Zur Herkunft der Vergleichspartikel was im Bairischen

Translated title of the contribution: On the origin of the comparison particle 'was' in Bavarian

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Abstract

In the Bavarian dialect the neuter interrogative pronoun was 'what' is also used as a comparative particle, e.g. was frischers sichst nie was a Pfersibaamblüh 'you will never see anything fresher than peach blossom'. Previous attempts to explain the origin of this usage have proven unsuccessful. While being unknown to other German dialects, it mirrors the general comparative particle construction found in Romance languages. This remarkable typological affinity is assessed. In particular, attention is drawn towards the areal linguistic convergence of Bavarian and neighbouring Rhaeto-Romance dialects. Finally, it is asked whether the Bavarian construction may have arisen through language contact with Romance. Because the Old Bavarian territory was for centuries part of the Roman Empire and was Ger-manised relatively late, this thesis gains a certain degree of plausibility. It is further strengthened by the fact that numerous other structural correspondences exist between Bavarian and the Romance languages.

Translated title of the contributionOn the origin of the comparison particle 'was' in Bavarian
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)397-416
Number of pages20
JournalSprachwissenschaft
Volume27
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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