Striving for the optimal compromise: evolution of morphological and phonological patterns in German brand names


Elke Ronneberger-Sibold (Eichstaett)



My paper attempts to explain certain statistical evolutions in the diachronic development of the preferred phonological and morphological structure of German brand names (1894 - 1994) within the framework of Natural Linguistics. The primary focus will be on the conflict or antithesis between different parameters such as distinctiveness, morphological complexity, descriptiveness and different kinds of phonological complexity. The diachronic development is interpreted as a quest for the best possible compromise between these parameters under the functional premises of brand names. Moreover, the possible influence of a general typological drift of contemporary German will be investigated.