Semantic Remotivation and Idiomatization through Functional Recontexualization: A Corpus-based Study on the History of German zeitnah(e) ‘Promptly; Very Soon’

Anneliese Kuhle


This paper deals with the question of what concepts of linguistic change can best capture the recent development undergone by German zeitnah(e) lit. ‘time+near’. I will argue that the notions of semantic remotivation, idiomatization and recontextualization provide the most useful insights into the observed pheno­me­non. On a more critical note, I will argue that recontextualization should be allowed a broader definition than attributed to it in current linguistic research. I contend that it is misleading to restrict the term to special instances of pragmatic connotation and to thereby suggest that other meaning shifts are less grounded on the principle of historical contextualization.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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