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ERIC Number: ED536440
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 182
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-5483-8
Old High German Nominal Morphology Revisited: A Fresh Look at Old Paradigms
Luiten, Tyler V.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
This study employs a relational database consisting of thousands of Old High German (OHG) nominal attestations to reconstruct noun class paradigms found primarily in the four OHG texts extensive enough to provide complete nominal paradigms: "Isidor", "Benediktinerregel", "Tatian" and Otfrid von Weissenburg's "Evangelienbuch". This study captures the development of the nominal systems in each of the four specific texts, and considers these systems alongside the remaining OHG corpus. Parallel to this process, this study evaluates, to the extent it relates to OHG, Wolfgang Wurzel's terms "system-defining structural properties" and "system congruity", taken from his discussion of Natural Morphology. In Proto-Germanic, the nominal declension system retained morphological encoding that allowed for identification of noun class, case, and number. By the time of OHG, however, many of these morphological categories had merged or disappeared altogether as a result of the Laws of Finals. The data in this study display the degree to which certain features of the Proto-Germanic nominal system had restructured in OHG so that the distinction between singular and plural was becoming primary, and the marking of formal noun class membership receded, remaining relevant only in the plural endings. The results also illustrate how certain noun classes with identical singular and plural forms had begun to adopt distinct plural marking, supporting Natural Morphology's assertion that language change will proceed in the direction of reducing markedness. This study demonstrates how the use of a database for linguistic study reveals the widespread variation that existed in OHG, and emphasizes the importance of using exhaustive data to evaluate the direction of morphological change. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A