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Die Endungen -os/-as und -a des Nominativ/Akkusativ Plurals der a-Stämme im Altsächsischen

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The Old Saxon ending of the NAp of the masculine a-stems is generally -os in the larger sources Heliand and Genesis, appears as -as in minor texts, but faces competition from -a in minor texts in south-western sources. There are various hypotheses about the origin of the -a-ending, whether going back to the original Proto-Germanic accusative ending or being a borrowing from Franconian. An analysis of all 119 attested NAp forms of masculine -(j/w)a-stems from minor texts reveals that the ending -a arose in the late 9th century and found its roots indeed in the south-western region of the Lower Rhine Valley (Essen, Werden). The variant -os, next to geographically dominant -as, is only found in that region as well. The ending -a most likely spread from Lower Rhine Valley Franconian, where an intense contact existed between Franconian and Saxon, the former being the politically dominant variety. This borrowing was the first step in a total reshaping of Middle Low Saxon plural morphology, based on the Franconian pattern of masculine -e versus feminine -en.

Affiliations: 1: Universiteit van Amsterdam / Fryske Akademy LeeuwardenNiederlande a.p.versloot@uva.nl

10.1163/18756719-12340052
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/content/journals/10.1163/18756719-12340052
2016-03-16
2018-04-25

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