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Zur Produktivität idiomatischer Konstruktionsmuster.: Interpretierbarkeit und Produzierbarkeit im Test.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German.
2008 (English)In: Linguistische Berichte, Vol. 216, no 4, 391-430 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper deals with German idiomatic sentences of the type Da geht einem ja der Hut hoch! (‚This makes one’s hat go up’: „This is outrageous“), Das kannst du den Hasen geben! (‚You can give that to the rabbits’: „That is worthless“), Du hast wohl nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank! (‚(I guess) You don’t have all your cups in the cupboard any more’: „You are crazy“) etc. It is argued that those sentences are instantiations of certain productive patterns of construction. As opposed to Kay (2002), the paper argues that the productivity of constructions should be accounted for by a morphological rather than a syntactic approach. Therefore, productivity has to be seen as gradual and is to be measured empirically. Furthermore, productivity does not have to be contrary to idiomaticity. On the basis of a classification of German idiomatic patterns of construction, the paper examines in how far these turn out to be productive, whether there is any variation in profitability with regard to the different patterns, and if yes, due to which kind of linguistic factors. In my study, I carried out elicitation tests on the interpretation and production of new idiomatic sentences with 34 German native speakers. As a result, the tests show that the idiomatic patterns are potentially productive („available“) as more than half of the test subjects can produce new idiomatic sentences that are compatible with the patterns in question and more than half of the test subjects can interpret made-up new idiomatic sentences in correspondence to the patterns. The degree to which the patterns are productively exploited („profitable“) varies both with regard to production and interpretation of new idiomatic sentences. It is argued that this variation is due to structural, lexical, semantic and pragmatic features of the patterns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 216, no 4, 391-430 p.
Keyword [en]
productivity, sentential idioms, elicitation tests, construction grammar, phraseology, morphology, idiomatic patterns
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15267OAI: diva2:181787
Available from: 2008-11-26 Created: 2008-11-26 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Finkbeiner, Rita
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Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German

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