Epithesis (linguistics)

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Epithese ( ancient Greek ἐπίθεσις epíthesis ; "attachment" also Paragogie , English paragoge in) means Linguistics adding a sound at the end of a word. Most of the time this is etymologically unfounded, but it can resolve seemingly complex consonant connections in a word by forming another syllable . In addition to epitheses, there are also prostheses and epentheses as similar phenomena .


German examples of epitheses are:

  • Attachment of -t: Middle High German nieman > New High German nieman d ; the (vin) sec > German Sekt, borrowed from French ; Middle High German obez > New High German fruit . Also, the -t at the Evidenzmarkierer ebent (instead of standard language precisely ), which is in the spoken language often observed belongs here.
  • Appending an -e in strong verbs and auxiliary verbs: Middle High German ward > New High German wurd e . This epithesis is only retained in the auxiliary verb werden ; with all other verbs it disappears again at the beginning of the 19th century at the latest. For the development of the e-epithesis in auxiliary verbs, see the article Auxiliary Verb # On the morphological change of auxiliary verbs “sein” and “werden” ; for the strong verbs see the literature entry Imsiepen .

An example from Romance language history is:

  • analogical attachment of -o: Latin sum 'bin'> Italian son o .


  • Ulrike Imsiepen: The e-epithesis for strong verbs in German. In: Karl-Heinz Best , Jörg Kohlhase (Ed.): Exact language change research . edition herodot, Göttingen 1983, pages 119-141. ISBN 3-88694-024-1 .

Individual evidence

  1. Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.): Lexicon of Linguistics. 3rd, updated and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-520-45203-0 (keyword epithesis ).
  2. Helmut Glück (Ed.): Metzler Lexikon Sprach. 4th, updated and revised edition. Metzler: Stuttgart, Weimar 2010, ISBN 978-3-476-02335-3 , keyword epithesis .
  3. ^ Hermann Paul: German dictionary . 10th, revised and expanded edition by Helmut Henne , Heidrun Kämper and Georg Objartel. Niemeyer, Tübingen 2002, keyword “just”. ISBN 3-484-73057-9 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Epithesis  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations