I'm studying German morphology; is there any difference between Zusammenrückung and Durchkopplung?

They both count as determinative compound, while Zusammenrückung can be connected with or without dash character, but Durchkopplung must be connected with dash character to combine the words, as far as I know.

  • 1
    Welcome to German.SE. Do you talk about this: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zusammenr%C3%BCckung and this: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durchkopplung ? If yes, please consider expanding your question that non-knowing people like me get links for further explanations (to understand they cannot answer your question ;-) Apr 22, 2020 at 6:21
  • Au man, jetzt habe ich erstmal verstanden, dass es gar nicht um den Unterschied zwischen den Wörtern Durchkupplung und Zusammenrückung an sich geht, sondern um die Prozesse, mit denen die beiden Wörter bezeichnet werden. Das wäre nicht passiert, wenn der OP in der auf Englisch gestellten Frage auch englische Termini wie hyphenation und compounding verwendet hätte. Apr 22, 2020 at 8:54
  • I'm sorry for not using the correct terms for english version of Zusammenrückung for compounding and hyphenation for Durchkupplung. I only know the german terms. Yes, the wikipedia links are correct.
    – kuroshiroi
    Apr 22, 2020 at 11:31
  • 1
    It's Durchkopplung, not Durchkupplung Apr 22, 2020 at 11:58
  • @amadeusamadeus I'm so sorry about that. I thought it was Durchkupplung, but it was Durchkopplung
    – kuroshiroi
    Apr 22, 2020 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


There are different definitions of Zusammenrückung, but they have in common that they're morphological concepts. When used for a special type of compound, the term usually denotes those that combine an interrelated group of words (syntagma) into one single word and thus often feature inflected parts, as in Tunichtgut, Möchtegern or (das) Dankeschön, but also non-nouns like solcherart, allerhand. You're right that in some cases they can feature hyphens to improve legibility, like das Aufs-Klo-Müssen in place of das Aufsklomüssen.

Durchkopplung, however, is mainly an orthographical thing if interrelated nouns (however they might be connected, be it by Zusammenrückung or by Ableitung) cannot be merged into one compound. For instance, it's Werner-von-Siemens-Straße since * Wernervonsiemensstraße isn't possible.

  • Thank you for the explanation! I do have one question more: I encountered word like Support-Beitrag Is it Zusammenrückung or Durchkopplung ?
    – kuroshiroi
    Apr 22, 2020 at 13:15
  • As I tried to explain, it is not either or. Grammatically, Supportbeitrag is a nominal compound and thus, orthographically, it needs to be written together. As an alternative to writing it together, it is durchkoppelt. However, it is not a Zusammenrückung because that would be a special kind of compound where a group of (inflected) words is merged (which I would argue is not the case here since two nouns are merged without modification). Apr 22, 2020 at 14:30
  • So a) it is an ordinary compound, not a special Zusammenrückung compound; b) it can exceptionally be durchkoppelt here, because it is not a very common compound, Support is a loanword and both elements are full words themselves (not every compound can be durchkoppelt) Apr 22, 2020 at 14:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.