NJ_G240 Irregularities in Morphology

Faculty of Education
Spring 2019
Extent and Intensity
0/1/0. 2 credit(s) (plus 2 for the colloquium). Recommended Type of Completion: k (colloquium). Other types of completion: z (credit).
Roland Anton Wagner, M.A., Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. Mgr. Tomáš Káňa, Ph.D.
Department of German Language and Literature - Faculty of Education
Contact Person: Helena Rytířová
Supplier department: Department of German Language and Literature - Faculty of Education
Timetable of Seminar Groups
NJ_G240/Kombi01: Fri 1. 3. 11:00–12:50 učebna 55, Fri 5. 4. 11:00–12:50 učebna 55, Fri 3. 5. 11:00–12:50 učebna 55, R. Wagner
Sufficient (receptive) competence in German to follow class lecture and read the required literature (with the aid of a dictionary). Level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: B1+.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 8 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to demarcate the border line between regular and irregular forms in German morphology. Students are led to identify both areas in order to conduct their studies (and later their teaching) in such a way that emphasis is put on the regular sections of German grammar, while irregularities are taken into account only as much as is necessary (with regard to the frequency of the form under consideration). A further aim is to introduce students to linguistic argumentation and to analysing authentic language data. Last but not least, students get acquainted with some of the most frequent irregular forms in German morphology.
Learning outcomes
After completing the course, students should be able
- to define what “irregularities” are,
- to enumerate the suppletiv forms of German,
- to give reasons for considering a certain form as irregular and to explain in what respect the given form displays morphological irregularities,
- to come to reasoned decisions about whether a certain irregular form is relevant for practical purposes or not; the reasons for the decisions should be made as explicit as possible.
  • - Sharpening of the notion “Irregularity” in morphology: (ir)regularity at the input to a rule vs. (ir)regularity at the output; formal irregularity vs. semantic irregularity; strong vs. week suppletion;
  • - Unpredictable restrictions on the formation of certain forms (e.g. plural forms of nouns, adjectives from nouns or finite forms from complex verbal stems);
  • - Unpredictable (non-compositional) meanings in derived forms (e.g. plurals of nouns or adjectives derived by -lich);
  • - Are verbs containing apophony irregular verbs? Regularity as a scalar concept; - Strong and week suppletion in German verbs and adjectives;
  • - Regular and irregular vowel fronting;
  • - The degree of regularity in German plural formation (with an excurse into the formation of plural nouns in English);
  • - Regular and irregular distribution of the shwa in verbal, nominal and adjectival (comparative) word forms;
  • - Analysis of errors in texts written by students of German: missing knowledge of rergularities or irregular forms?
  • - Conclusions to be drawn from the course: the degree of irregularity in German, areas of high irregularity, factors producing irregular morphologic forms.
  • Kiefer, Ferenc (2000): Regularity, in: Booij, Geert, Lehmann, Christian u. a. (Hrsg.): Morphologie. Ein internationales Handbuch. Berlin und New York: Walter de Gruyter. S. 296–302.
  • Plank, Frans (1981): Morphologische (Ir-)Regularitäten. Tübingen: Narr.
  • Regularität und Irregularität in Phonologie und Morphologie : Diachron, kontrastiv, typologisch. Edited by Andreas Bittner - Klaus-Michael Köpcke. Boston: De Gruyter, 2016. xiv, 329. ISBN 9783110485066. info
  • THIEROFF, Rolf and Petra M. VOGEL. Flexion. 2., aktualisierte Aufl. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2012. 100 s. ISBN 9783825360177. info
  • NÜBLING, Damaris. Prinzipien der Irregularisierung : eine kontrastive Analyse von zehn Verben in zehn germanischen Sprachen. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 2010. 339 s. ISBN 3484304154. info
Teaching methods
The class is taught as seminar, i.e. the material is presented both by students as well as by the teacher. The analysis and assessment of the concrete language material under consideration proceeds in class discussion. To prepare the discussion, reading of linguistic literature is required.
Assessment methods
The course can be completed either by a “credit“ or by a “colloquium” (cf. Study and Examination Rules, section 18 and 19). In order to acquire a “credit”, students have to hand in the compulsory homework and to regularly attend class (no more than three absences). In order to acquire the “colloquium”, students in addition have to hand in a seminar paper (presentation and analysis of authentic language material researched in an electronic corpus; size: about 5 pages in A-4 format).
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
General note: Kombinované studium má výuku v pátek, prezenční od pondělí do čtvrtka..
Information on the extent and intensity of the course: 6 hodin v kombinované formě.

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