Contraction (linguistics)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With contraction (from latin contra here = "contract" → "contraction"), the contraction ( contraction ) of two different or identical sounds ( and ) to a sound ( referred to), wherein the features of , and usually in unite. In part, this step was preceded by an elision .

Alternative names are Synizese , Synizesis , Syneresis (emphasis on the first e ) and Synäresis (emphasis on the ä ), the latter both from the Greek συναίρεσις synaíresis , German 'contraction' ; the opposite of this is diariesis .


Contraction means the sound contracting of two words to form a new one without changing the meaning. Often this results from frequent use of the phrase or speaking quickly (cf. Allegro way of speaking ). Colloquially in German the result of a contraction is sometimes called a melting word. The results are orthographically permissible.


  • German: for that → for; with the → mit'm
  • English: do not → don't; will not → won't
  • French: à le → au (like to / for)

Contractions in German

Contractions often occur in German in the declination . Affected are z. B. the possessive article words our and yours :

Inflection of the words our and yours
case Masculine neuter Feminine Plural
Nominative our
us (e) re
eu (e) re
accusative us, ours
, yours
Genitive us (e) res
eu (e) res
us (e) rer
dative us (e) rem, our
(e) rem, yours
us (e) rer
us, ours
, yours

The e- deletion also affects the inflection of adjectives to -el, -er and -en:

e - Deletion and suffix shortening in adjectives to -el, -er and -en
Ending Neither e-redemption nor suffix shortening e-repayment Suffix shortening
-el In adjectives with an unstressed -el , the e in front of initial suffixes is usually deleted:
  • dunk e l → a dunk ler Wald

In rare cases, the e is retained, but the -en suffix is ​​shortened:

  • dunk el → in Dunk Pedal
-he For adjectives of German origin on -er , the e is usually retained:
  • bied e r → a bied erer man

Even with adjectives from non-Romance languages, the e is usually retained:

  • kosch e r → a kosch ere feed
  • clev e r → a clev ere solution

In the case of comparatives, the sequence -ereerer can result in individual cases ( a cleaner space ); such forms are avoided.

For some adjectives the stem exit can be shortened:

  • Finst e r → a Finst res face (more often: a Finst e res face )
  • saub e r → saub re laundry (more frequently: saub e re laundering )

According to diphthongs , the shortening is even mandatory:

  • Sau e r → a sow rer apple
  • teu e r → a teu res pleasure

The e is often deleted from adjectives from Latin or other Romance languages:

  • illustration e r → an illustration re society
  • mediok e r → a mediok re power

For some adjectives, the suffix -en can be shortened to -n :

  • sprayed it → the darkest s forest (more often: in the darkest older forest )
  • and he → for other reasons (more often: for other reasons ; also: for other reasons )

Occasionally the suffix -em can also be shortened to -m :

  • and he → under and erm (more often: under and erem )
-en With adjectives ending in -en , the e of the word ending is usually retained; suffix shortening never takes place:
  • trock e n → trock e nes wood
  • rare e n → a rare e ne Stamp

This also applies to participles (Partizip II):

  • Erles e n → an Erles e ner scent

In poetic language, the e is occasionally deleted:

  • gold e n → a gold nes egg

An e-repayment also occurs in the past participle:

  • zerbroch e n → a zerbroch ner jug (common: a zerbroch e ner jug )

Furthermore, an e-repayment also occurs with the comparative:

  • dry e n → trock nere towels (more often: trock e nere towels )

Meaning in Greek studies

Contraction has a more specific meaning - often with the term syneresis - especially in Greek studies : There it describes the contraction of two vowels to form a syllable, often by omitting an intervening consonant . Usually this is how a diphthong is created . In ancient Greek numerous contracting verbs occur, so-called contracta Verba . Their forms are usually given uncontracted in dictionaries, while the flow text is often written as contracted. The contraction is possible with all forms of conjugation.

If the syneresis occurs in an ostentatious ( challenging ) break with language conventions, it is a rhetorical figure - namely a metaplasm .


  • τιμάω timáōτιμῶ timô (I honor)
τιμῶ timô , τιμᾷς timâs , τιμᾷ timâ , τιμῶμεν timômen , τιμᾶτε timâte , τιμῶσι (ν) timôsi (n)
  • ποιέομαι poiéomaiποιοῦμαι poioûmai (I do for myself)
ποιοῦμαι poioûmai , ποιῇ poiḗ [ ποιέ-ει poié-eiποιεῖ poieîποιῇ poiḗ ] ποιεῖται poieîtai , ποιούμεθα poioúmetha , ποιεῖσθε poieîsthe , ποιοῦνται poioûntai

Such syneresis can also be observed in German when speaking quickly and swallowing syllables, but without being justified in writing:

  • ideal (standard language: [ideˈʔaːl] or [ideˈaːl]) contracted to [iˈde̯aːl] or [iˈdjaːl]

See also

Web links

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


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Duden editors: The grammar . 8th edition. Dudenverlag, Mannheim, Vienna, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-411-04048-3 , pp. 365 .