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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Title: Vom ›kriegen‹ und ›bekommen‹ [On “kriegen” and “bekommen”]
Subtitle: Kognitiv-semantische, variationslinguistische und sprachgeschichtliche Perspektiven
Written By: Alexandra N. Lenz
URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/206596?format=G
Series Title: De Gruyter Linguistik - Impulse & Tendenzen 53

Acts of giving and getting are arguably central to social interaction in society. Thus, it seems valid to assume that members of any community must be capable of verbalizing actions of giving and getting; and hence that all languages feature some kind of ’transfer verbs’ (alternatively also called ’transaction verbs‘). This category subsumes those verbs that typically (but not obligatorily) involve two possessor entities: an ’old‘ and a ’new possessor‘ and usually refer to an entity that ’moves‘ between them.

The present volume focuses on the GET verbs kriegen and bekommen within the semantic network of transfer verbs in German . These will be analyzed in detail from the perspective of cognitive semantics, variationist and historical linguistics. The analysis centers on the semantic and syntactic characteristics of these verbs, which are two particularly interesting aspects within the multitude of linguistic phenomena that occur with transfer verbs in German – and with ’change in ownership‘ in general.

The following research questions are addressed:
-Which cognitive semantic properties do transfer verbs exhibit? How can the rich figurative semantics be derived from the literal semantics of transferential basic verbs? How can ’change in ownership‘ be accounted for semantically and decompositionally? What characterizes kriegen and bekommen as two basic verbs of the semantic network of German transfer verbs from a prototype theory perspective?
-Which syntax and semantics specific variants of the verbs kriegen and bekommen can be found in contemporary German? How are these semantic and grammaticalized variants distributed in the regional varieties of the German language area on a dialect-standard axis? Is there variation involved concerning spoken and written contexts? Which clusters of varieties can be discovered on the basis of the analyzed phenomena?
-Which language-historical connections can be drawn between semantic and grammaticalized variants of the transfer verbs kriegen and bekommen? Which paths of grammaticalization, or rather generally: which ’panchronic‘ paths can be traced on the basis of diachronic and synchronic corpus analyses for these verbs? What is the situation of the dynamics (respectively statics) of the respective variants in an areal comparison?

In line with the above-listed research questions, three linguistic sub-disciplines frame the theoretical and empirical approach of this book: cognitive semantics, (areal oriented) variationist linguistics (‘areal linguistics’) and historical linguistics. These disciplines also provide the organizational structure for this volume. Until now, only individual (transfer) verbs have been investigated by these three research disciplines, each time in isolation and in selected (mostly standard) varieties. In some instances, particularly salient semantic or (more often) special grammaticalized phenomena of individual verbs were analyzed, but primarily in a synchronic and single-discipline perspective. Thus, the present volume opens up new horizons, as it for the first time systematically links three fields of research which usually coexist without much interdisciplinary cross-over. The book thus provides a unique because multidimensional and close-up investigation of German transfer verbs across time and space.

Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Cognitive Science
Subject Language(s): German
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9783110282641
Pages: 505
Prices: Europe EURO 119.95

Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9783110314915
Pages: 505
Prices: Europe EURO 119.95