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USAGE: German conjunctions, grammaticalization, etc. [was Re: Sketch of Germanech 4/4: Syntax]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, December 13, 2001, 0:58
Quoting Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>:

> Hi! > > laokou <laokou@...> writes: > ... > > From: "Henrik Theiling" > ... > > > (`weil''s order is currently unstable in Modern German) > > > That "weil" is unstable is an interesting new fact (perhaps > > > by analogy with "denn" in meaning?). > > Yeah, it started in my generation I think. I consider it wrong and > shudder whenever someone uses it in main clause order (as a > coordination). I think it was not triggered by analogy with `denn', > but by a tendency to add a pause after `weil' for further thinking, > adding the next clause with main clause order. You'd write that with > a comma and some dots. > > Then after a while people used that order even without the pause. > That's how I noticed the shift.
That's interesting. American English "like" is undergoing a related change. It used to be used purely for hesitation, like "well" still is. But more and more I've noticed that people are using it without any hesitation, and are, in effect, turning it into a special subordinating conjunction used for quotations: A: "So, what'd he say after I left?" B: "He [was / said / went] like, 'I find him so annoying sometimes.'" ===================================================================== Thomas Wier <trwier@...> <> "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n / Dept. of Linguistics mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..." University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought / 1010 E. 59th Street and not complete one road that has no turn" Chicago, IL 60637 Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers