Download e-book for kindle: A Short History of the German Language by Wilkie, John Ritchie; Chambers, William Walker

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By Wilkie, John Ritchie; Chambers, William Walker

ISBN-10: 1317918525

ISBN-13: 9781317918523

This straightforward advent to the background of the German language seeks to supply scholars who've a few wisdom of contemporary German, yet no wisdom both of its improvement or of linguistic theories, with a quick account of the fundamental elements - chronological, geographical and linguistic - and their interrelation. the cloth is prepared in 3 elements. the 1st strains the historical past of the German language from its origins in Indo-European during the pre-documentary Germanic interval and the center a long time to the current day. within the moment half the advance of the German vocabulary.

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In the nineteenth century men like Jakob Grimm, Hermann Paul, and Wilhelm Braune tried to introduce Roman type (Antiqua); but their success was limited to a few scholarly publications. Between the two world wars a more successful attempt was made to introduce Roman type; and since 1945 few books have been printed in Gothic type, while all the main newspapers have now adopted Roman type. Only the ligature β (for sz) is normally retained from the old type. Similar changes have occurred in handwriting.

And, since a language implies a community of speakers, who were the ‘Indo-Europeans’, what was their civilization like and where did they live? The answers once confidently given by older scholars have been seriously questioned and there is much disagreement in the whole field. We no longer, for example, think of Indo-European as a fixed, static, unified language. Like all languages – at least until writing gives them a measure of stability – Indo-European must have been constantly changing and the features summarized above may have emerged at widely different periods of development.

So far we have treated languages in isolation. But in practice a language is related to a number – often a very large number – of other languages, and indeed in two ways. A number of languages may have developed from a common parent language; these are then said to be related genealogically. Or communities, living close together or separated by great distances, may have some connections, cultural, religious, political, social, or commercial, with each other. Their languages are said to be related culturally.

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A Short History of the German Language by Wilkie, John Ritchie; Chambers, William Walker


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