Das Genus von Gallizismen im Deutschen
Reichweite, Validität und Dominanz von Prinzipien der Genuszuweisung
Pages 5 - 30
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Abstract: This study is concerned with the assignment of gender to French nouns in German. Like any noun in German, borrowed nouns must be assigned one of three genders, viz. masculine (e.g. le balcon > der Balkon ‘balcony’), feminine (e.g. la nuance > die Nuance ‘nuance’) or neuter (e.g. le bataillon > das Bataillon ‘batallion’). However, as French has only masculine and feminine, the question arises why a particular gender is assigned to a given French loanword (“Gallicism”) when it enters the German lexicon, as illustrated e.g. by le bagage, which is feminine in German (die Bagage) but masculine in French, and la gelée, which is both masculine and neuter in German (der/das Gelee) but feminine in French. The present study provides a preliminary answer by investigating the relative significance of ten principles of gender assignment (four semantic, six formal) in a sample of 498 Gallicisms, taken from the existing literature. Hierarchies showing respectively the relative range, validity and dominance of the ten principles are established and compared, and prospects are suggested for future research.