Quantifying Expressions in the History of German

Syntactic reanalysis and morphological change

| University of North Texas
| University of Mississippi
ISBN 9789027257130 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027267115 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
This study describes the 1200-year history of German quantifying expressions like nîoman anderro > niemand anderer ‘nobody else’, analyzing the morpho-syntactic developments within the generative framework. The quantifiers examined arose from various lexical sources/categories (nouns, adjectives, and pronouns) but all changed to adjectival quantifiers. These changes are interpreted as a novel type of upward reanalysis from head to specifier, which we associate with degrammaticalization driven by analogy. As for the quantified phrases, most appeared in the genitive in Old High German, indicating a bi-nominal structure. During the Early New High German period, most quantified nouns and adjectives changed to agreement with the quantifier. By Modern German, only quantified DPs and pronouns remain in the genitive. These changes involve downward reanalysis of the quantified elements, being integrated into the matrix nominal depending on the structural size of the quantified phrase. Overall, we conclude that diachronically quantifying expressions may have different syntactic analyses.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 230]  2016.  xvii, 299 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of abbreviations
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Simplex quantifying word: viel
Chapter 3. From lexical adjective to quantifying adjective: wenig
Chapter 4. Universal quantifiers all and jeder
Chapter 5. Complex indefinite pronouns: jemand, niemand, and nichts
Chapter 6. A different complex indefinite pronoun: etwas
Chapter 7. Exceptional adjectives: ander, folgend and solch
Chapter 8. Conclusions
“The authors of Quantifying Expressions in the History of German provide an in-depth empirical study of the diachronic changes affecting a representative group of quantifying words in the history of German. Some of the changes they report are well known, like the loss of genitive marking with quantifying words like viel and wenig. Historical developments of other quantifiers—that is, strong quantifiers or indefinite pronouns—have until now received only little attention. The book contains a wealth of data for each quantifying expression under investigation and for each historical period of German: future work on the diachrony of quantifying expressions will consider the present book to be an extremely valuable source of data. In addition, the study impressively shows how the multitude of small changes found in the realm of quantifying expressions in German can be accounted for in terms of a more general change triggering Head-to-Specifier reanalysis from the functional head Card to its specifier position SpecCardP. Even if one might not subscribe to each syntactic analysis R&S suggest, the overall picture, taking into account the specific development
of individual quantifying expressions, presents itself as a convincing proposal for the diachrony of quantifying expressions.”
Cited by

Cited by other publications

Roehrs, Dorian & Christopher Sapp
2018. Complex quantifiers with genitive and concord in Old English and beyond. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 21:3  pp. 381 ff. Crossref logo
Sapp, Christopher & Dorian Roehrs
2016. Head-to-Modifier Reanalysis: The Rise of the Adjectival Quantifier Viel and the Loss of Genitive Case Assignment. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 28:2  pp. 89 ff. Crossref logo

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BIC Subject: CF/2AC – Linguistics/Germanic & Scandinavian languages
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2016005636