The etymology pf internationals. Evidence from German and Slovak

By September 7, 2022,
Page 792-802
Author Pius ten Hacken, Renáta Panocová
Title The etymology pf internationals. Evidence from German and Slovak
Abstract In the etymological information for a word in a dictionary, the first question to be answered is whether the word is a borrowing or the result of word formation. Here, we consider this question for internationalisms ending in -ation in German and in -ácia in Slovak. In German, -ation is a suffix that attaches to verbs in -ieren. For these verbs, it is in competition with -ung. In Slovak, -ácia is a suffix that attaches to bases of Latin or Greek origin. The corresponding verbs are often backformations. Most Slovak verbs also have a nominalization in -nie. In order to investigate to what extent the nouns in -ation or -ácia are borrowings or derived from the corresponding verbs in German and Slovak, we took a random sample of English nouns in -ation for which OED gives a corresponding verb. For this sample, we checked whether the cognate noun in -ation or -ácia is attested in standard dictionaries and in corpora. Then we did the same for the corresponding verbs and the nouns in -ung or -nie. Finally, we checked the frequency of these words in DeReKo for German and SNK for Slovak. On this basis, we found evidence that -ation in German has a slightly different status to -ácia in Slovak. This status affects the relationship to the corresponding verbs and to the nouns in -ung or -nie. Such generalizations are important as background information for specifying etymological information in dictionaries, especially for languages where first attestations dates are not readily available.
Session Talk
Keywords Borrowing, word formation, reanalysis
address = {Mannheim},
title = {The {Etymology} of {Internationals}. {Evidence} from {German} and {Slovak}},
isbn = {978-3-937241-87-6},
shorttitle = {Euralex (2022)},
url = {},
language = {eng},
booktitle = {Dictionaries and {Society}. {Proceedings} of the {XX} {EURALEX} {International} {Congress}},
publisher = {IDS-Verlag},
author = {ten Hacken, Pius and Panocová, Renáta},
editor = {Klosa-Kückelhaus, Annette and Engelberg, Stefan and Möhrs, Christine and Storjohann, Petra},
year = {2022},
pages = {792--802},