front cover of Constraint-Based Approaches to Germanic Syntax
Constraint-Based Approaches to Germanic Syntax
Edited by W. Detmar Meurers and Tibor Kiss
CSLI, 2001
A wealth of research has been conducted on the various linguistic phenomena found in Germanic languages. But these studies were restricted by their use of only one theoretical perspective to analyze one particular language. Inspired by the need to expand the research base of Germanic languages while broadening the empirical coverage of constraint-based linguistic approaches, a handful of researchers are employing various constraint-based theoretical perspectives to study multiple Germanic languages.

This volume begins with an introduction to the recent research performed on Germanic syntax using constraint-based frameworks. It then goes on to investigate the linguistic phenomena found in the grammar of the German and Danish languages. Using such approaches as Lexical-Functional Grammar and Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, contributors shed a different light on theoretical issues addressed by past studies, including semi-free word order, partial front phenomena, and complex predicate formation. While alternative approaches have assumed that meaning (semantics) is dependent on form (syntax), various analyses presented in this volume explore the idea that both form and meaning are equally constitutive for grammatical descriptions.

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Discontinuous NPs in German
A Case Study of the Interaction of Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics
Kordula De Kuthy
CSLI, 2002
This book investigates the occurrence of discontinuous noun phrases, arguing that many of the factors that previous literature has tried to explain in terms of syntactic restrictions on movements are in fact derivable from discourse factors. De Kuthy’s HPSG and information-structure analyses provide an exemplary argument for rethinking the division of labor between syntax and a theory of discourse.

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Elements of German
Phonology and Morphology
Elmer H. Antonsen
University of Alabama Press, 2007
A practical guidebook for students of German

Elements of German
fills a gap in advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate levels of German language study by presenting more advanced concepts of the language in a light intended for practical use rather than theoretical discourse. This text provides a means to improve knowledge and command of grammatically correct German as it is spoken and written. It also introduces methods and tools of linguistic analysis in the areas of phonology and morphology. Unlike books that treat phonology in a cursory way, this text delves into the problems of word formation and the intricacies of inflection and derivation. Exercises are included throughout to help better absorb the rules for real-world language use. This volume provides an in-depth look at the German language from the ground up. Its detailed approach makes this book an excellent complement to the work of less specific grammar textbooks and reviews.

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German in Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar
Edited by John Nerbonne, Carl Pollard, and Klaus Netter
CSLI, 1993
These essays apply the syntactic theory of Carl Pollard and Ivan Sag—Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG)—to a formal study and analysis of German grammar. A wide variety of fundamental and well-known phenomena in German grammar are addressed, including the German passive and impersonal passive, various Mittelfeld and Vorfeld word-order phenomena (including auxiliary stacking and the distribution of adjuncts), and the structure of phrasal constituents. Linguistic issues include the treatment of idioms, word-order variation and phrase structure constituency, subcategorization, complementation, argument structure, case assignment, lexical rules, and syntactic ambiguity.

The theoretical background for these essays can be found in Information-Based Syntax and Semantics and Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, both by Pollard and Sag and both available from the University of Chicago Press.

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Guardians of the Nation
Activists on the Language Frontiers of Imperial Austria
Pieter M. Judson
Harvard University Press, 2007

In the decades leading up to World War I, nationalist activists in imperial Austria labored to transform linguistically mixed rural regions into politically charged language frontiers. They hoped to remake local populations into polarized peoples and their villages into focal points of the political conflict that dominated the Habsburg Empire. But they often found bilingual inhabitants accustomed to cultural mixing who were stubbornly indifferent to identifying with only one group.

Using examples from several regions, including Bohemia and Styria, Pieter Judson traces the struggle to consolidate the loyalty of local populations for nationalist causes. Whether German, Czech, Italian, or Slovene, the nationalists faced similar and unexpected difficulties in their struggle to make nationalism relevant to local concerns and to bind people permanently to one side. Judson examines the various strategies of the nationalist activists, from the founding of minority language schools to the importation of colonists from other regions, from projects to modernize rural economies to the creation of a tourism industry. By 1914, they succeeded in projecting a public perception of nationalist frontiers, but largely failed to nationalize the populations.

Guardians of the Nation offers a provocative challenge to standard accounts of the march of nationalism in modern Europe.


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Inside the Antisemitic Mind
The Language of Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Germany
Monika Schwarz-Friesel and Jehuda Reinharz
Brandeis University Press, 2017
Antisemitism never disappeared in Europe. In fact, there is substantial evidence that it is again on the rise, manifest in violent acts against Jews in some quarters, but more commonly noticeable in everyday discourse in mainstream European society. This innovative empirical study examines written examples of antisemitism in contemporary Germany. It demonstrates that hostility against Jews is not just a right-wing phenomenon or a phenomenon among the uneducated, but is manifest among all social classes, including intellectuals. Drawing on 14,000 letters and e-mails sent between 2002 and 2012 to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and to the Israeli embassy in Berlin, as well as communications sent between 2010 and 2011 to Israeli embassies in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Spain, this volume shows how language plays a crucial role in activating and re-activating antisemitism. In addition, the authors investigate the role of emotions in antisemitic argumentation patterns and analyze “anti-Israelism” as the dominant form of contemporary hatred of Jews.

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Jargon of Authenticity
Theodor W. Adorno
Northwestern University Press, 1973

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Life and Language in Amana, An Expanded Edition
Philip E. Webber
University of Iowa Press, 1993

Founded as a communal society in 1855 by German Pietists, the seven villages of Iowa’s Amana Colonies make up a community whose crafts, architecture, and institutions reflect—and to an extent perpetuate—the German heritage of earlier residents. In this intriguing blend of sociolinguistic research and stories from Colonists both past and present, Philip Webber examines the rich cultural and linguistic traditions of the Amanas.

Although the Colonies are open to the outside world, particularly after the Great Change of 1932, many distinctive vestiges of earlier lifeways survive, including the local variety of German known by its speakers as Kolonie-Deutsch. Drawing upon interviews with more than fifty Amana-German speakers in 1989 and 1990, Webber explores the nuances of this home-grown German, signaling the development of local microdialects, the changing pattern in the use of German in the Colonies, and the reciprocal influence of English and German on residents’ speech. By letting his sources tell their own stories of earlier days, in which the common message seems to be wir haben fun gehabt or “we had fun working together,” he illuminates the history and unique qualities of each Colony through the prism of language study.

Webber’s introduction to this paperback edition provides an up-to-date itinerary for visitors to the Colonies, information about recent publications on Amana history and culture, and an overview of expanded research opportunities for language study and historical inquiry. The result is an informative and engaging study that will be appreciated by linguists, anthropologists, and historians as well as by general readers interested in these historic villages.


front cover of On Particle Verbs and Similar Constructions in German
On Particle Verbs and Similar Constructions in German
Anke Lüdeling
CSLI, 2001
Linguistic distinctions between the notions of a phrase, a word, and their components are challenged by so-called particle verbs in German and similar features in other languages. Particle verbs look like single words, yet are typically assembled from word-like fragments that together behave more like components of a phrase than of a word. The resolution of existing scholarly ambivalence has exciting ramifications, from questioning the existence of particle verbs to a broader understanding of what constitutes a word.

Particle verbs have previously been analyzed as morphological objects or as phrasal constructions, but neither approach fits cleanly within its chosen framework. The resolution presented here is that particle verbs should be seen as lexicalized phrasal constructions. Emphasizing morphological and syntactic testability, over a hundred colloquial examples are shown to break the rules of previous approaches while remaining consistent with this book's proposition. To distinguish particle verbs from similar constructions, and to demonstrate how structural and morphological factors have been misidentified in the past, preverb verb constructions (PVCs) are introduced and diagrammed. This reveals the roles of listedness and non-transparency in word formation and clarifies the conclusion that particle verbs do not form a definable class of words.

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The Theory of German Word Order from the Renaissance to the Present
Aldo Scaglione
University of Minnesota Press, 1981

The Theory of German Word Order from the Renaissance to the Present was first published in 1981. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

The uniquely systematic character of German word order and sentence structure has long been recognized as an important feature of the language and of its literary uses. This book is the first comprehensive survey of the way theorists and stylists have interpreted these features through the centuries. Aldo Scaglione contends that the story of this theoretical awareness is part of the emerging cultural and literary consciousness of the German nation, as well as a testing ground for contemporary linguistic typology.

German speculation on the nature of a national language is, to Scaglione, best understood as a dialogue with the prevailing models of Latin, Italian, French, and English. His account of the debates over German word order is thus grounded in the complex historical circumstances from which they emerge: Renaissance grammarians took stock of German divergencies from the Latin cultural model, and those in the seventeenth century faced the challenges of French rationalism, nineteenth-century Romanticism and the many linguistic movements of the twentieth century have all cast new light upon the peculiarities of German sentence structure. Readers interested in historical syntax, rhetorical traditions, and the history of the German language will value both Scaglione's wide-ranging knowledge and his lively style.


front cover of Word Order and Constituent Structure in German
Word Order and Constituent Structure in German
Hans Uszkoreit
CSLI, 1987
This book applies the highly constrained grammatical framework of Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar of the syntax of German, focusing on the complex interaction of word order phenomena and constituent structure. Uszkoreit modifies and extends this framework to permit the adequate treatment of partially free word order as it occurs in German and probably to some degree in all natural languages. Through Uszkoreit's redefined notion of linear precedence rules, it has become possible for the first time to present a formalized analysis of the interaction of the competing syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, and stylistic principles that determine the order of arguments and adjuncts. Most of the book is dedicated to the proof that a phrase-structure-grammar model can offer an adequate description of a language with much freer word order than English and at the same time provide new insights in the structure of this language. A highly concentrated and elegant grammar fragment is given, which offers intuitive analyses for such notoriously problematic phenomena as (1) word order differences between main clauses and subordinate clauses, (2) the second position of the finite verb in assertion main clauses, (3) the order among main, auxiliary, and modal verbs, (4) the derivation and distribution of separable prefix verbs, and (5) the partially free order among verb complements and adjuncts.

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