Non-inflected nouns are not infinite
|FINITE; Language & Linguistics; Linguistics
|WALTER DE GRUYTER & CO
|ZEITSCHRIFT FUR GERMANISTISCHE LINGUISTIK
After a short look on traditional paradigms of the German noun and after a look on paradigms with so-called underspecified forms, this paper first addresses the question of how paradigms of German nouns would look like if periphrastic noun forms (consisting of a determiner and a noun) were taken into consideration. Since nonperiphrastic noun forms co-exist with such hypothesized periphrastic noun forms, the traditional German noun paradigm with 8 positions would have to be enlarged to paradigms with. up to 14 different forms, which is considered to be a severe argument against the hypothesis of periphrastic nouns. Next, starting out from the forms of the verb, the notions finite and non-finite are discussed and it is shown that with the verb there are clear formal differences between finite and non-finite forms which correspond to as clear functional differences between these two different sets of forms. As for the adjective, it is shown that, though similar differences are less straightforward than in the verb, a distinction between finite and non-finite forms still could be made. Finally, two different concepts of non-finite nouns are discussed and it is argued that neither concept leads to a convincing notion of non-finite noun. In conclusion, the idea of non-finite nouns is rejected.
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checked on Feb 22, 2024