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Die Emergenz irrelevanzkonditionaler Subjunktoren des Typs ‚egal was‘

Variation und Grammatikalisierung anhand des Deutschen Referenzkorpus

Flor Vander Haegen


Pages 113 - 138



Abstract: Building on earlier research on the grammaticalisation of concessive conditionals (Irrelevanzkonditionale), the present article investigates lexical and syntactic variation in a subtype of German concessive conditionals which is marked by the WH-word ‚was‘ (‘what’) in combination with expressions of irrelevance like ‚egal‘ (‘no matter’). More than 12,800 examples from the German DeReKo corpus (Deutsches Referenzkorpus) were analysed manually for eight different variables. Both the quantitative and the qualitative results suggest that combinations of ‚was‘ with an expression of irrelevance constitute part of an emergent paradigm of concessive-conditional subordinators in contemporary German. The on-going grammaticalisation of the paradigm is motivated by discourse-functional factors and proceeds through synchronised processes of deassertion and desententialisation. As a result, a new layer of concessive-conditional markers is emerging beside the older layer, which consists of a WH-word and the irrelevance particles auch and/or ‚immer‘ (‘-ever’) and does not show a corresponding range of variation between discourse and syntax.

Keywords: concessive conditionals; subordinators; emergence from discourse; grammaticalisation; schematisation

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