Chapter published in:Morphological Variation: Theoretical and empirical perspectives
Edited by Antje Dammel and Oliver Schallert
[Studies in Language Companion Series 207] 2019
► pp. 27–62
Possessive -s in German
Development, variation and theoretical status
In several Germanic languages, such as English and Swedish, the former genitive morpheme -s has developed into a possessive marker, which has been described as a special clitic by some scholars. Synchronic and diachronic corpus data as well as a comparison with English and Dutch show that German possessive -s is going through a similar, though less radical change as its Germanic counterparts, resulting in morphosyntactic variation. This high amount of synchronic and diachronic variation makes it hard to categorize -s in German. However, the marker can best be described as a bound element that gradually loses its paradigmaticity. This gradual rather than categorial change in progress on an affix-clitic-continuum challenges both synchronic as well as diachronic morpheme-based theoretical approaches.
Published online: 27 June 2019
, DECOW2014 http://corporafromtheweb.org/
Deutsches Textarchiv (DTA)
Ackermann, Tanja & Zimmer, Christian
Allen, Cynthia L.
Askedal, John Ole
Börjars, Kersti, Denison, David, Krajewski, Grzegorz & Alan Scott
Börjars, Kersti, Vincent, Nigel & Walkden, George
Dammel, Antje & Nübling, Damaris
Denison, David, Scott, Alan K. & Börjars, Kersti
Gries, Stefan T.
Hartmann, Katharina & Zimmermann, Malte
1980 On the decline of declensional systems: the loss of OE nominal case and the ME reanalysis of -es and his . In Papers from the 4th International Conference on Historical Linguistics [Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 14], Elizabeth Traugott, Rebecca Labrum & Susan C. Shepard (eds), 243–252. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Nowak, Jessica & Nübling, Damaris
O’Connor, Catherine, Joan Maling & Skarabela, Barbora
2013 Nominal categories and the expression of possession. A cross-linguistic study of probabilistic tendencies and categorical constraints. In Morphosyntactic Categories and the Expression of Possession [Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 199], Kersti Börjars, David Denison & Alan Scott (eds), 89–121. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Schäfer, Roland & Bildhauer, Felix
. In press. Portrait of the clitic as a young affix: Infinitivisches zu im Niemandsland zwischen Morphologie und Syntax. In Syntax aus Saarbrücker Sicht 3. Beiträge der SaRDiS-Tagung zur Dialektsyntax, Augustin Speyer & Julia Hertel eds Special Issue of Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik – Beihefte.
Scott, Alan K.
Simon, Horst J.
Traugott, Elizabeth C. & Trousdale, Graeme
Trousdale, Graeme & Norde, Muriel
Van de Velde, Freek & Norde, Muriel
Vincent, Nigel & Börjars, Kersti
Wegera, Klaus-Peter & Waldenberger, Sandra
Wurzel, Wolfgang Ullrich