Chapter published in:Extravagant Morphology: Studies in rule-bending, pattern-extending and theory-challenging morphology
Edited by Matthias Eitelmann and Dagmar Haumann
[Studies in Language Companion Series 223] 2022
► pp. 19–50
What’s extravagant about be-sandal-ed feet?
Morphology, semantics and pragmatics of German pseudo-participles
Extravagance can be conceived of as a (more or less) deliberate deviation from established norms that evokes surprise or attention. In this paper, we present an empirical case study of a rare but quite remarkable morphological pattern, namely German pseudo-participles – forms that look like past participles but lack a verbal counterpart, e.g., be-brill-t ‘be-glassed’ (derived from the noun Brille ‘glasses’).In our study, we investigate the extravagance of the pattern using data from the webcorpus DECOW16A. We combine a detailed qualitative analysis of singleton coinages with various explorative quantitative approaches, taking into account the complexity of the formations and their anchoring in the context. In addition, we examine metalinguistic indicators of extravagance such as double quotes and meta-comments. We argue that German pseudo-participles are a prime example of an “extravagant” phenomenon at the interface of morphology and pragmatics, and as such can be instructive for our understanding of extravagant morphology on a general level, especially with regard to the role of surprise in generating extravagant effects.
- 2.Extravagance and pseudo-participles
- 3.Corpus and method of data collection
- 4.Indicators of extravagance
- 4.1Metalinguistic comments
- 4.2Further extravagant expressions in the context
- 4.3Quotation marks
- 5.Sources of extravagance
- 5.1Morphological mismatch and complexity
- 5.2“Condensing” function
- 5.3Semantic categories
- Data availability
Published online: 16 March 2022
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