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This paper deals with the question of what concepts of linguistic change can best capture the recent development undergone by German zeitnah(e) lit. 'time+near'. I will argue that the notions of semantic remotivation, idiomatization and recontextualization provide the most useful insights into the observed phenomenon. On a more critical note, I will argue that recontextualization should be allowed a broader definition than attributed to it in current linguistic research. I contend that it isdoi:10.11114/smc.v3i2.893 fatcat:zbsipldjcnan7i523zax2vfeky