Chapter published in:Germanic Genitives
Edited by Tanja Ackermann, Horst J. Simon and Christian Zimmer
[Studies in Language Companion Series 193] 2018
► pp. 15–36
A new perspective on the Luxembourgish genitive
This paper deals with genitive constructions in the Luxembourgish language. It is often assumed that the Luxembourgish genitive has only survived in idioms and archaic structures (Russ 1996: 74, Schanen & Zimmer 2012: 64), but I will investigate this claim in more detail. Based on a qualitative corpus analysis of spoken and written Luxembourgish (over 62 million tokens), different constructions will be systematically compiled and analyzed. Due to the rising interest in morphosyntactic variation and the improved data situation, this descriptive analysis investigates the current status of the genitive within a single system of grammar, i.e. Luxembourgish. The paper explores six main areas that are relevant for Luxembourgish genitives: attributes, genitive complements of verbs and adjectives, prepositions, adverbials, family names, and partitives. The structures obtained from the corpus will then be discussed from a formal and a functional perspective in order to illustrate Luxembourgish case typology. As the data shows, the genitive behaves differently according to the different areas that have been selected beforehand. On the one hand, genitives can be found in lexicalized structures, i.e. adverbials. On the other hand, different genitives occasionally appear as verb or adjective complements. This phenomenon is partly caused by the expansion of the Luxembourgish language into the written domain. Another main finding is that Luxembourgish makes full use of an independent set of partitive pronouns and determiners that have been derived from former genitives.
Published online: 26 April 2018
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