Is the development of linking elements in German a case of exaptation?

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
This Chapter is currently unavailable for purchase.

The development of linking elements in German has usually been analysed as a case of exaptation. In this paper, a more differentiated picture of this development is presented. What at first sight seems to be a clear case of exaptation (old form > new function) turns out to be a complex process consisting of two stages: (1) the development of a first layer of linking vowels in Old High German (new but related function) out of Proto-Germanic primary suffixes (old form); and (2) the subsequent development of a second layer of linking elements from inflectional (genitive) endings. Based on historical evidence, it is argued that the second stage should be analysed as a case of formal renovation. This is due to the fact that this reinforcement took place while the old linking system was still productive.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address