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BY 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2018

Ludicity in lexical innovation (II) – German

From the book Expanding the Lexicon

  • Claudine Moulin


The paper explores ludic innovations as a specific subtype of linguistic innovation at the lexical level. I will discuss the phenomenon of linguistic ludicity in the context of lexicographic sources in German, taking into account contemporary and historical dictionaries as well as Early New High German sources of metalinguistic reflection. Different types of lexical innovation will be analysed, with a special focus on structural, semantic, and pragmatic features underlying the process of ludic expansion of the lexicon. Firstly, I will reflect on methodological challenges encountered when exploring linguistic ludicity from a lexicographic point of view. Subsequently, I will analyse the linguistic and lexical marking of ludicity in dictionaries of contemporary German (most importantly Duden online 2017) and in selected sources of the (Early) Modern period (Harsdörffer, Kramer, Adelung), in order to investigate general metalinguistic and lexicographic lines of depicting wordplay and ludic innovation leading to language change. There will be a particular focus on Johann Christoph Adelung’s Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch der hochdeutschen Mundart ([1793- 1801] 1970) and the tracing of relevant pathways of evolution of ludic innovations, especially in the predominant domain of nominal compounds. Overall, it will be shown that markedness plays a central role for ludic innovation and that the analysis of ludic use from a lexicographic point of view can uncover underlying dynamics of lexical expansion and change.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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