Neujahr (Genitive?)

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by archibaldworthington, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. archibaldworthington Senior Member

    American English
    What is the genitive form of Neujahr? The genitive of Jahr is Jahres. One would think that one would say

    "Der Anfang des Neujahres ist am ersten Januar."

    rather than:

    "Der Anfang des Neujahrs ist am ersten Januar."

    Which is it?

    Vielen Dank im Voraus.
  2. Schimmelreiter

    Schimmelreiter Senior Member

    Neujahr is one day, it's short for Neujahrstag, it's the first day of the year. An Neujahr schneite es.

    I've never seen it inflected. Am Abend des Neujahrstages war ich noch immer besoffen. :D

    Der Anfang des neuen Jahres ist am ersten Januar.
  3. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    I agree with SR. I might go further and say that "Neujahr" is a holiday, so it's also due to that that it's not inflected.

    In other words, you can't compare "Jahr" in its normal usage with a word like "Neujahr". You might consider "Neujahr" a proper noun.
  4. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    It is usually not inflected, but it may be inflected, of course.
    And then both genitive forms are correct.


    anlässlich des Neujahrs
    anlässlich des Neujahres
    (I replaced the examples due to discussion below, Bernd refers in the next answer to the red examples)

    anlässlich des Chinesischen Neujahrs (usually without "e")
    anlässlich des xxx Neujahres (seldom with "e")

    Genitive is seldom used together with a time.

    But note, it is not "Beginn/Anfang des Jahres" but "Neujahrstag" - as the others told before.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  5. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    I beg to differ, Hutschi, and agree with SR. As a shortening, Neujahr is only used uninflected. If you need a declined form you have to revert to the full word: anlässlich des Neujahrstages, anlässlich des Neujahrsfestes.
  6. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I would prefer this, too, when I write it myself.

    I spoke about usage. I did not find a reason to exclude it from inflection.

    See also

    In case of "anlässlich des Chinesischen Neujahrs" I do not see a reason to include "Neujahrstages" in all cases.
    It is short for "Neujahrsfest/Neujahrszeremonien".

    I do not see that "Wir kamen am Abend des Chinesischen Neujahrs an" is wrong.
    If it is correct, you can omit "Chinesisch" in later parts.
  7. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    I concede that when talking about new years days of different cultures, inflected uses do occur. But I insist, inflected uses of Neujahr as referring to the first of January is unidiomatic and generally considered wrong. Wir kamen am Abend des Neujahrs in the sense of we arrived on January 1st in the evening does not appear acceptable to me.
  8. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    "Am Abend des Neujahrs" das not work, indeed.

    " inflected uses of Neujahr as referring to the first of January is unidiomatic and generally considered wrong." - I agree - because it is time related and has only some implicit cultural aspect. (Generally means by most people.)

    I think, it depends on context.

    In linguee they give the example:

    "Einige Leute beklagen den Verlust des bis jetzt typischen Neujahrs,doch ich mag die Einfachheit."

    I do not see how to replace "Neujahr" by "Neujahrstag" here. And replacing it by "Neujahrsfest" works, but changes the meaning.

    In most cases we would use "Neujahrstag" (with Fugen-"s") or Neujahrsfest, or Neujahr without declination, but omitting declination is not because it cannot be declined, but because other forms are used.

    How would you say in case
    "Die Zeremonien aus Anlass des Neujahr..." ? (des Neuen Jahres might be possible, but refers basically to time.)
    You could say "Die Neujahrszeremonien", but this changes the meaning.

    If we consider the cultural aspects, we can often also replace "des Neujahrs" by other forms, of course.

    If it refers to the (cultural) fact of new year, not to the date, it might be inflected. - But take care, there are few cases.

    Why did I write about it? Because of original topic.

    And so we have, if it is inflected at all both forms are correct, but the form without "e" is prefered.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  9. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Chinesisches Neujahr, Iranisches Neujahr and typisches Neujahr have one thing in common: Neujahr is attributed. New hypothesis: Inflected uses of Neujahr are only possible, if Neujahr is the head noun of a (complex) noun phrase? Any pros and cons?
  10. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Hi, here I agree. (It is also given if there is a trace to attributed usage.)
  11. archibaldworthington Senior Member

    American English
    So one cannot even inflect the word Neujahr by itself? Did I understand that correctly? Should the word be broken up into neu and Jahr so that Jahr can be inflected?

    i.e., Der Anfang des neuen Jahres ist am ersten Januar.
  12. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    This is possible.

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