Original Research

Uitgebreide attributiewe konstruksies in Duits - ’n uitdaging vir Afrikaanssprekende studente

E. C. Steyn
Literator | Vol 14, No 3 | a711 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v14i3.711 | © 1993 E. C. Steyn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 1993 | Published: 03 May 1993

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E. C. Steyn, Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit, South Africa

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Abstract

Complex attributive constructions have become a characteristic of modern German and appear regularly in all types of texts, even those meant for foreigners. This aspect of German syntax has no corresponding manifestation in Afrikaans or English, as can be seen when comparing parallel texts. A limited investigation showed that this phenomenon undeniably creates problems for Afrikaans-speaking students learning German. They find sentences containing lengthy attributive constructions difficult to understand and, when writing German, either misconstrue such phrases or, more often than not, try to avoid them by using adjectival clauses instead. Although the constant use of such clauses cannot strictly be regarded as incorrect, it reveals all too clearly the interference of Afrikaans and differs conspicuously from the modern German style of writing. Various exercises are recommended to overcome comprehension problems and to break away from the restricted sentence patterns which are due to interference of the mother tongue.

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