The role of eighteenth-century newspapers in the disappearance of Upper German variants in Austria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

74 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper investigates what role 18th-century newspapers played in the disappearance of e-apocope in Austria. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of this Upper German feature in two contexts (the e-apocope in plural nouns and singular dative forms) trace diachronic variation in the Wienerisches Diarium/Wiener Zeitung in order to evaluate the role that newspapers played in the selection and dissemination of language norms. The results show that this newspaper disseminated the final -e in plural forms before it was prescribed by contemporary 18th-century grammarians active in Austria, indicating that newspapers – among other texts written by the educated classes – contributed to the selection as well as dissemination of particular variants. The use of dative -e was, however, less consistent, with a qualitative analysis revealing preferences by individual correspondents. This challenges current scholarly assumptions on the homogeneity of language practice within the text type newspaper. Instead, this article argues that historical newspapers have to be seen as a compilation of texts, rather than homogeneous texts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20170015
JournalJournal of Historical Sociolinguistics
Volume5
Issue number1
Early online date4 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • language standardisation
  • variation
  • German
  • newspapers
  • e-apocope

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The role of eighteenth-century newspapers in the disappearance of Upper German variants in Austria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this