1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/German Language
GERMAN LANGUAGE. Together with English and Frisian, the German language forms part of the West Germanic group of languages. To this group belongs also Langobardian, a dialect which died out in the 9th or 10th century, while Burgundian, traces of which are not met with later than the 5th century, is usually classed with the East Germanic group. Both these tongues were at an early stage crushed out by Romance dialects, a fate which also overtook the idiom of the Western Franks, who, in the so-called Strassburg Oaths of 842, use the Romance tongue, and are addressed in that tongue by Louis the German.
Leaving English and Frisian aside, we understand by Deutsche Sprache the language of those West Germanic tribes, who, at their earliest appearance in history, spoke a Germanic tongue, and still speak it at the present day. The chief of these tribes are: the Saxons, the Franks (but with the restriction noted above), the Chatti (Hessians), Thuringians, Alemannians and Bavarians. This definition naturally includes the languages spoken in the Low Countries, Flemish and Dutch, which are offsprings of the Low Franconian dialect, mixed with Frisian and Saxon elements; but, as the literary development of these languages has been in its later stages entirely independent of that of the German language, they are excluded from the present survey.
The German language, which is spoken by about seventy-one millions, and consequently occupies in this respect the third place among European languages, borders, in the west and south, on Romance languages (French, Italian), and also to some extent on Slavonic. On Italian and Slovenian territory there are several German-speaking “islands,” notably the Sette and Tredici Communi, east and north-east of the Lake of Garda, and the “Gottschee Ländchen” to the south of Laibach. The former of these is, however, on the point of dying out. Neighbours on the east, where the boundary line runs by no means as straight as on the west or south, are the Magyars and again Slavonic races. Here, too, there are numerous “islands” on Hungarian and Slavonic territory. Danes and Frisians join hands with the Germans in the north.
In the west and south the German language has, compared with its status in earlier periods, undoubtedly lost ground, having been encroached upon by Romance tongues. This is the case in French Flanders, in Alsace and Lorraine, at any rate before the war of 1870, in the valleys south of Monte Rosa and in southern Tirol; in Styria and Carinthia the encroachment is less marked, but quite perceptible. On the east, on the other hand, German steadily spread from the days of Charles the Great down to recent times, when it has again lost considerable ground in Bohemia, Moravia and Livonia. At the time of Charles the Great the eastern frontier extended very little beyond the lower Elbe, following this river beyond Magdeburg, whence it passed over to the Saale, the Bohemian forest and the river Enns (cf. the map in F. Dahn, Urgeschichte der germanischen und romanischen Völker, vol. iii.). Partly as a result of victories gained by the Germans over the Avars and Slavs, partly owing to peaceful colonization, the eastern boundary was pushed forward in subsequent centuries; Bohemia was in this way won for the German tongue by German colonists in the 13th century, Silesia even a little earlier; in Livonia German gained the upper hand during the 13th century, while about the same time the country of the Prussians was conquered and colonized by the knights of the Teutonic order. The dialect which these colonists and knights introduced bore the Middle German character; and this, in various modifications, combined with Low German and even Dutch elements, formed the German spoken in these newly-won territories. In the north (Schleswig), where at the time of Charles the Great the river Eider formed the linguistic boundary, German has gained and is still gaining on Danish.
Before considering the development of the language spoken within these boundaries, a word of explanation is perhaps necessary with regard to the word deutsch. As applied to the language, deutsch first appears in the Latin form theotiscus, lingua theotisca, teutisca, in certain Latin writings of the 8th and 9th centuries, whereas the original Old High German word thiudisc, tiutisc (from thiot, diot, “people,” and the suffix -isc;) signified only “appertaining to the people,” “in the manner of the people.” Cf. also Gothic þiudisko as a translation of ἐθνικω̑ς (Gal. ii. 14). It, therefore, seems probable that if the application of the word to the language (lingua theotisca) was not exactly an invention of Latin authors of German nationality, its use in this sense was at least encouraged by them in order to distinguish their own vernacular (lingua vulgaris) from Latin as well as from the lingua romana.
In the 8th and 9th centuries German or “Deutsch” first appears as a written language in the dialects of Old High German and Old Low German. Of an “Urdeutsch” or primitive German, i.e. the common language from which these sharply distinguished dialects of the earliest historical period must have developed, we have no record; we can only infer its character—and it was itself certainly not free from dialectic variations—by a study of the above-named and other Germanic dialects. It is usual to divide the history of the German language from this earliest period, when it appears only in the form of proper names and isolated words as glosses to a Latin text, down to the present day, into three great sections: (1) Old High German (Althochdeutsch) and Old Low German (Old Saxon; Altniederdeutsch, Altsächsisch); (2) Middle High German (Mittelhochdeutsch) and Middle Low German (Mittelniederdeutsch); and (3) Modern High German and Modern Low German (Neuhochdeutsch and Neuniederdeutsch). It is more difficult to determine the duration of the different periods, for it is obvious that the transition from one stage of a language to another takes place slowly and gradually.
The first or Old High German period is commonly regarded as extending to about the year 1100. The principal characteristic of the change from Old High German to Middle High German is the weakening of the unaccented vowels in final syllables (cf. O.H.G. tagā, gesti, geban, gābum and M.H.G. tage, geste, geben, gāben). But it must be remembered that this process began tentatively as early as the 10th century in Low German, and also that long, unaccented vowels are preserved in the Alemannic dialect as late as the 14th century and even later. Opinion is more at variance with regard to the division between the second and third periods. Some would date Modern High German from the time of Luther, that is to say, from about 1500. But it must be noted that certain characteristics attributed to the Modern German vowel system, such as lengthening of Middle High German short vowels, the change from Middle High German ī, ū, iu to Modern High German ei, au, eu (öu), of Middle High German ie, uo, üe to Modern High German ī, ū, ǖ, made their appearance long before 1500. Taking this fact into consideration, others distinguish a period of classical Middle High German extending to about 1250, and a period of transition (sometimes called Frühneuhochdeutsch, or Early Modern High German) from 1250 to 1650. The principal characteristics of Modern High German would then consist in a greater stability of the grammatical and syntactical rules, due to the efforts of earlier grammarians, such as Schottelius, Gottsched and others, and the substitution of a single vowel sound for the varying vowels of the singular and plural of the preterite of strong verbs (cf. Middle High German schreib, schriben, and Modern High German schrieb, schrieben, &c.). The much debated question of the origins of Modern High German has been recently reopened by O. Behaghel (Geschichte der deutschen Sprache, l.c. 661), who hopes that a more satisfactory solution may be arrived at by the study of certain syntactical peculiarities to be seen in the dialects of more recent periods.
As the middle ages did not produce a German Schriftsprache or literary language in the modern sense of the word, which as is undoubtedly the case in Modern German might have influenced the spoken language (Umgangssprache), the history of the language in its earlier stages is a history of different dialects. These dialects will, therefore, claim our attention at some length.
It may be assumed that the languages of the different West Germanic tribes enumerated above were, before the appearance of the tribes in history, distinguished by many dialectic variations; this was certainly the case immediately after the Migrations, when the various races began to settle down. But these differences, consisting presumably in matters of phonology and vocabulary, were nowhere so pronounced as to exclude a mutual understanding of individuals belonging to different tribes. One might compare the case of the Poles and Czechs of the present day. During the 6th century, however, a phonological process set in, which ultimately resulted in the separation of Germany into two great linguistic divisions, south and north, or, as the languages are called, High and Low German. This fundamental change, which is known as the second or High German Soundshifting (Lautverschiebung), spread northward from the mountainous districts in the south, and, whatever its cause may have been, left behind it clear and easily recognizable effects on the Germanic voiced stop d, which became changed to t, and more especially on the voiceless stops t, p and k. Dialects which have shifted initial t and tt in the middle of a word to the affricate tz (written z, tz) and p and k in corresponding positions to the affricates pf and kχ (written ch), further, t, p and k in the middle of words between vowels, to the double spirant zz (now written ss, sz), jf, hh (written ch), are called High German; those in which these changes have not taken place form the Low German group, this group agreeing in this respect with English and Frisian.
Of these sound changes, that of t to tz and zz (ss) is the most universal, extending over the whole region in which shifting occurs; that of k to kχ (ch), the most restricted, being only found in Old Bavarian, and in the Swiss pronunciation, e.g. in chind. The remaining dialects occupy positions between the two extremes of complete shifting and the absence of shifting. Some Franconian dialects, for instance, leave p unchanged under certain conditions, and in one dialect at least, Middle Franconian, t has remained after vowels in certain pronominal forms (dat, wat, allet, &c.). On this ground a subdivision has been made in the High German dialects into (a) an Upper German (Oberdeutsch) and (b) a Middle German (Mitteldeutsch) group; and this subdivision practically holds good for all periods of the language, although in Old High German times the Middle German group is only represented, as far as the written language is concerned, by Franconian dialects.
As the scientific study of the German language advanced there arose a keen revival of interest—and that not merely on the part of scholars—in the dialects which were so long held in contempt as a mere corruption of the Schriftsprache. We are still in the midst of a movement which, under the guidance of scholars, has, during the last three decades, bestowed great care on many of the existing dialects; phonological questions have received most attention, but problems of syntax have also not been neglected. Monumental works like Wenker’s Sprachatlas des deutschen Reiches and dialect dictionaries are either in course of publication or preparing; while the difficult questions concerned with denning the boundaries if the various dialects and explaining the reasons for them form the subject of many monographs.
Beginning in the north we shall now pass briefly in review the dialects spoken throughout the German-speaking area.
A. The Low German Dialects
The Low German dialects, as we have seen, stand nearest to the English and Frisian languages, owing to the total absence of the consonantal shifting which characterises High German, as well as to other peculiarities of sounds and inflections, e.g. the loss of the nasals m and n before the spirants f, s and p. Cf. Old Saxon fif (five), us (us), kup (cf. uncouth). The boundary-line between Low and High German, the so-called Benrather Linie, may roughly be indicated by the following place-names, on the understanding, however, that the Ripuarian dialect (see below) is to be classed with High German: Montjoie (French border-town), Eupen, Aachen, Benrath, Düsseldorf, north of Siegen, Cassel, Heiligenstadt, Harzgerode, to the Elbe south of Magdeburg; this river forms the boundary as far as Wittenberg, whence the line passes to Lübben on the Spree, Fürstenwald on the Oder and Birnbaum near the river Warthe. Beyond this point the Low Germans have Slavs as their neighbours. Compared with the conditions in the 13th century, it appears that Low German has lost ground; down to the 14th and 15th centuries several towns, such as Mansfeld, Eisleben, Merseburg, Halle, Dessau and Wittenberg, spoke Low German.
Low German falls into two divisions, a western division, namely, Low Franconian, the parent, as we have already said, of Flemish and Dutch, and an eastern division, Low Saxon (Platttdeutsch, or, as it is often simply called, Low German). The chief characteristic of the division is to be sought in the ending of the first and third person plural of the present indicative of verbs, this being in the former case -en, in the latter -et. Inasmuch as the south-eastern part of Low Franconian—inclusive of Gelderland and Cleves—shifts final k to ch (e.g. ich, mich, auch, -lich), it must obviously be separated from the rest, and in this respect be grouped with High German. Low Saxon is usually divided into Westphalian (to the west of the Weser) and Low Saxon proper, between Weser and Elbe. The south-eastern part of the latter has the verbal ending -en and further shows the peculiarity that the personal pronoun has the same form in the dative and accusative (mik, dick), whereas the remainder, as well as the Westphalian, has mi, di in the dative, and mi, di or mik, dik in the accusative. To these Low German dialects must also be added those spoken east of the Elbe on what was originally Slavonic territory; they have the ending -en in the first and third person plural of verbs.
B. The High German Dialects
1. The Middle German Group.—This group, which comprises the dialects of the Middle Rhine, of Hesse, Thuringia, Upper Saxony (Meissen), Silesia and East Prussia to the east of the lower Vistula between Bischofswerder, Marienburg, Elbing, Wormditt and Wartenberg—a district originally colonized from Silesia—may be most conveniently divided into an East and a West Middle German group. A common characteristic of all these dialects is the diminutive suffix -chen, as compared with the Low German form -ken and the Upper German -lein (O.H.G. lin). East Middle German consists of Silesian, Upper Saxon and Thuringian, together with the linguistic colony in East Prussia. While these dialects have shifted initial Germanic p to ph, or even to f (fert = Pferd), the West Middle German dialects (roughly speaking to the west of the watershed of Werra and Fulda) have retained it. If, following a convincing article in the Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum (37, 288 ff.) by F. Wrede, we class East and South Franconian—both together may be called High Franconian—with the Upper German dialects, there only remain in the West Middle German group: (a) Middle Franconian and (b) Rhenish Franconian. The former of these, which with its dat, wat, allet, &c. (cf. above) and its retention of the voiced spirant b (written v) represents a kind of transition dialect to Low German, is itself divided into (α) Ripuarian or Low Rhenish with Cologne and Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) as centres, and (β) Moselle Franconian with Trier (Treves) as principal town. The latter is distinguished by the fact that in the Middle High German period it shifts Germanic -rp- and -rd-, which are retained in (a), to -rf- and -rt- (cf. werfen, hirtin with werpen, hirdin). The Rhenish Franconian dialect is spoken in the Rhenish palatinate, in the northern part of Baden (Heidelberg), Hesse and Nassau, and in the German-speaking part of Lorraine. A line drawn from Falkenberg at the French frontier to Siegen on the Lahn, touching the Rhine near Boppard, roughly indicates the division between Middle and Rhenish Franconian.
2. The Upper German Group.—The Upper German dialects, which played the most important part in the literature of the early periods, may be divided into (a) a Bavarian-Austrian group and (b) a High Franconian-Alemannic group. Of all the German dialects the Bavarian-Austrian has carried the soundshifting to its furthest extreme; here only do we find the labial voiced stop b written p in the middle of a word, viz. old Bavarian kāpamēs, old Alemannic kābamēs (“we gave”); here too, in the 12th century, we find the first traces of that broadening of ī, ū, iu (ü) to ei, au, eu, a change which, even at the present day, is still foreign to the greater part of the Alemannic dialects. Only in Bavarian do we still find the old pronominal dual forms es and enk (for ihr and euch). Finally, Bavarian forms diminutives in -el and -erl (Mädel, Mäderl), while the Franconian-Alemannic forms are -la and -le (Mädle). On the other hand, the pronunciation of -s as -sch, especially -st as -scht (cf. Last, Haspel, pronounced Lascht, Haschpel), may be mentioned as characteristic of the Alemannic, just as the fortis pronunciation of initial t is characteristic of High Franconian, while the other Franconian and Upper German dialects employ the lenis.
The Alemannic dialect which, roughly speaking, is separated from Bavarian by the Lech and borders on Italian territory in the south and on French in the west, is subdivided into: (a) Swabian, the dialect of the kingdom of Württemberg and the north-western part of Tirol (cf. H. Fischer, Geographie der schwäbischen Mundart, 1895); (b) High Alemannic (Swiss), including the German dialects of Switzerland, of the southern part of the Black Forest (the Basel-Breisgau dialect), and that of Vorarlberg; (c) Low Alemannic, comprising the dialects of Alsace and part of Baden (to the north of the Feldberg and south of Rastatt), also, at the present day, the town of Basel. Only Swabian has taken part in the change of i to ei, &c., mentioned above, while initial Germanic k has been shifted to ch (χ) only in High Alemannic (cf. chalt, chind, chorn, for kalt, kind, korn). The pronunciation of ū as ǖ, ü (Hüs for Haus) is peculiar to Alsatian.
The High Franconian dialects, that is to say, east and south (or south-Rhenish) Franconian, which are separated broadly speaking by the river Neckar, comprise the language spoken in a part of Baden, the dialects of the Main valley from Würzburg upwards to Bamberg, the dialect of Nuremberg and probably of the Vogtland (Plauen) and Egerland. During the older historical period the principal difference between East and South Franconian consisted in the fact that initial Germanic d was retained in the latter dialect, while East Franconian shifted it to t. Both, like Bavarian and Alemannic, shift initial German p to the affricate pf.
Finally, the Bavarian-Austrian dialect is spoken throughout the greater part of the kingdom of Bavaria (i.e. east of the Lech and a fine drawn from the point where the Lech joins the Danube to the sources of the rivers Elster and Mulde, this being the East Franconian border-line), in Austria, western Bohemia, and in the German linguistic “islands” embedded in Hungary, in Gottschee and the Sette and Tredici Communi (cf. above).
The Old High German Period
The language spoken during the Old High German period, that is to say, down to about the year 1050, is remarkable for the fulness and richness of its vowel-sounds in word-stems as well as in inflections. Cf. elilenti, Elend; luginari, Lügner; karkari, Kerker; menniskono slahta, Menschengeschlecht; herzono, Herzen (gen. pl.); furisto, vorderste; hartost, (am) härtesten; sibunzug, siebzig; ziahemes, (wir) ziehen; salbota, (er) salbte; gaworahtos, (du) wirktest, &c. Of the consonantal changes which took place during this period that of the spirant th (preserved only in English) to d (werthan, werdan; theob, deob) deserves mention. It spread from Upper Germany, where it is noticeable as early as the 8th century to Middle and finally, in the 11th and 12th centuries, to Low Germany. Further, the initial h in hl, hn, hr, hw (cf. hwer, wer; hreini rein; hlahhan, lachen) and w in wr (wrecceo, Recke) disappeared, this change also starting in Upper Germany and spreading slowly north. The most important vowel-change is the so-called mutation (Umlaut), that is to say, the qualitative change of a vowel (except i) in a stem-syllable, owing to the influence of an i or j in the following syllable. This process commenced in the north where it seems to have been already fully developed in Low German as early as the 8th century. It is to be found, it may be noted, in Anglo-Saxon, as early as the 6th century. It gradually worked its way southwards to Middle and Upper Germany where, however, certain consonants seem to have protected the stem syllable from the influence of i in a following syllable. Cf., for instance, Modern High German drucken and drücken; glauben, kaufen, Haupt, words which in Middle German dialects show mutation. Orthographically, however, this process is, during the first period, only to be seen in the change of ă to e; from the 10th century onwards there are, it is true, some traces of other changes, and vowels like ǔ̄, ō, ou must have already been affected, otherwise we could not account for the mutation of these vowels at a period when the cause of it, the i or j, no longer existed. A no less important change, for it helped to differentiate High from Low German, was that of Germanic ē2 (a closed ē-sound) and ō diphthongs in Old High German, while they were retained in Old Low German. Cf. O.H.G. hēr, hear, hiar, O.L.G. hēr; O.H.G. fuoz, O.L.G. fōt. The final result was that in the 10th century ie (older forms, ia, ea) and uo (older ua, oa in Alemannic, ua in South Franconian) had asserted themselves throughout all the High German dialects. Again while in Old High German the older diphthongs ai and au were preserved as ei and ou, unless they happened to stand at the end of a word or were followed by certain consonants (h, w, r in the one case, and h, r, l, n, th, d, t, z, s in the other; cf. zēh from zīhan, zōh from ziohan, verlôs, &c.), the Old Low German shows throughout the monophthongs ē (in Middle Low German a closed sound) and ō (cf. O.L.G. stēn, ōga). These monophthongs are also to be heard in Rhenish Franconian, the greater part of East Franconian and the Upper Saxon and Silesian dialects of modern times (cf. Stein: Steen or Stan; laufen: lofen or lopen).
Of the dialects enumerated above, Bavarian and Alemannic, High and Rhenish Franconian as well as Old Saxon are more or less represented in the literature of the first period. But this literature, the chief monuments of which are Otfrid’s Evangelienbuch (in South Franconian), the Old Saxon Heliand (a life of Christ in alliterative verse), the translation of Tatian’s Gospel Harmony (East Franconian) and that of a theological tract by Bishop Isidore of Seville and of parts of the Bible (Rhenish Franconian), is almost exclusively theological and didactic in character. One is consequently inclined to attach more value to the scanty remains of the Hildebrandslied and some interesting and ancient charms. The didactic spirit again pervades the translations and commentaries of Notker of St Gall in the early part of the 11th century, as well as a paraphrase of the Song of Songs by an abbot Williram of Ebersberg a little later. Latin, however, reigned supreme throughout this period, it being the language of the charters, the lawbooks (there is nothing in Germany to compare with the laws of the Anglo-Saxons), of science, medicine, and even poetry. It is thus needless to say that there was no recognized literary language (Schriftsprache) during this period, nor even any attempt to form one; at most, we might speak of schools in the large monasteries, such as Reichenau, St Gall, Fulda, which contributed to the spread and acceptance of certain orthographical rules.
The Middle High German Period
The following are the chief changes in sounds and forms which mark the development of the language in the Middle High German period. The orthography of the MSS. reveals a much more extensive employment of mutation (Umlaut) than was the case in the first period; we find, for instance, as the mutation of o, ö, of ō, œ, of ū, iu (ü), of uo, üe, of ou, öu, and eu (cf. höler, bœse, hiuser, güete, böume), although many scribes, and more especially those of Middle and Low German districts, have no special signs for the mutation of ŭ, ū, and o. Of special interest is the so-called “later (or weaker) mutation” (jüngerer oder schwächerer Umlaut) of ă to a very open e sound, which is often written ä. Cf. mähte (O.H.G. mahti). mägede (O.H.G. magadi). The earlier mutation of this sound produced an e (é'), a closed sound (i.e. nearer i). Cf. geste (O.H G. gesti).
The various Old High German vowels in unstressed syllables were either weakened to an indifferent e sound (geben, O.H.G. geban; bote, O.H.G. boto; sige, O.H.G. sigu) or disappeared altogether. The latter phenomenon is to be observed after l and r, and partly after and n and m (cf. ar(e). O.H.G. aro; zal, O.H.G. zala; wundern, O.H.G. wuntarōn, &c.); but it by no means took place everywhere in the same degree and at the same time. It has been already noted that the Alemannic dialect (as well as the archaic poets of the German national epic) retained at least the long unstressed vowels until as late as the 14th century (gemarterōt, gekriuzegōt, &c.), and Low and Middle German preserved the weakened e sound in many cases where Upper German dropped it. In this period the beginnings are also to be seen in Low and Middle German (Heinrich von Veldeke shows the first traces of it) of a process which became of great importance for the formation of the Modern German literary language. This is the lengthening of originally short vowels in open syllables. for example, in Modern High German Tāges, Wēges, lōbe (Middle High German tăges, wĕges, lŏbe). In Austria, on the other hand, there began as far back as the first half of the 12th century another movement of equal importance for Modern High German, namely, the conversion of the long vowels, i, ü, ǖ, into ei (ou), au, eu (äu). It is, therefore, in MSS. written in the south-east that we find forms like zeit, lauter (löter), heute, &c., for the first time. With the exception of Low German and Alemannic—Swabian, however, follows in this respect the majority—all the German dialects participated in this change between the 14th and 16th centuries, although not all to the same degree. The change was perhaps assisted by the influence of the literary language which had recognized the new sounds. In England the same process has led to the modern pronunciation of time, house, &c., and in Holland to that of tijd, huis, &c. F. Wrede (Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum xxxix. 257 ff.) has suggested that the explanation of the change is to be sought in the apocope and syncope of the final e, and the greater stress which was in consequence put on the stem-syllable. The tendency to a change in the opposite direction, namely, the narrowing of diphthongs to monophthongs, is to be noticed in Middle German dialects, i.e. in dialects which resisted the apocope of the final e, where ie, uo, üe become ī, ü, ǖ; thus we have for Brief, brīf, for huon, hūn, for brüeder, brüder, and this too was taken over into the Modern High German literary language.
No consonantal change was so widespread during this period as that of initial s to sch before l, n, m, w, p and t. Cf. slingen, schlingen; swer (e) n, schwören. &c. The forms scht- and schp- are often to be met with in Alemannic MSS., but they were discarded again, although modern German recognizes the pronunciation schp, scht. With regard to changes affecting the inflections of verbs and nouns, it must suffice here to point out that the weakening or disappearance of vowels in unstressed syllables necessarily affected the characteristic endings of the older language; groups of verbs and substantives which in Old High German were distinct now become confused. This is best seen in the case of the weak verbs, where the three Old High German classes (cf. nerien, salbōn, dagēn) were fused into one. Similarly in the declensions we find an increasing tendency of certain forms to influence substantives belonging to other classes; there is, for instance, an increase in the number of neuter nouns taking -er (-ir) in the plural, and of those which show mutation in the plural on the model of the i- stems (O.H.G. gast, pl. gesti; cf. forms like ban, benne; hals, helse; wald, welde). Of changes in syntax the gradual decay in the use of the genitive case dependent on a noun or governed by a verb (cf. constructions like eine brünne rotes goldes, or des todes wünschen) towards the end of the period and also the disappearance of the Old High German sequence of tenses ought at least to be mentioned.
In the Middle High German period, the first classical period of German poetry, the German language made great advances as a vehicle of literary expression; its power of expression was increased and it acquired a beauty of style hitherto unknown. This was the period of the Minnesang and the great popular and court epics, of Walther von der Vogelweide, Hartmann von Aue, Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Strassburg; it was a period when literature enjoyed the fostering care of the courts and the nobility. At the tame time German prose celebrated its first triumphs in the sermons of Berthold von Regensburg, and in the mystic writings and sermons of Meister Eckhart, Tauler and others. History (Eike von Repkow's Weltchronik) and law (Sachsenspiegel, Schwabenspiegel) no longer despised the vernacular, and from about the middle of the 13th century German becomes, in an ever-increasing percentage, the language of deeds and charters.
It has been a much debated question how far Germany in Middle High German times possessed or aspired to possess a Schriftsprache or literary language. About the year 1200 there was undoubtedly a marked tendency towards a unification of the literary language on the part of the more careful poets like Walther von der Vogelweide, Hartmann von Aue and Gottfried von Strassburg; they avoid, more particularly in their rhymes, dialectic peculiarities, such as the Bavarian dual forms es and enk, or the long vowels in unstressed syllables, retained in Alemannic, and they do not make use of archaic words or forms. We have thus a right to speak, if not of a Middle High German literary language in the widest sense of the word, at least of a Middle High German Dichtersprache or poetic language, on an Alemannic-Franconian basis. Whether, or in how far, this may have affected the ordinary speech of the nobility or courts, ie a matter of conjecture; but it had an undeniable influence in Middle and Low German poets, who endeavoured at least to use High German forms in their rhymes. Attempts were also made in Low German districts, though at a later stage of this period, to unify the dialects and raise them to the level of an accepted literary language. It will be shown later why these attempts were unsuccessful. Unfortunately, however, the efforts of the High German poets to form a uniform language were also shortlived; by the end of the 13th century the Dichtersprache had disappeared, and the dialects again reigned supreme.
Modern High German
Although the Middle High German period had thus not succeeded in effecting any permanent advance in the direction of a uniform literary language, the desire for a certain degree of uniformity was never again entirely lost. At the close of the 13th century literature had passed from the hands of the nobility to those of the middle classes of the towns; the number of writers who used the German tongue rapidly increased; later the invention of printing, the increased efficiency of the schools, and above all the religious movement of the Reformation, contributed to awakening the desire of being understood by those who stood outside the dialectic community of the individual. A single authoritative form of writing and spelling was felt on all sides to be particularly necessary. This was found in the language used officially by the various chanceries (Kanzleien), and more especially the imperial chancery. Since the days of Charles IV. (1347–1378) the latter had striven after a certain uniform language in the documents it issued, and by the time of Maximilian I. (1493–1519) all its official documents were characterized by pretty much the same phonology, forms and vocabulary, in whatever part of Germany they originated. And under Maximilian’s successor, Charles V., the conditions remained pretty much the same. The fact that the scat of the imperial chancery had for a long time been in Prague, led to a mingling of Upper and Middle German sounds and inflections; but when the crown came with Frederick III. (1440–1493) to the Habsburgs, the Upper German elements were considerably increased. The chancery of the Saxon electorate, whose territory was exclusively Middle German, had to some extent, under the influence of the imperial chancery, allowed Upper German characteristics to influence its official language. This is clearly marked in the second half of the 15th century, and about the year 1500 there was no essential difference between the languages of the two chanceries. Thuringia, Silesia and Brandenburg soon followed suit, and even Low German could not ultimately resist the accepted High German notation (ö, oͤ, ü, uͤ, ů, ie, &c.). We have here very favourable conditions for the creation of a uniform literary language, and, as has already been said, the tendency to follow these authorities is clearly marked.
In the midst of this development arose the imposing figure of Luther, who, although by no means the originator of a common High German speech, helped very materially to establish it. He deliberately chose (cf. the often quoted passage in his Tischreden, ch. 69) the language of the Saxon chancery as the vehicle of his Bible translation and subsequently of his own writings. The differences between Luther’s usage and that of the chancery, in phonology and inflection, are small; still he shows, in his writings subsequent to 1524, a somewhat more pronounced tendency towards Middle German. But it is noteworthy that he, like the chancery, retained the old vowel-change in the singular and plural of the preterite of the strong verbs (i.e. steig, stigen; starb, sturben), although before Luther’s time the uniformity of the modern preterite had already begun to show itself here and there. The adoption of the language of the chancery gave rise to the mixed character of sounds and forms which is still a feature of the literary language of Germany. Thus the use of the monophthongs ī, ū, and ǖ, instead of the old diphthongs ie, uo and üe, comes from Middle Germany; the forms of the words and the gender of the nouns follow Middle rather than Upper German usage, whereas, on the other hand, the consonantal system (p to pf; d to t) betrays in its main features its Upper German (Bavarian-Austrian) origin.
The language of Luther no doubt shows greater originality in its style and vocabulary (cf. its influence on Goethe and the writers of the Sturm und Drang), for in this respect the chancery could obviously afford him but scanty help. His vocabulary is drawn to a great extent from his own native Middle German dialect, and the fact that, since the 14th century, Middle German literature (cf. for instance, the writings of the German mystics, at the time of and subsequent to Eckhart) had exercised a strong influence over Upper Germany, stood him in good stead. Luther is, therefore, strictly speaking, not the father of the modern German literary language, but he forms the most important link in a chain of development which began long before him, and did not reach its final stage until long after him. To infer that Luther’s language made any rapid conquest of Germany would not be correct. It was, of course, immediately acceptable to the eastern part of the Middle German district (Thuringia and Silesia), and it did not find any great difficulty in penetrating into Low Germany, at least into the towns and districts lying to the east of the Saale and Elbe (Magdeburg, Hamburg). One may say that about the middle of the 16th century Luther’s High German was the language of the chanceries, about 1600 the language of the pulpit (the last Bible in Low German was printed at Goslar in 1621) and the printing presses. Thus the aspirations of Low Germany to have a literary language of its own were at an early stage crushed. Protestant Switzerland, on the other hand, resisted the “uncommon new German” until well into the 17th century. It was also natural that the Catholic Lower Rhine (Cologne) and Catholic South Germany held out against it, for to adopt the language of the reformer would have seemed tantamount to offering a helping hand to Protestant ideas. At the same time, geographical and political conditions, as well as the pronounced character of the Upper German dialects, formed an important obstacle to a speedy unification. South German grammarians of the 16th century, such as Laurentius Albertus, raise a warning voice against those who, although far distant from the proper use of words and the true pronunciation, venture to teach nos puriores Germanos, namely, the Upper Germans.
In 1593, Helber, a Swiss schoolmaster and notary, spoke of three separate dialects as being in use by the printing presses: Mitteldeutsch (the language of the printers in Leipzig, Erfurt, Nuremberg, Würzburg, Frankfort, Mainz, Spires, Strassburg and Cologne; at the last mentioned place in the event of their attempting to print Ober-Teutsch); (2) Donauisch (the printers' language in South Germany, but limited to Bavaria and Swabia proper—here more particularly the Augsburg idiom, which was considered to be particularly zierlich); (3) Höchst Reinisch, which corresponds to Swiss German. Thus in the 16th century Germany was still far from real unity in its language; but to judge from the number and the geographical position of the towns which printed in Mitteldeutsch it is pretty clear which idiom would ultimately predominate. During the 17th century men like M. Opitz (Buch von der deutschen Poeterey) and J. G. Schottelius (Teutsche Sprachkunst, 1641, and Von der teutschen Sprachkunst, 1663), together with linguistic societies like the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft and the Nuremberg Pegnitzorden, did a great deal to purify the German language from foreign (especially French) elements; they insisted on the claims of the vernacular to a place beside and even above Latin (in 1687 Christian Thomasius held for the first time lectures in the German language at the university of Leipzig), and they established a firm grammatical basis for Luther’s common language, which especially in the hymnals had become modernized and more uniform. About the middle of the 17th century the disparity between the vowels of the singular and plural of the preterite of the strong verbs practically ceases; under East Middle German influence the final e is restored to words like Knabe, Jude, Pfaffe, which in South German had been Knab, &c.; the mixed declension (Ehre, Ehren; Schmerz, Schmerzen) was established, and the plural in -er was extended to some masculine nouns (Wald, Wälder); the use of the mutated sound has now become the rule as a plural sign (Väter, Bäume). How difficult, even in the first half of the 18th century, it was for a Swiss to write the literary language which Luther had established is to be seen from the often quoted words of Haller (1708–1777): “I am a Swiss, the German language is strange to me, and its choice of words was almost unknown to me.” The Catholic south clung firmly to its own literary language, based on the idiom of the imperial chancery, which was still an influential force in the 17th century or on local dialects. This is apparent in the writings of Abraham a Sancta Clara, who died in 1709, or in the attacks of the Benedictine monk, Augustin Dornblüth, on the Meissner Schriftsprache in 1755.
In the 18th century, to which these names have introduced us, the grammatical writings of J. C. Gottsched (Deutsche Sprachkunst, 1748) and J. C. Adelung (Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch der hochdeutschen Mundart, 1774–1786) exercised a decisive and far-reaching influence. Gottsched took as his basis the spoken language (Umgangssprache) of the educated classes of Upper Saxony (Meissen), which at this time approximated as nearly as possible to the literary language. His Grammar did enormous services to the cause of unification, ultimately winning over the resisting south; but he carried his purism to pedantic lengths, he would tolerate no archaic or dialectical words, no unusual forms or constructions, and consequently made the language unsuited for poetry. Meanwhile an interest in Old German literature was being awakened by Bodmer; Herder set forth better ideas on the nature of language, and insisted on the value of native idioms; and the Sturm und Drang led by Goethe encouraged all individualistic tendencies. All this gave rise to a movement counter to Gottsched’s absolutism, which resulted in the revival of many obsolete German words and forms, these being drawn partly from Luther’s Bible translation (cf. V. Hehn, “Goethe und die Sprache der Bibel,” in the Goethe-Jahrbuch, viii. p. 187 ff.), partly from the older language and partly from the vocabulary peculiar to different social ranks and trades. The latter is still a source of linguistic innovations. German literary style underwent a similar rejuvenation, for we are on the threshold of the second classical period of German literature. It had strengthened Gottsched’s hand as a linguistic reformer that the earlier leaders of German literature, such as Gellert, Klopstock and Lessing, were Middle Germans; now Wieland’s influence, which was particularly strong in South Germany, helped materially towards the establishment of one accepted literary language throughout all German-speaking countries; and the movement reaches its culmination with Goethe and Schiller. At the same time this unification did not imply the creation of an unalterable standard; for, just as the language of Opitz and Schottelius differed from that of Luther, so—although naturally in a lesser degree—the literary language of our day differs from that of the classic writers of the 18th century. Local peculiarities are still to be met with, as is to be seen in the modern German literature that emanates from Switzerland or Austria.
But this unity, imperfect as it is, is limited to the literary language. The differences are much more sharply accentuated in the Umgangssprache, whereby we understand the language as it is spoken by educated people throughout Germany; this is not only the case with regard to pronunciation, although it is naturally most noticeable here, but also with regard to the choice of words and the construction of sentences. Compared with the times of Goethe and Schiller a certain advance towards unification has undoubtedly been made, but the differences between north and south are still very great. This is particularly noticeable in the pronunciation of r—either the uvular r or the r produced by the tip of the tongue; of the voiced and voiceless stops, b, p, d, t, g and k; of the s sounds; of the diphthongs; of the long vowels ē and œ̄, &c. (cf. W. Vietor, German Pronunciation, 2nd ed., 1890). The question as to whether a unified pronunciation (Einheitaussprache) is desirable or even possible has occupied the attention of academies, scholars and the educated public during recent years, and in 1898 a commission made up of scholars and theatre directors drew up a scheme of pronunciation for use in the royal theatres of Prussia. This scheme has since been recommended to all German theatres by the German Bühnenverein. Desirable as such a uniform pronunciation is for the national theatre, it is a much debated question how far it should be adopted in the ordinary speech of everyday life. Some scholars, such as W. Braune, declared themselves strongly in favour of its adoption; Braune’s argument bring that the system of modern pronunciation is based on the spelling, not on the sounds produced in speaking. The latter, he holds, is only responsible for the pronunciation of -chs- as -ks- in wachsen, Ochse, &c., or for that of sp- and st- in spielen, stehen, &c. Other scholars, again, such as K. Luick and O. Brenner, warn against any such attempts to create a living language on an artificial basis; the Bühnendeutsch or “stage-German” they regard as little more than an abstract ideal. Thus the decision must be left to time.
Authorities.—General Literature: J. Grimm, Geschichte der deutschen Sprache (Leipzig, 1868; 4th ed., 1880); W. Scherer, Zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache (Berlin, 1868; 2nd ed., 1878); E. Förstemann, Geschichte des deutschen Sprachstammes (Nordhausen, 1874–1875); O. Behaghel, Die deutsche Sprache (Leipzig, 1886; 2nd ed., 1902); the same, “Geschichte der deutschen Sprache,” in Paul's Grundriss der germanischen Philologie (2nd ed.), i. pp. 650 ff.; O. Weise, Unsere deutsche Sprache, ihr Werden und ihr Wesen (Leipzig, 1898); K. von Raumer, Geschichte der germanischen Philologie (Munich, 1870); J. Grimm, Deutsche Grammatik (4 vols., vols. i.-iii. in new edition, 1870–1890); Dieter, Laut- und Formenlehre der altgermanischen Dialekte (2 vols., Leipzig, 1898–1900); F. Kauffmann, Deutsche Grammatik (2nd ed.. 1895); W. Wilmanns, Deutsche Grammatik, so far, vols. i, ii. and iii., (Strassburg, 1893–1906, vol. i., 2nd ed., 1897); O. Brenner, Grundzüge der geschichtlichen Grammatik der deutschen Sprache (Munich, 1896); H. Lichtenberger, Histoire de la langue allemande (Paris, 1895).
Old and Middle High German Period: W. Braune, Althochdeutsche Grammatik (2nd ed., Halle. 1891); the same, Abriss der althochdeutschen Grammatik (3rd ed., 1900); F. Holthausen, Altsächsisches Elementarbuch (Heidelberg, 1899); W. Schlüter, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altsächsichen Sprache, i. (Göttingen, 1892); O. Schade, Altdeutsches Wörterbuch (2nd ed.. Halle, 1872–1882); G. E. Graff, Althochdeutscher Sprachschatz (6 vols., Berlin, 1834–1842) (Index by Massmann, 1846); E. Steinmeyer and E. Sievers, Althochdeutsche Glossen (4 vols., Berlin, 1879–1898); J. A. Schmeller, Glossarium Saxonicum (Munich, 1840); K. Weinhold, Mittlehochdeutsche Grammatik (3rd ed., Paderborn, 1892); H. Paul, Mittelhochdeutsche Grammatik (5th ed., Halle, 1900); V. Michels, Mittelhochdeutsches Elementarbuch (Heidelberg, 1900); O. Brenner, Mittelhochdeutsche Grammatik (3rd ed., Munich, 1894); K. Zwierzina, “Mittelhochdeutsche Studien,” in Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum, vols. xliv. and xlv.; A. Lübben, Mittelniederdeutsche Grammatik (Leipzig, 1882); W. Müller and F. Zarncke, Mittelhochdeutsches Wörterbuch (4 vols., Leipzig, 1854–1866); M. Lexer, Mittelhochdeutsches Handwörterbuch (3 vols., 1872–1878); the same, Mittelhochdeutsches Taschenwörterbuch (8th ed., 1906); K. Schiller and A. Lübben, Mittelniederdeutsches Wörterbuch (6 vols., Bremen, 1875–1881); A. Lübben, Mittelniederdeutsches Handwörterbuch (Norden, 1888); F. Seiler, Die Entwickelung der deutsch. Kultur im Spiegel des deutschen Lehnworts (Halle, i., 1895, 2nd ed., 1905, ii., 1900).
Modern High German Period: E. Wülcker, “Die Entstehung der kursächsischen Kanzleisprache” (in the Zeitschrift des Vereins für kursächsische Geschichte, ix. p. 349); the same, “Luthers Stellung zur kursächsischen Kanzleisprache” (in Germania, xxviii. pp. 191 ff.); P. Pietsch, Martin Luther und die hochdeutsche Schriftsprache (Breslau, 1883); K. Burdach, Die Einigung der neuhochdeutschen Schriftsprache, (1883); E. Opitz. Die Sprache Luthers (Halle, 1869); J. Luther, Die Sprache Luthers in der Septemberbibel (Halle, 1887); F. Kluge, Von Luther bis Lessing (Strassburg, 1888) (cf. E. Schröder's review in the Göttinger gelehrte Anzeiger, 1888, 249); H. Rückert, Geschichte der neuhochdeutschen Schriftsprache bis zur Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1875); J. Kehrein, Grammatik der deutschen Sprache des 13. bis 17. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 2nd ed., 1863); K. von Bahder, Grundlagen des neuhochdeutschen Lautsystems (Strassburg, 1890); R. Meyer, Einführung in das altere Neuhochdeutsche (Leipzig, 1894); W. Scheel, Beiträge zur Geschichte der neuhochdeutschen Gemeinsprache in Köln (Marburg, 1892); R. Brandstetter, Die Rezeption der neuhochdeutschen Schriftsprache in Stadt und Landschaft Luzern (1892); K. Burdach, “Zur Geschichte der neuhochdeutschen Schriftsprache” (Forschungen zur deutschen Philologie, 1894); the same, “Die Sprache des jungen Goethe” (Verhandlungen der Dessauer Philologenversammlung, 1884, p. 164 ff.); F. Kasch, Die Sprache des jungen Schiller (Dissertation, 1900); F. Kluge, “Über die Entstehung unserer Schriftsprache” (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift des allgemeinen Sprachvereins, Heft 6, 1894); A. Waag, Bedeutungsentwickelung unseres Wortschatzes (Lahr, 1901).
Mention must also be made of the work of the German commission of the Royal Prussian Academy, which in 1904 drew up plans for making an inventory of all German literary MSS. dating from before the year 1600 and for the publication of Middle High German and early Modern High German texts. This undertaking, which has made considerable progress, provides rich material for the study of the somewhat neglected period between the 14th and 16th centuries; at the same time it provides a basis on which a monumental history of Modern High German may be built up as well as for a Thesaurus linguae germanicae. (R. Pr.)
- K. Müllenhoff and W. Scherer, Denkmäler deutscher Poesie und Prosa, 3rd ed., by E. Steinmeyer, 1892, No. lxvii.
- For a detailed description of the boundary line cf. O. Behaghel's article in Paul's Grundriss, 2nd ed., pp. 652-657, where there is also a map, and a very full bibliography relative to the changes in the boundary.
- Cf. J. Grimm, Deutsche Grammatik, 3rd ed., i. p. 13; F. Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch, 6th ed., pp. 75 ff.; K. Luick, “Zur Geschichte des Wortes ‘deutsch,’” in Anzeiger für deutsches Altertum, xv., pp. 135, 248; H. Fischer, “Theotiscus, Deutsch,” in Paul and Braune's Beiträge, xviii. p. 203; H. Paul, Deutsches Wörterbuch (1897), p. 93.
- Cf. P. Kretschmer, Einleitung in die Geschichte der griechischen Sprache (Göttingen, 1896), who holds the mingling of Celtic and Germanic elements in southern and south-western Germany responsible for the change. It might also be mentioned here that H. Meyer (Zeitschrift f. deut. Altertum, xlv. pp. 101 ff.) endeavours to explain the first soundshifting by the change of abode of the Germanic tribes from the lowlands to the highlands of the Carpathian Mountains.
- Of writers who have made extensive use of dialects, it must suffice to mention here the names of J. H. Voss, Hebel, Klaus Groth, Fritz Reuter, Usteri, G. D. Arnold, Holtei, Castelli, J. G. Seidl and Anzengruber, and in our own days G. Hauptmann.
- Cf. F. Staub and L. Tobler. Schweizerisches Idiotikon (1881 ff.); E. Martin and F. Lienhart, Wörterbuch der elsässischen Mundarten (Strassburg, 1899 ff.); H. Fischer, Schwabisches Wörterbuch (Tübingen, 1901 ff.). Earlier works, which are already completed, are J. A. Schmeller, Bayrisches Wörterbuch (2nd ed., 2 vols., Munich, 1872–1877); J. B. Schöpf, Tiroler Idiotikon (Innsbruck, 1886); M. Lexer, Karntisches Wörterbuch (1862); H. Gradl, Egerlander Wörterbuch, i. (Eger. 1883); A. F. C. Vilmar, Idiotikon von Kurhessen (Marburg, 1883) (with supplements by H. von Pfister); W. Crecelius, Oberhessiches Wörterbuch (Darmstadt, 1890–1898). Professor J. Franck is responsible for a Rheinisches Wörterbuch for the Prussian Academy.
- Cf. the article “Mundarten” by R. Loewe in R. Bethge, Ergebnisse und Fortschritte der germanistischen Wissenschaft (Leipzig, 1902), pp. 75-88; and F. Mentz, Bibliographie der deutschen Mundartforschung (Leipzig, 1892). Of periodicals may be mentioned Deutsche Mundarten, by J. W. Nagl (Vienna, 1896 ff.); Zeitschrift für hochdeutsche Mundarten, by O. Heilig and Ph. Lenz (Heidelberg, 1900 ff.), continued as Zeitschrift f. deutsche Mundarten, Verlag des Allgemeinen Deutschen Sprachvereins. Owing to its importance as a model for subsequent monographs J. Kinteler’s Die Kerenzer Mundart des Kantons Glarus (Leipzig, 1876) should not be passed unnoticed.
- Cf. especially H. Tümpel, “Die Mundarten des alten niedersächsischen Gebietes zwischen 1300 und 1500” (Paul und Braune’s Beiträge, vii. pp. 1-104); Niederdeutsche Studien, by the same writer (Bielefeld, 1898); Bahnke, “Über Sprach- und Gaugrenzen zwischen Elbe und Weser” (Jahrbuch des Vereins für niederdeutsche Sprachforschung, vii. p. 77).
- Upper Saxon and Thuringian are sometimes taken as a separate group.
- Cf. W. Braune, “Zur Kenntnis des Fränkischen” (Beiträge, i. pp. 1-56); O. Böhme, Zur Kenntnis des Oberfrankischen im 13. 14. und 15. Jahrh. (Dissertation) (Leipzig, 1893) where a good account of the differences between the Rhenish Franconian and South Franconian dialects will be found.
- Cf. C. Nörrenberg, “Lautverschiebungsstufe des Mittelfränkischen” (Beiträge, ix. 371 ff.); R. Heinzel, Geschichte der niederfränkischen Geschäftssprache (Paderborn, 1874).
- This is also the dialect of the so-called Siebenbürger Sachsen.
- Cf. E. Sievers, Oxforder Benediktinerregel (Halle, 1887), p. xvi.; J. Meier, Jolande (1887), pp. vii. ff.; O. Böhme, l.c. p. 60.
- Lower Hesse (the northern and eastern parts) goes, however, in many respects its own way.
- On the High German dialects cf. K. Weinhold, Alemannische Grammatik (Berlin, 1863); F. Kauffmann, Geschichte der schwäbischen Mundart (Strassburg, 1870); E. Haendcke, Die mundartlichen Elemente in den elsässischen Urkunden (Strassburg, 1894); K. Weinhold, Bairische Grammatik (1867); J. A. Schmeller, Die Mundarten Baierns (Munich, 1821); J. N. Schwäbl, Die altbairischen Mundarten (München, 1903); O. Brenner, Mundarten und Schriftsprache in Bayern (Bamberg, 1890); J. Schatz, Die Mundart von Imst (Strassburg, 1897); J. W. Nagl, Der Vocalismus der bairisch-österreichischen Mundarten (1890–1891); W. Gradl, Die Mundarten Westböhmens (Munich, 1896); P. Lessiak, “Die Mundart von Pernegg in Kärnten” (Paul and Braune, Beiträge, vol. xxviii.).
- Cf., for a hypothesis of two Umlautsperioden during the Old High German time, K. Kauffmann, Geschichte der schwäbischen Mundart (Strassburg, 1890), S. 152.
- Cf. W. Wilmanns, Deutsche Grammatik, i. (2nd edition) pp. 300-304.
- Wilmanns, l.c. pp. 273-280. It might be mentioned that, in Modern High German, these new diphthongs are neither in spelling nor in educated pronunciation distinguished from the older ones.
- Cf. Wilmanns. pp. 280-284.
- Ibid. pp. 129-132.
- Cf. K. Lachmann, Kleinere Schriften, i. p. 161 ff.; Müllenhoff and Scherer’s Denkmäler (3rd ed.), i. p. xxvii.; H. Paul, Gab es eine mhd. Schriftsprache? (Halle, 1873); O. Behaghel, Zur Frage nach einer mhd. Schriftsprache (Basel, 1886) (Cf. Paul and Braune’s Beiträge, xiii. p. 464 ff.); A. Socin, Schriftsprache und Dialekte (Heilbronn, 1888); H. Fischer, Zur Geschichte des Mittelhochdeutschen (Tübingen, 1889); O. Behaghel, Schriftsprache und Mundart (Giessen, 1896); K. Zwierzina, Beobachtungen zum Reimgebrauch Hartmanns und Wolframs (Halle, 1898); S. Singer, Die mhd. Schriftsprache (1900); C. Kraus, Heinrich von Veldeke und die mhd. Dichtersprache (Halle, 1899); G. Roethe, Die Reimvorreden des Sachsenspiegels (Berlin, 1899); H. Tümpel, Niederdeutsche Studien (1898).
- For literature bearing on the complicated question of the Druckersprachen, readers are referred to the article “Neuhochdeutsche Schriftsprache,” by W. Scheel, in Bethge’s Ergebnisse . . . der germanistischen Wissenschaft (1902), pp. 47, 50 f. Cf. also K. von Bahder, Grundlagen des nhd. Lautsystems (1890), pp. 15 ff.
- A German Priamel mentions as an essential quality in a beautiful woman: “die red dort her von Swaben.”
- Cf. for a detailed discussion of the noun declension, K. Boiunga, Die Entwickelung der mhd. Substantivflexion (Leipzig, 1890); and, more particularly for the masculine and neuter nouns, two articles by H. Molz, “Die Substantivflexion seit mhd. Zeit,” in Paul and Braune’s Beiträge, xxvii. p. 209 ff. and xxxi. 277 ff. For the changes in the gender of nouns, A. Polzin, Geschlechtswandel der Subslantiva im Deutschen (Hildesheim, 1903).
- Cf. C. Blanckenburg, Studien über die Sprache Abrahams a S. Clara (Halle, 1897); H. Strigl, “Einiges über die Sprache des P. Abraham a Sancta Clara” (Zeitschr. f. deutsche Wortforschung, viii. 206 ff.).
- Cf. F. Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch (6th ed.), pp. 508 ff. One can speak of: Studenten-, Soldaten-, Weidmanns-, Bergmanns-, Drucker-, Juristen-, und Zigeunersprache, und Rotwelsch. Cf. F. Kluge, Die deutsche Studentensprache (Strassburg, 1894); Rotwelsch i. (Strassburg, 1901); R. Bethge, Ergebnisse, &c., p. 55 f.
- Cf. H. Wunderlich, Unsere Umgangssprache (Weimar, 1894).
- Cf. Th. Siebs, Deutsche Bühnenaussprache (2nd ed., Berlin. 1901), and the same writer’s Grundzüge der Bühnensprache (1900).
- W. Braune, Über die Einigung der deutschen Aussprache (Halle, 1905); and the review by O. Brenner, in the Zeitschrift des allgemeinen deutschen Sprachvereins, Beihefte iv. 27, pp. 228-232.
- Cf. K. Luick, Deutsche Lautlehre mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Sprechweise Wiens und der österreichischen Alpenländer (1904); O. Brenner. “Zur Aussprache des Hochdeutschen,” l.c., pp. 218-228.