Pejoration in contact: m-reduplication and other examples from urban German

Wiese H., Tanış Polat N.

in: Pejoration, Rita Finkbeiner,Jörg Maibauer,Heike Wiese, Editor, John Benjamins, Amsterdam/Philadelphia , Amsterdam, pp.243-267, 2016

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Publisher: John Benjamins, Amsterdam/Philadelphia 
  • City: Amsterdam
  • Page Numbers: pp.243-267
  • Editors: Rita Finkbeiner,Jörg Maibauer,Heike Wiese, Editor


This paper analyses the expressions with pejorative functions in the dynamic multilinguals setting of urban German, and their possible Turkish sources. The focus of our investigation is on pejorative functions of m-reduplication (“Cola Mola”). In addition, we discuss usages of “Scherz” / “Spaß” ‘joke, fun’ in urban German, as well as their Turkish counterpart “şaka”, as a marker that cancels the performative force of a preceding utterance and can thus bring about de-pejoration, the annulment of pejoration. We show that the pejoration involved in our examples is pattern-based rather than linked to individual evaluative elements, and account for this as “constructional pejoration”. Interestingly, the patterns we find here are not exclusively pejorative, but can also support such concepts as amplification, ‘coolness’, and ludic aspects, putting a spotlight on links between pejoration and other cognitive domains. We model these links in a network of systematic conceptual relationships and pragmatic inferences.