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Does there exist an actual word "nurnoch", or is it supposed to be the two words "nur" and "noch" after each other? Sometimes I have seen "nurnoch" in writing but I doubt how valid it is.

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    Online Duden doesn't know "nurnoch" and links to "Hornochs" - I hope this is not supposed to be a hint ;). – tofro Dec 13 '18 at 10:46
  • @tofro True, but on the other hand google ngram viewer shows some occurances in German books. – Ingo Bochmann Dec 13 '18 at 10:50
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    @IngoBochmann: if you click on search results from Google books you will find that most (but not all I admit) of the occurrences do have a blank between nur and noch – Takkat Dec 13 '18 at 12:29
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Nur noch is and has always been written separately. If you find it written together it is an OCR scanning error (as in Google search results), a typing error, or a spelling mistake.

Examples from 16. Century until today:

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und Sachsen-Anhalt haben bereits angekündigt, dass Eltern künftig nur noch für das älteste Kind Beiträge bezahlen sollen. Die Zeit 13.12.2018

Das selige Land leidet nur noch von einer Bezauberung, indem es dem Wechsel der Jahreszeiten unterworfen ist, Heinrich zerstört das Sonnenreich. Novalis: Heinrich von Ofterdingen: Ein nachgelassener Roman, 1802

Und er sprach / Ah zürne nicht Herr / das ich nur noch ein mal rede / Man möchte vieleicht zehen drinnen finden. Er aber sprach / Jch wil sie nicht verderben / umb der zehen willen 1.Mose 18,32 Martin Luther 1545

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Postilla Catholica Evangeliorum de Tempore totius Anni. Calenius, 1577

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Here is what authoritative reference books say:

1) Duden Univeralwörterbuch A-Z, 2. ed. 1989 (i.e. pre-reform) has no lemma nurnoch, but discusses the meaning of nur noch in the pretty lengthy and detailed lemma of nur.

2) Duden Deutsches Universalwörterbuch 8th ed. 2015 (post-reform), Page 1280, does it practically the same way (with less detail).

Conclusion: recommended writing is in two separate words.

Interestingly, nurmehr (which can have the same meaning as nur noch, but sounds a bit old-fashioned) is listed with a lemma of its own with both spellings mentioned equally, i.e. nur mehr and nurmehr. - Duden Universalwörterbuch of 2015 attributes nurmehr / nur mehr (as alternative for nur noch) especially to Austrian German.

  • »nurmehr (which ... sounds a bit old-fashioned)« In Austria »nur mehr« doesn't have an old-fashioned sound, but »nur noch« has still a little bit of a german sound ("german" not in the sense of the language, but of the country), although nur noch becomes more and more frequent in Austria, and I think today it is even more frequent than nur mehr. – Hubert Schölnast Dec 13 '18 at 11:37
  • Just a side note: nurmehr is excessively used by the austrian author Thomas Bernhard. – jonathan.scholbach Dec 13 '18 at 12:19
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    Nurnoch ist im Vergleich zu nur noch um 4 10er-Potenzen seltener, und schaut man sich Fälle an, dann findet man offenbare Worttrennprobleme wie "undAbbie Hoffman, befreundet – gibteskeinen Anlass zu glauben, dass die Regierung nurnoch den Ausweg sah,ihnermorden zulassen". – user unknown Dec 13 '18 at 14:34
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    @userunknown Es ist immergut, den Dingenauf den Grundzu gehen. Gerade bei Wortstatistiken, die sich auf eingescannte Textestützen. – Christian Geiselmann Dec 13 '18 at 20:20

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