The indefinite pronoun "allen"

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The indefinite pronoun "allen"

Postby R@re! » 2020-04-05, 19:27

Could someone tell me what type of nouns does the genitive masculine "allen" accompany? Do they have a specific termination?

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Re: The indefinite pronoun "allen"

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2020-04-10, 10:10

Since nobody has said anything, I may as well throw in my two cents. No, there is, as far as I know, no specific type of masculine noun that occurs with all, whether according to declension or meaning, and masculine nouns in general have the termination -s in the singular genitive. If you've seen -en, the noun is probably either a substantival adjective like Beamter, which uses the same terminations as adjectives, i.e., weak endings after strong determiners such as all, or a weak noun like Hase, which always has -en in the singular genitive. Neither has anything to do with all specifically, it would be the same with most others determiners.

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Re: The indefinite pronoun "allen"

Postby linguoboy » 2020-04-10, 17:35

I think the OP is talking about those exceptional cases where allen appears in front of a singular masculine noun, e.g.:

Trotz allen Kampfes gegen das Zauberunwesen blühte unter kirchlichem Deckmantel die Magie lustig weiter. "Despite all struggle against the nuisance of magic, magic blossomed blithely again under ecclesiastical cover."

The answer to the question then is that the following noun has to be one that always takes -s or -es in the genitive. So, in fact, not before nouns like "Beamter" or "Hase". It's hard to find examples (that sentence I dug up from a book published in 1906) because all with a singular masculine noun in the genitive just isn't that common in contemporary German. So I wouldn't worry too much about this. You just need to be aware of it for when you stumble across it in formal writing.
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Re: The indefinite pronoun "allen"

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2020-04-11, 9:12

Yes, it seems you are right. I also looked it up in Hammer (§5.5.1):

Inflected aller, with the endings of dieser [...] In the genitive singular masculine and neuter, the ending -en is used rather than -es if the noun has the ending -(e)s [...]

That also matches examples like die Wurzel allen Übels "the root of all evil" (with a neuter). I suppose if it were to occur with a weak masculine, the form would be alles, but I can't find any examples, and it may simply not occur.

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