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Academic Paper

Title: The Introduction and Extension of the -st Ending in Old High German
Author: Katerina Somers Wicka
Institution: University of Georgia
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: German, Old High
Abstract: This article seeks to explain the synchronic variation found in the second person singular inflectional ending (attested both as -s and -st) in the Old High German Evangelienbuch, while at the same time providing a diachronic account of the introduction and extension of the -st ending in German. In order to achieve these goals, in my analysis I rely on the notions of cliticization and formal analogy, arguing that the innovative and original endings correlate with different syntactic environments (V1/V2 versus Vfinal), on the one hand, and different formal shapes (is versus ôs/ês), on the other. After presenting an account of the development of -st in OHG, I draw conclusions regarding the broader question of how clitics become (part of) inflection, a discussion which in turn has implications for the theories scholars use to describe and explain language change, specifically that of grammaticalization.


This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 23, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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