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Havinga, Anna Dorothea

Invisibilising Austrian German

On the effect of linguistic prescriptions and educational reforms on writing practices in 18th-century Austria

Series:Lingua Historica Germanica 18

    99,95 € / $114.99 / £91.00*

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    Publication Date:
    January 2018
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    Aims and Scope

    This book provides an insight into the standardisation process of German in eighteenth-century Austria. It describes how norms prescribed by grammarians were actually implemented via a school reform carried out by educationalist Johann Ignaz Felbiger on the order of Empress Maria Theresa. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were undertaken of certain Upper German features (e-apocope, the absence of the prefix ge- and the ending -t in past participles, and variants of the verb form sind) in reading primers, issues of the Wienerisches Diarium / Wiener Zeitung and petitionary letters. These reveal how such variants became increasingly 'invisible' in writing. This process of 'invisibilisation', i.e. a process of stigmatization which prevents the use of certain varieties and variants in writing, can be attributed to a number of factors: Empress Maria Theresa's appeal for a language reform, the normative work by eighteenth-century grammarians, the implementation of educational reforms, and the early introduction of East Central German variants in newspaper issues.


    xvi, 256 pages
    59 Tabellen
    Type of Publication:
    language policy, prescriptivism, school reform, invisibilisation
    Linguists, historians, sociologist, researchers of educational sciences

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    Anna D. Havinga, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.

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