Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1996 22:24:30 EDT


Subject: Re: Kimmelweck

This menu sure makes ME hungry for one of those wecks, with or without

caraway. (I love the tuna 'on' weck and pork 'on' weck, with those classic

unattributed prep quotes, but I think I'll take the black 'n' blue weck

myself.) As for the reanalysis of 'kimmelweck' as containing obligatory salt

(if that) and optional caraway, as Dennis P. notes, this is the typical

pattern when transparency is lost, even within a language, much less for

borrowings. It's an instance of semantic shift as described by Stern (1931)

and other such works, which I like to diagram as

A-- A(B)-- (A)B-- B,

whose locus classicus is the reanalysis of BEAD 'prayer' -- 'prayer kept

track of with little wooden balls' -- 'little wooden balls used to keep track

of prayers' -- 'little (wooden) balls'. Another nice one is HORN, where the

eponymous musical instrument typically bears as little connection to the

original animal head ornament as the kimmelweck evidently does to caraway


--Larry Horn