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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 29, 2009

Zwischen Wort und Zeichen. Die graphische Markierung suprasegmentaler Einheiten in der Frühen Neuzeit

Anja Voeste
From the journal


Variation is an essential feature of Early New High German orthography. I attribute this phenomenon to the exhortation to pursue stylistic diversification, a striving for which rhetoricians like Erasmus expressed support. The segmentation and transformation of written words in the 16th century shows that variation led to conditions favorable for an analysis that contributed to the establishment of new—morphological and syllabic—principles for spelling words. Examples such as <darvon> (instead of <daruon>) and <bisher> (instead of <biſher>) demonstrate morphological segmentation of the written word form. Distinctive syllabic features in historically unfounded spellings like <mehr> and <Jhar> call attention to a syllabic analysis. Both new spelling principles document a process of turning away from the segmental-phonographic practice that had prevailed prior to that time. These new spellings refer to a fundamental change in how the written word was perceived.

Adresse der Verfasserin: Prof. Dr. Anja Voeste, Institut für Germanistik, Historische Sprachwissenschaft, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10 B, D-35394 Gießen. E-Mail:

Online erschienen: 2009-07-29
Erschienen im Druck: 2009-July