6AAGB102 Structure and Usage of Contemporary German: Sociolinguistic and grammatical variation
Dr Del Barrett
One three-hour examination (100%)
One two-hour class weekly
This module examines structural and sociolinguistic variation in current-day German. On the structural side, we investigate some selected grammatical properties of contemporary German and the treatment these have received in linguistic theory. Examples of topics covered in recent years include: the semantic, morphological, syntactic and pragmatic factors which affect word order in German; modality, including modal verbs and modal particles; properties of the verb; complements and adjuncts; and tense and Aktionsart.
In the second strand, we consider how structural properties of the German language (syntactic, morphological, phonological, lexical) may vary along geographical and social dimensions. Students will therefore learn about the meaning of terms like “language”, “dialect”, “standard” and “norm” and be introduced to some of the basic notions involved in studying language variation.
As this is a level 6 module, students will be expected to follow up the references given in the textbooks and to consult a range of different printed and online grammars. By the end of the course, students should be able to:
Barbour, S. & P. Stevenson. 1990. Variation in German. A Critical Approach to German Sociolinguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Clyne, M. 1984. Language and society in the German-speaking countries. Cambridge: CUP. [Chapter 1]
Clyne, M. 1995. The German Language in a changing Europe. Cambridge: CUP. [Chapter 2]
Duden Grammatik (Band 4)
Engel, U. 1988. Deutsche Grammatik. Heidelberg: Julius Groos Verlag.
Fox, A. 2005. The Structure of German. Oxford: Clarendon.
Helbig, G. & J. Buscha. 1981. Deutsche Grammatik. Ein Handbuch für den Ausländerunterricht. Langenscheidt.
Russ, Charles V. J. 1994. The German language today: a linguistic introduction. London: Routledge.