Zur Frage der Austauschbarkeit von halt und eben

Translated title of the contribution: On the Question of the Interchangeability of halt against eben

Sandra Evans, Alexandra Ludewig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the two German modal particles halt and eben are usually interchangeable, replacing the former with the latter is not always possible. To this day, no consensus has been reached on possible reasons for this phenomenon. This paper explains the non-interchangeability of halt with eben from a new perspective. It focusses on two aspects that have not yet been considered in this context:
a) The predecessors of the modal particle halt were able to express a concessive relationship between two statements or situations. As will be demonstrated in this paper, the modern usage of halt still retains the capability to convey a concessive meaning to certain statements in present day German. Since this is not the case for eben, it cannot replace halt whenever it is used as a concessive linguistic device.
b) With regard to the different connotations of halt and eben, the paper further demonstrates that the modal particle halt – as opposed to eben – expresses its former (Old High German) modal meaning of ‘better/rather’ when used in imperative clauses.
Translated title of the contributionOn the Question of the Interchangeability of halt against eben
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)373-404
JournalSprachwissenschaft (Heidelberg)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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