Article published in:Grammaticalization: Current views and issues
Edited by Katerina Stathi, Elke Gehweiler and Ekkehard König
[Studies in Language Companion Series 119] 2010
► pp. 297–322
The Grammaticalization of the German adjectives lauter (and eitel)
After a corpus semantic analysis of the synchronic uses of the originally synonymous words lauter and eitel, this article traces the grammaticalization of German lauter (with reference to eitel) on the basis of three diachronic corpora. Lauter was originally a privative adjective meaning ‘pure, unmixed’ and came to be used as negative intensifier in Early New High German; in Present Day German lauter is a determiner. It is argued that in the development of lauter a number of factors played a role, among them the ambiguity of privative adjectives in attributive position, discourse contexts that allowed a comparison interpretation, and the obligatorification of the adjectival inflection during Early New High German.
Published online: 16 September 2010