2021-11-03Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1515/gcla-2021-0006
What does solid spelling reveal about cognition? Evidence from Middle Low German
Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
This paper investigates the diachronic evolution of lexically complex graphemic units in Middle Low German – sequences that once occurred written as one word, but from today’s perspective are considered separate linguistic units. Examples are enwolde ‘did not want’ or isset ‘is it’. This phenomenon has received little attention, although it gives direct insight into the word concept of German and its diachronic change. The central question is what favors the perception of multiple words as a unit. Data from the Reference Corpus Middle Low German/Low Rhenish (1200–1650) show that it is mainly function words that occur in lexically complex graphemic units. Moreover, this study shows that besides from prosodic patterns, agreement and government relations reinforce lexical sequences to be perceived as linguistic units.
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This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.