How do speakers choose the ‘right’ particle to follow a comparative word, when the particles themselves all seem synonymous? Different to, from or than, besser wie, als oder denn, German had a change to the dominant model in the early modern period, whereas English seems to be going through a period of uncertainty now. This talk will explore the importance to language change of switch contexts, cases of ambiguity which trigger speakers to reanalyse how they are speaking, and why.
Sheila Watts is a historical linguist who specializes in the early history of German and its closest relatives.
All staff, students, senior members and alumnae are warmly invited to attend the Newnham Pudding Seminars. For more details please visit https://newn.cam.ac.uk/research/pudding-seminars/ or email Jessie Sklair (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Hana D’Souza (email@example.com)