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Are there rules or is it just a relict of history and convention if substantives are merged? "Philosophie des Geistes" is a distinct discipline and so a proper name. But then there is also "Sprachphilosophie". Would it be correct/o.k. to say "Geistphilosophie"?

Are there more general rules when and how to merge substantives?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You have the solution already in your question: building merged nouns is case sensitive. By using genitive we may build:


in analogy to "Geistesgegenwart", "Geistesblitz" etc.

There are some sources that use the term "Geistesphilosphie" but it seems not to be widely accepted and is not listed in the Duden.

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It may also be interesting to have a look at Google ngrams – FUZxxl Jul 15 '11 at 14:23
+1 zeitgeist also fits your rule @fuz i have to bookmark this ngrams thing etymology swiss knife :) – Hauser Jul 15 '11 at 18:08
I almost included an ngram shot to the answer - but then I thought this may be overload. I like google ngrams but keep in mind they may be biased. – Takkat Jul 15 '11 at 18:13

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