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Joachim Herrgen: Sprachgeographie und Optimalitätstheorie. Am Beispiel der t-Tilgung in Auslaut-Clustern des Deutschen

The analysis of regional linguistic variation shows that diachronic change and regional differentiation are merely two aspects of a single process. In the past, several models for describing the complex relationship between linguistic variation and linguistic change have been suggested. In the present article, I propose Optimality Theory (OT) as a suitable paradigm for describing movements in regional variation. Using this concept, we can describe regional variation as regionally differentiated “constraint-ranking” and then go on to interpret changes in the pattern of regional variation as “reranking” of constraints. The article shows that OT is able to express the interdependence of variation and change in linguistic geography in terms of the systematic interaction of constraints. The corollary is that OT is an appropriate theory for the description of processes of linguistic movement and change.

In the present paper, this theoretical and methodological proposal is applied to a feature of German linguistic geography which is characterized by a good deal of movement, namely, the loss of /t/ in final clusters (t#-Tilgung), as in the simplification of -st to the sibilant -s or ‑sch ([•]).

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 15.12.2010 · Merlem

 
 
 
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