Linguistik online 13, 1/03

Niederländisch toch und Deutsch doch: Gleich oder doch nicht ganz?

Ad Foolen (Nijmegen)



Derived nouns on -ei (-erei) and those with prefix Ge- and suffix -e have a number of functions in German. The most prominent is arguably the expression of negative speaker attitudes, like dissatisfaction, contempt, etc. Both forms are normally interpreted as being synonymous (e. g. Tanzerei and Getanze). This article has the intention of sketching a more differentiated approach where it will be argued that even though there is considerable overlapping with regard to the meaning of the nouns in question, they cannot be classified as synonymous and that native speakers, even though unaware of the process, seem to have clearly marked preferences which are based on contextual and situational variables.


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