Stability and convergence in case marking

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In Modern Low German, there are signs for a newly emerging dative caseunder Standard German influence. The present paper analyzes this case ofpotential convergence, concentrating on definite articles of neuter gender.Methodologically, a new corpus of spontaneous speech is used, alongside theestablished Zwirner corpus from the middle of the last century. It turns outthat full forms of the definite article are rather stable – they retain the old LowGerman two-way case system and thus defy convergence. Reduced forms, onthe other hand, do converge towards Standard German. Here, distinct dativeforms are dominant. This is in line with older findings about the decline of theold dative case in Middle Low German.


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