Guide Exploring the German Language

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Table of contents

The comparative basis of intensification.

Exploring German-language culture with the Olympiad… – Oxford German Network

Intensification and focusing: The case of pure ly and mere ly. Intensification processes in Italian: A survey. Noun classification in Kiswahili: Linguistic strategies to intensify or to reduce. Strategies of intensification in ancient languages: Hittite, Greek and Latin. Intensification and intensifying modification in Hittite. Diminutives in Ancient Greek: Intensification and subjectivity. Nulla sum, nulla sum: Tota, tota occidi : Repetition as a rare strategy of intensification in Latin.

Strategies of intensification in modern languages: Italian, German, English. Intensifiers between grammar and pragmatics: A lesson from a language contact situation.

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Stress and tones as intensifying operators in German. English exclamative clauses and interrogative degree modification.

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Contrastive analysis of intensification in Italian and German. A pragmatic view on intensification: Expansions in German and Italian. Intensifying structures of adjectives across German and Italian. The coordination of identical conjuncts as a means of strengthening expressions in German and Italian.

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What does reduplication intensify? A corpus-based study.

Ways to intensify: Types of intensified meanings in Italian and German. Augmentatives in Italian and German: From contrastive analysis to translation. Intentional vagueness: A corpus-based analysis of Italian and German. The book takes stock of previous work in this fascinating field of research, provides new insights in a range of languages and poses questions for future research.

It is a most stimulating and extremely readable book — a must for anybody interested in intensifiers and intensification. However successful the French volume has been, and however splendidly produced the series as a whole is, something has gone drastically wrong with the contents of the German volume and it cannot be recommended to anybody, least of all to the inexperienced undergraduates for whom it is intended.

In the first place, this is because the book is full of elementary errors, misleading information, and misconceptions on the part of the author. In the second place, it does not provide readers with the tools and techniques they need to explore the German language -- it is merely a description and a poor one at that. On the following page p. Whatever one's stance on the Indo-Hittite hypothesis, the striking differences between Hittite on the one hand and the Classical languages on the other surely indicates that the split between the Anatolian languages and the rest of IE must have been much earlier.

While one can accept the identification of the IE tribes with the Kurgan culture in the absence of anything more compelling, one has to ask. The latest research connects this with the flooding of the Black Sea basin ca. But if this occasioned the spread -- and therefore the split -- of IE, the proto-language itself must have been earlier. The title of the section 2. The tree diagram on p. First, Anatolian does not give rise to Armenian, as these are two separate branches of IE Anatolian is a collective term for Hittite, etc.

Second, there is no good reason to identify Illyrian, of which only the name is really certain, with Albanian. Third, Indo-Iranian may be a "Sprachbund", but none of the Iranian branch are mentioned in the list of languages. The idea that "a similar pattern [to IE stress] was retained in the Romance languages" p. Indeed, the notion of tenses in PIE is rather tendentious. Meillet Introduction specifically makes the point that we should get way from the idea of conjugations when thinking about PIE.

The passive in PIE is generally thought to be a development of the middle voice. The impression is given on p. There is no mention of the, perhaps more plausible, idea advanced by Renfrew that populations remained relatively static and that a new language was adopted by what were to become the Germanic tribes by a process of cultural accretion. The "third important development" p. What about the developments in the vowel system, the sonants, the coalescence of the palatals and the velars, the many other morphological changes?

Admittedly, the weak verbs are given brief mention on p. It is a well-established principle of comparative linguistics that the earliest attested forms of a language should be used as data, and this table shows us why. It has to be annotated to make sense, e. This comes dangerously close to confusing sounds and spellings. The reason advanced for the movement of the Gmc tribes from the Baltic region is its "inhospitable geography". It would have been helpful to have a reference here, also for "general tendency towards military expansionism among these groups", as it so we are told "led to a process of migration [which] lasted from BC until well into the Middle Ages" p.

This is just sloppy, as is the impression that Gothic is the direct predecessor of any language "spoken today". Again, as if today's undergraduate only had three fingers on which to count, we have "three main differences between English and German forms of West Germanic" p.

The first is "loss of 'n'", but this is shared by Low German; then we have the "ingvaeonic" palatalization Anglo-Frisian would have been more accurate ; and finally the "High German Sound Shift". Can she mean that West Germanic had dialects which already showed the features of the languages into which it was to evolve?

Afrikaans is not derived from Middle Dutch, but from Dutch dialects of the 17th century. It is now generally recognized that the North and West Germanic languages are more closely related to each other than either of them is to East Germanic, but no intermediate Northwest-Germanic stage appears on the diagram.

It makes no sense to begin the discussion of the development of standard German in the 8th century p. Neither is there any simple equation, as implied on p. Chapter 2. The author is quite right to emphasize the dialectal nature of German "at this time" p. My remarks reflect the problems I had with the first ten pages of Sally Johnson's text. I could fill a book with further criticisms ranging from the nit-picking to the fundamental, but this litany of criticism has already become tedious. From the title Exploring the German Language one would have expected the author to concentrate on the discovery procedures which underlie her analysis, so that students can learn to analyze the language on their own, but we are presented instead with a largely unjustified description.

As will become clear, there are better descriptions available elsewhere. We turn first to Chapter 4, which is devoted to the sounds of German. How are the sounds of German discovered, or explored?

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The IPA and articulatory phonetics are presented as if they were an analysis of the sounds of German, whereas they are in fact a way of exploring how sounds are produced and recorded. There is a brief mention of the distinction between articulatory, acoustic and auditory phonetics p. For example, articulatory phonetics is not "what happens to the air from the time we breathe in up to the point at which we produce a sound" p.

What actually happens to the air is surely more a branch of acoustic phonetics in so far as air molecules are made to vibrate either periodically or randomly and resonances in the oral and nasal cavities are employed to produce speech sounds. Indeed, none of the basic concepts of acoustic phonetics which make exploration of the German sound system meaningful are introduced. My view is that acoustic phonetics would not be "important to anyone interested in the electronic production of music" p.

Neither have I been able to find any mention of the basic fact that speech is a continuum, and I wonder how anyone can explore the German sound system effectively without being aware of this. For instance, the ability of native speakers to segment this continuum continues to fascinate me, but one cannot being to understand the process without knowing something about the description of speech sounds in physical i. Incidentally, this would have been a better way of introducing acoustic phonetics than to say it has a "different focus, concentrating on the pitch, amplitude and duration of sounds.

As a student, I would be at a loss to know how to discover the phonemes of German from the guidance given in this book, as there is no introduction to commutation, and would be even less well equipped to explore the status of the phoneme as essentially a mental entity, although some more helpful comments on auditory phonetics might have got me started. This section too has its share of errors, too many to go into them all in detail.

One example is Figure 4. Alternatives are given for some labels, but not others some appear in the text.