From: Otto Stolz (Otto.Stolz@uni-konstanz.de)
Date: Tue Jul 01 2008 - 05:16:49 CDT
Hello Michael Everson,
you have written:
> There are other words in the 1996 reform though where the distinction
> was introduced. Gruss and Kuß?
At least since 1902, the inflection forms of those
(and similar) words have revealed the true nature
of those graphemes, e. g. the genitive singular forms
were (and still are):
“Grußes” (of the greeting), “Kusses” (of the kiss),
“Fußes” (of the foot), “Flusses” (of the river),
because “Gruß” and “Fuß” are pronounced […uːs],
whilst “Kuss” and “Fluss” are pronounced […us].
Before 1996, there was an additional rule stating that
before consonants, and in final position, a natural “ss”
had to be spelled as “ß”; the 1996 reform has abandoned
this extra rule, revealing the underlying ss-ß distinction
also for the nominative singular.
Hence, I’d rather not say that the 1966 reform has “introduced”
that distinction: it has just rendered it more obvious.
Mit freundlichem Gruß,
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