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CHAT: Contractions in colloquial German (was: Re: articles)

From:Carsten Becker <naranoieati@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 1, 2005, 19:19

On Monday 31 January 2005 21:17, Andreas Johansson wrote:

 > Quoting Carsten Becker <naranoieati@BECKERSCARSTEN.DE
 > > (1) _'n_ appended to a verb can also mean "ihn" (him)
 > > in my ideolect (_'ne_ in the regional dialect) or also
 > > "denn" ... but this is another story.
 > Cool! I can't recall hearing this in German, but my
 > Swedish lect does, on the surface, the same thing; it
 > suffixes _-'_ to a verb for "him". It's historically from
 > acc _han_ "him", but the corresponding non-cliticized
 > form synchronically is _honom_, originally dative.
 > Similarly, _-na_ "her" goes back to an old accusative
 > _hana_, and looks unconnected to the modern independent
 > accusative/dative _henne_.
 > The enclitic _-n_ can also mean "it" as object, but
 > whether this is a generalization of _han_ for inanimates
 > back in the days when Swedish had a German-style
 > three-gender system, or connects to _den_ "it", I do not
 > know. For neuters, the form is _-t_ or _-et_.

They don't say things like "Wo is'n der Teller? -- Ich hab'n
aufgegessen." or "Wo gehst'n hin?" in Aachen? How
widespread are the phenomena listed below then?

FWIW, in my dialect the 3sg pronouns are shortened to the

 ihn        (him)          => 'n(e)   [n=]/[n@]
 sie        (she, her)     => 'se     [z@]
 ihm        (to him)       => 'm      [m=]
 ihr        (to her)       => 'er     [6]
 es         (it)           => 's      [s]

Since I called this thread "Contractions in colloquial
German", here's a list of other contractions I could
observe myself and my environment to use. I think most of
these contractions are commonly found in many regions:

  Colloq  | Pronctn  | Std. Language |   Translation
'n*       | [(?)n=]  | den, ein, ihn,| the, a, him,
          |          | denn          | filling word in
          |          |               | questions
          |          |               |
   'ne    | [n@]     | eine          | a
   'nen   | [n@n]    | einen         | to a
   'ner   | [n6]     | einer         | to a
'm        | [(?)m=]  | den, ihn      | the, him
'mer      | [m6]     | wir           | we
'wer      | [v6]     | wir           | we
'se       | [z@]     | sie           | she, You
-ste ...? | [st@]    | -st du ...?   | d'ya ...?
'er       | [6]      | er, der       | he, the
's        | [s]      | es            | it
rauf*     | [RAU)f]  | hin-/herauf   | up
runter*   | ["RUnt6] | hin-/herunter | down
rein*     | [RAI)n]  | hin-/herein   | in
raus      | [RAU)s]  | her-/hinaus   | out
rüber*    | ["Ryb6]  | hin-/herüber  | across
jetz'     | [jEts)]  | jetzt         | now
nix       | [nIks)]  | nichts        | nothin'
nich      | [nIC]    | nicht         | n't

*) Note that my father is from here (Waldecker Land), but
   my mother was born in the Lörrach area. She can speak
   Allemanic but can also speak Standard German, since
   her parents originally came from the Ruhr area. Thus, my
   ideolect is not pure Waldeckian.

   However, in the region where I live, they rather say:

   'n -> 'ne: ihn, den
   rauf -> ruff [RUf]/ruffer ["RUf6]
   runter -> runner ["RUn6]
   rüber -> rübber ["RYb6]

   And, many |ie|'s [i:] > [I]:
   wieder   ["vi:d6]     > ["vId6]     (again)
   Dienstag ["di:ns.tAk] > ["dIns.tAX] (Tuesday)
   lieber   [li:b6]      = [li:b6]    (dear, untranslatable)

   (source: my father, my grandma, my great-aunts, my
   classmates who grew up here)

ObConlang: Anyone did something like that for their
conlangs? I guess that there'll be heavy contractions in
Standard Informal Ayeri because words can still get very
long. I suppose dialects just change the grammar a bit so
that the language gets rather isolating.

Carsten Becker



Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>