Scaling morphosemantic transparency/opacity: A corpus-linguistic and acquisitionist study of German diminutives

Main Article Content

Jutta Ransmayr
Sonja Schwaiger
Katharina Korecky-Kröll
Sabine Sommer-Lolei
Wolfgang U. Dressler

Abstract

The judicious use of electronic corpora allows new possibilities in the study of word formation. In contrast to the usual way of contrasting morphosemantic transparency (or compositionality) and morphosemantic opacity (or non-compositionality) in a dichotomous way, we present a ten-step scale from maximum transparency to total opacity, exemplified with the common German diminutive suffixation in -chen and Austro-Bavarian -erl.


Our corpus-linguistic investigation allows new insights into problems of distribution of type and token frequency according to degrees of morphosemantic transparency/opacity and of the two rivalling diminutive formations.


An analysis of diminutive acquisition is added as external evidence for or against previous claims. Acquisition data come from three longitudinal corpora and from 24 children of a transversal quasi-longitudinal study. Here the order of acquisition of diminutives according to the ten-step scale of morphosemantic transparency/opacity and to adult type and token frequency will be presented and the relation between morphosemantic and morphopragmatic meaning will be discussed.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ransmayr, J., Schwaiger, S., Korecky-Kröll, K., Sommer-Lolei, S., & Dressler, W. U. (2017). Scaling morphosemantic transparency/opacity: A corpus-linguistic and acquisitionist study of German diminutives. Yearbook of the Poznań Linguistic Meeting, 3(1), 141-153. https://doi.org/10.1515/yplm-2017-0007
Section
Articles

References

  1. Barz, I. 1983. “Wortbedeutung und Wortbildungsbedeutung”. Zeitschrift für Ger-manistik 4. 65 69.
  2. Bauer, L. 2001. Morphological productivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. Bourque, S.Y. 2014. Toward a typology of semantic transparency: The case of French compounds. (PhD dissertation, Department of French Studies, Universi-ty of Toronto.)
  4. Clark, E.V. 1993. The lexicon in acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  5. Corbin, D. 1987. Morphologie dérivationnelle et structuration du lexique. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  6. Crocco Galèas, G. and W.U. Dressler. 1992. “Trasparenza morfotattica e morfose-mantica dei composti nominali più produttivi dell’italiano di oggi.” In: Moretti, B., D. Petrini and S. Bianconi (eds.), Atti del 25. Congresso Società di Linguisti-ca Italiana. Roma: Bulzoni. 9–24.
  7. de Knop, S. 1987. Metaphorische Komposita in Zeitungsüberschriften. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  8. Dressler, W.U. 1985. “On the predictiveness of Natural Morphology”. Journal of Linguistics 21. 321–337.
  9. Dressler, W.U. 1989. “Prototypcial differences between inflection and derivation”. Zeitschrift für Phonetik, Sprachwissenschaft und Kommunikationsforschung 42. 3–10.
  10. Dressler, W.U. and L. Merlini Barbaresi. 1994. Morphopragmatics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  11. Dressler, W.U. and L. Merlini Barbaresi. 2001. “Morphopragmatics of diminutives and augmentatives: On the priority of pragmatics over semantics”. In: Kenesei, I. and Robert Harnish (eds.), Perspectives on semantics, pragmatics, and dis-course. A Festschrift for Ferenc Kiefer. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 43–58.
  12. Dressler, W.U. 2005. “Word-formation in Natural Morphology”. In Štichauer, P. and R. Lieber (eds.), Handbook of word-formation. New York: Springer. 267–284.
  13. Dressler, W.U. (ed.). 2006. Natural Morphology. (Folia Linguistica 40, special is-sue.) 1–2.
  14. Dressler, W.U. and K. Korecky-Kröll. 2015. “Evaluative morphology and language acquisition”. In: Grandi, N. and L. Körtvélyessy (eds.), Edinburgh handbook of evaluative morphology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 134–141.
  15. Dressler, W.U. and L. Merlini Barbaresi. 2017. “Pragmatics and morphology: Mor-phopragmatics.” In: Huang, Y. (ed.), The Oxford handbook of pragmatics. Ox-ford University Press. 493-510.
  16. Dressler, W.U., L. Merlini Barbaresi, S. Schwaiger, J. Ransmayr, S. Sommer-Lolei and K. Korecky-Kröll. 2017. “Rivalry and lack of blocking among Italian and German diminutives in adult and child language”. In: Rainer, F., F. Gardani, H. Luschützky and W.U. Dressler (eds.), Competition in morphology. Berlin: Springer. In print.
  17. Fradin, B. 2009. “Morphologie constructionnelle et sémantique”. Mémoires de la So-ciété de Linguistique de Paris 17: La morphologie lexicale: un domaine auto-nome de la grammaire? 89–118.
  18. Gagné, C.L. and T.L. Spalding. 2016. “Written production of English compounds: Effects of morphology and semantic transparency”. Morphology 26(2). 157–200.
  19. Kilani-Schoch, M., F. Sánchez Miret and W.U. Dressler. 2011. “Towards naturalness scales of pragmatic complexity”. Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 47. 237–263.
  20. Korecky-Kröll, K. 2017. “Kodierung und Analyse mit CHILDES: Erfahrungen mit kindersprachlichen Spontansprachkorpora und erste Arbeiten zu einem rein er-wachsenensprachlichen Spontansprachkorpus”. In: Resch, C. and W.U. Dressler (eds.), Digitale Methoden der Korpusforschung in Österreich. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 87–113.
  21. Libben, G. 2010. “Compounds, semantic transparency and morphological transcen-dence”. In: Olsen, S. (ed.), New impulses in word formation. Hamburg: Buske. 212–232.
  22. Libben, G. 2014. “The nature of compounds: A psychocentric perspective.” Cogni-tive Neuropsychology 31. 8–25.
  23. Mattiello, E. and W.U. Dressler. 2017. “The morphosemantic transparency/opacity of novel English analogical compounds and compound families”. (Submitted to Journal of English Linguistics.)
  24. Merlini Barbaresi, L. 2015. “Evaluative morphology and pragmatics”. In: Grandi, N. and L. Körtvélyessy (eds.), Edinburgh handbook of evaluative morphology. E-dinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 32–42.
  25. Motsch, W. 1999. Deutsche Wortbildung in Grundzügen. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  26. Ransmayr, J., K. Mörth and M. Durco. 2017. “AMC (Austrian Media Corpus) – ‘Korpusbasierte Forschungen zum Österreichischen Deutsch’”. In: Resch, C. and W.U. Dressler (eds.), Digitale Methoden der Korpusforschung in Österreich. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 27–38.
  27. Ransmayr, J., W.U. Dressler and S. Schwaiger 2017. “Semantische Untersuchungen zu österreichischen Diminutiven und Diminutivkomposita: Wortfelder und Gra-duierung der morphosemantischen Opazität”. (To be submitted.)
  28. Savickiene, I. and W.U. Dressler (eds.). 2007. The acquisition of diminutives: A cross-linguistic perspective. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  29. Schwaiger, S., A. Barbaresi, K. Korecky-Kröll, J. Ransmayr and W.U. Dressler. 2017. “Diminutivvariation in österreichischen elektronischen Korpora”. (Submit-ted as a conference paper for the conference Deutsch in Österreich und andere plurizentrische Kontexte: Variation – Kontakt – Perzeption. Vienna: 07 Jul 2017–09 Jul 2017.)
  30. Slobin, D.I. 1985. “Crosslinguistic evidence for the language-making capacity”. In: Slobin, D.I. (ed.), The crosslinguistic study of language acquisition. (Vol. 2.) Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum. 1157–1249.
  31. Talamo, L., C. Celata and P.M. Bertinetto. 2016. “/derIvaTario/: A lexicon of anno-tated Italian derivatives”. Word Structure 9. 72–102.