10

I'm aware that one says, say, meinetwegen instead of wegen meiner (and wegen mir).

But with other prepositions accepting genitive I cannot judge, because I've never heard nor read

anstelle meiner

or

seiner halber

which is what one would theoretically get by using the construction

Preposition inducing genitive + personal pronoun in genitive 

in the right order.

  • Is it bad style?
  • Are there irregular forms for the other prepositions, like for wegen?

I guess the easy solution would be just using dative, but I wish to know how a native speaker would write or speak.

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    Search hits for wegen meiner could be parts of phrases like "Wegen meiner guten Leistungen wurde ich befördert." This is a different use case than meinetwegen or wegen mir. – Matthias Jun 18 '15 at 8:26
  • Gut, man sagt dann "anstelle von"... But that doesn't cover then the other prepositions, I guess. – c.p. Jun 18 '15 at 9:25
  • My driving teacher kept saying wegs meiner, i.e. wegen meiner in deep Bavarian dialect. It replaced meinetwegen (which he didn’t use at all). – Jan Jun 18 '15 at 11:49
  • English language comment: do you mean "get" instead of "become"? I assume you want to express was man bekommt, wenn man diese Konstruktion nutzt. "become" looks very tempting, but is not the translation of "bekommen". "become" means "werden" and I don't think you want to say that. – null Jun 18 '15 at 15:16
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Let's start with your last question.

I guess the easy solution would be just using dative, but I wish to know how a native speaker would write/speak.

A native speaker would use dative, at least most of the time. It depends a little on the preposition. E.g you might read sometimes (even more seldomly hear) dank seiner, but even here the more frequently used option (IMHO) would be dank ihm.

It is not so easy to find a general reference for this. On Deutsche Grammatik 2.0 the author writes

Bei Präpositionen, die standardsprachlich mit Genitiv und umgangssprachlich mit Dativ gebraucht werden, steht das Personalpronomen immer im Dativ.

The site, however, seems to be the work of a single author (a teacher for German as a foreign language). So it is not an official reference, and the rule has the additional problem that you need to know which prepositions are used with dative in colloquial speech. At least wegen is among them, for sure.

Then there is something on canoo.net. There you have an exhaustive list of prepositions that are used with genitive, together with usage examples and some general rules. Unfortunately they do not cover the case of pronouns, but from the examples you see that there are other cases, too, where dative is used instead of genitive, and I think these are examples where one would also rather use a dative than a genitive pronoun. Beside, many of these prepositons cannot be used with persons at all, so there is no question about personal pronouns for them.

Then to your next question

Are there irregular forms for the other prepositions, like for wegen?

Yes, there are. You have

  • seinethalben
  • seinerseits
  • (um) seinetwillen

and the corresponding forms with meinet-, deinet-, unsret-, euret- and ihret-.

Finally,

Is it bad style?

Well, to a certain degree style is also a matter of taste and opinion. I would definitely avoid it. It makes the reader or listener stumble at a point where I don't want it. For a second point of view, I recommend reading Wegen: Genitiv oder Dativ? at the blog Belles Lettres. There they strongly argue for using the dative with wegen, and I think some of their arguments could be applied to other prepositions, too. They even say

Präpositionen regieren im Deutschen und im Indogermanischen generell nicht den Genitiv. Man findet ihn nur bei Adverbien, die wie Präpositionen gebraucht werden.

But that would be the start of a new question...

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    Jetzt stelle ich mir eine Präposition vor, die auf ihrem Thron mit Zepter und Reichsapfel in der Hand sitzt, und dem Genitiv Aufgaben anschafft ;) – Jan Jun 20 '15 at 12:28
  • @Jan So ähnlich ging es mir auch, als ich zum ersten Mal auf diese Bedeutung von regieren gestoßen bin. Auf Englisch to govern, dort zieht sich die Analogie, anders als im Deutschen, sogar bis ins Nomen durch. – Matthias Jun 20 '15 at 16:43
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Short answer: It sounds strange and you should usually avoid it.

However, that does not mean that all of these constructions are wrong. For example, Duden lists as synonyms for meinetwegen:

(umgangssprachlich) wegen mir; (landschaftlich, sonst veraltet) wegen meiner

You see that it would be wrong to call “wegen meiner” ungrammatical. If you enjoy using it, you are free to do so. However, there is really no reason to do so, since “meinetwegen” exists.

Instead of “seiner halber” you should use “seinethalben”, because that is just what that expression has developed into. There is no reason to take this word apart.

For “anstelle”, I would argue that “anstelle meiner” can be considered as wrong because of the word order. After all,

anstelle des Kindes

is just

an Stelle des Kindes,

which still makes perfect sense grammatically, as does

an des Kindes Stelle.

With pronouns the word order is more restricted, “meiner Stelle” is correct, “Stelle meiner” nicht, so I would use

an meiner Stelle.

  • I don't think that an meiner Stelle could replace anstelle von mir (and thus anstelle meiner). They express different things. E.g. you could say Anstelle von mir wurde XYZ befördert. but not An meiner Stelle wurde XYZ befördert. – Matthias Jun 20 '15 at 11:28
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    @Matthias: Sounds the same to me. Another option (obsolescent, however): An meiner Statt wurde XYZ befördert. – chirlu Jun 20 '15 at 11:51
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But with other prepositions accepting Genitive I cannot judge, because I've never heard nor read anstelle meiner or seiner halber which is what one would theoretically become by using the construction Preposition inducing genitive + personal pronoun in genitive in the right order.

I as a native speaker would not say seiner halber, I would say seinetwegen.

Seinetwegen / Wegen ihm / Von ihm aus können wir ins Schwimmbad gehen.

Anstelle meiner is not correct.

Meinetwegen / wegen mir / von mir aus können wir ins Schwimmbad gehen.

  • Thanks, anstelle is not the only genitive preposition, though. What about the more than ten others? – c.p. Jun 18 '15 at 11:54
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    @c.p.: Many other prepositions don’t make sense for a person. For those that do, such as dank, I’d certainly avoid the construction. – The circumposition um … willen has um meinetwillen, um seinetwillen like wegen. – chirlu Jun 18 '15 at 12:29

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