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The paper deals with the actual issue of the historical stylistics of German – development of the nominal style in the Early New High German (XVth and XVIth centuries). The town chronicles as one of the most popular genres of the narrative prose from this period are used as study material. For the research, four chronicles of the German-language area from XVth and XVIth centuries have been chosen: these of Bern, Basel, Worms and Zürich. The purpose of article is to analyze different types of attributes with regard to their genre-specific function. First, an analysis of syntactic and semantic types of attributes in each chronicle is conducted with subsequent data comparison between each text and conclusions about stylistic and pragmatic factors of the use of attributes. For this, we used a sample of 1500 noun phrases chosen from the chronicles specified.

The action nouns realize their combinative potential most often. The most frequent attribute type is an attribute in Genitive, whereby some differences in its topology are discovered between the chronicles of the XVth century, on the one side, and the chronicles of the XVIth century, on the other. In the latters, the attributive genitive is more often placed after the main word. For all chronicles, only a small number of infinitives and participles in function of attribute are found, the number of noun phrases with several attributes is small, too. The percentage of noun phrases with attributes of the second and third dependency degree is not large either.

The research made allows a conclusion that the town chronicles have differed from the usage of official writing in respect to the volume and «depth» of a noun phrase. Differences between the chronicles of XVth and XVIth centuries are discovered only in some attribute types, whereas the general picture does not alter principally. The noun phrase in our texts should be characterized as a compact one. It may be explained with the unwillingness of authors to complicate the perception of their texts, for many official chronicles were read aloud. Complexity and informativeness characteristic for the official and early scientific texts seem to be expressed in chronicles at the level of the main sentence parts, but not at that of a noun phrase.

About the authors

A. E. Dunaev

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1593-889X

Candidate of Philological Sciences, associate professor at the Department of Foreign Languages and Professional Communication


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