stem suffixes and different inflectional endings, also for genitive singular. However,...

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