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When Two Paths Converge: Debonding and Clipping of Dutch Reuze

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Dutch reuze(n)(-) has a wide range of synchronic uses that form part of a broad categorical and semantic continuum. Derived from the noun reus 'giant', it is often used to express a comparison in nominal and adjectival compounds (for example, reuzegroot 'as big as a giant', lit. 'giant-big'), but it can also have a merely intensifying function (for example, reuzeleuk 'very nice', lit. 'giant-nice'). Moreover, it currently occurs as a free adjective and adverb while keeping its morphological linking morpheme -e- and intensifying value (for example, Het feestje was reuze 'The party was great'). Drawing on synchronic and diachronic corpus data, this paper argues that the emergence of reuze as a free morpheme should be accounted for by debonding (an instance of degrammaticalization) and clipping. Copyright © Society for Germanic Linguistics 2014.
Journal: Journal of Germanic Linguistics
ISSN: 1470-5427
Issue: 1
Volume: 26
Pages: 31 - 64
Number of pages: 34
Publication year:2014