Edited By Alexandra N. Lenz and Albrecht Plewnia
Renata Szczepaniak: Während des Flug(e)s/des Ausflug(e)s? German Short and Long Genitive Endings between Norm and Variation 103
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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