A re-examination of wieder: remarks on an overlooked prefix

Title: A re-examination of wieder: remarks on an overlooked prefix
Source document: Linguistica Brunensia. 2017, vol. 65, iss. 1, pp. 37-50
  • ISSN
    1803-7410 (print)
    2336-4440 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

Departing from the repetitive-restitutive ambiguity of the German adverb wieder ('again'), we investigate its homophonous counterpart, the verbal prefix wieder (VPW). It occurs in verbs like wiederauferstehen ('to resurrect') and corresponding deverbal nouns (Wiederauferstehung 'resurrection'). We offer an initial structural and semantic description of these forms and elaborate on the specific requirements that VPW seems to impose on the base it attaches to. We observe that formations with VPW show a strong preference for restitutive interpretations and that VPW, in contrast to the adverb, seems to require completeness of the end state, which can be attained by a specific morphological makeup of the base. This suggests that VPW constructions might also be analyzable in a scalar fashion, calling into question the decompositional approach proposed for the adverb. Our findings are also briefly put into cross-linguistic perspective by looking at re-, the English counterpart of VPW, and some data from Dutch.