Lexicalization of PPs to adverbs in historic varieties of German

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Taking PPs that become adverbs as an example, this contribution addresses the question how lexicalization processes can be observed empirically in a corpus of historic texts. Even though language change is often described as change from an earlier A (here: PP, syntagm) to a later B (here: adverb, lexeme), it is a well known fact that change, while it is underway, involves variation. Consequently, in lexicalization – as well as in any other form of language change – occurrences of different stages between A and B coexist at a given time during the process. The analyses of two examples from Middle High German presented in this paper will aim at describing the synchronic state of variation in order to show the gradual changes involved in these cases of lexicalization.


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