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Remotivierung und Assoziationen

Von fr. silhouette über it. campidoglio und pg. saudade bis hin zu sp. cementerio

Zurück zum Heft: Romanistik in Geschichte und Gegenwart 26,2
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Linguistic remotivation is not only an intellectual undertaking, but often also takes place unconsciously in the form of folk etymology. The human desire to convey meaning to expressions that have become opaque leads to the conscious or unconscious restructuring of language and thereby sometimes also to language change. The decisive factor for the type of meaning attributed is associations based on the content or the form of the remotivated expression. The article examines the impact of associations on remotivation in French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish with the goal of delivering a concise and yet inclusive classification of folk etymologies. It first analyses the corpus and distinguishes changes that concern only the content from those in content and form. In both cases, it differentiates between lexicalized and purely associative semantic changes, and, if relevant, between native words and loan words as well as between general vocabulary and toponyms. It also subclassifies loan words according to their language of origin and native words into those affected by changes concerning both spelling and pronunciation
and others altering only the spelling. In conclusion, this allows a classification of the
phenomenon that, by systematically distinguishing between lexicalized and purely associative
changes, rigorously takes into account the role of associations in the process of remotivation.