LINGUIST List 25.4323

Thu Oct 30 2014

Books: Austrian Standard German: Pfrehm

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <>

Date: 30-Oct-2014
From: Ulrich Lueders <>
Subject: Austrian Standard German: Pfrehm
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Title: Austrian Standard German
Subtitle: Biography of a National Variety of German
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in German Linguistics 29
Published: 2014
Publisher: Lincom GmbH

Book URL:

Author: James Pfrehm
Paperback: ISBN: 9783862885886 Pages: 156 Price: Europe EURO 70.20

In today’s academic circles, the idea has become widely accepted that each nation within the greater German-speaking geographic area presides over its own standard variety of the German Language: German Standard German (GSG) in Germany; Swiss Standard German (SSG) in Switzerland; Luxembourgian Standard German (LSG) in Luxembourg; and Austrian Standard German (ASG) in Austria, to name the most salient national varieties. Indeed, this linguistic reality lies at the heart of the pluricentricity argument. For ASG in particular, the path to national variety recognition was centuries in the making, having come to fruition within the last few decades.

In this Biography of a National Variety of German we will address key questions pertaining to the historical emergence of the Austrian national variety. Among others, we will consider: At what point in the history of the German language was the notion of an Austrian national variety of German conceived of; specifically, when were its forms and functions shaped, accepted as a sociolinguistic reality, and implemented? Which individuals contributed to the shaping, acceptance, and/or implementation of ASG? And finally, which historical contexts played a role?

Our exploration will unfold in six chapters. Chapter one, “Describing Austrian Standard German,” is a brief overview of the most salient structural linguistic forms of ASG: its vocabulary, phonology, morphology, and syntax. Chapter two, “From the Great Migration to the Doorstep of Enlightenment and the Modern Era,” considers the earlier history of the German language, as an assemblage of regional dialects in the pre-Modern era, up through the emergence of an inchoate standard variety within the Holy Roman Empire under the Habsburgs. Chapter three, “Enlightenment and Language Standardization,” focuses on the eighteenth century as it examines the first systematic efforts to supra-regionally normalize the German language. The discussion in chapter four centers on key 19th-century sociopolitical and sociolinguistic developments within the greater German-speaking areas of Europe. Chapter five will bring us into the 20th-century, where we will concern ourselves with a number of sociopolitical circumstances and individuals that played a role in pan-Germanic and Austrian nationalistic sentiments, and which were crucial for the ideological and structural elaboration of ASG. Finally, we end our biography of the Austrian national variety with a look at the contemporary status quo of the national standard, with a particular eye to Austria’s role in the socioeconomic integration of Europe, via the European Union.

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
                            Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): German (deu)

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics)
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cascadilla Press
Classiques Garnier
De Gruyter Mouton
Edinburgh University Press
Elsevier Ltd
Equinox Publishing Ltd
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Georgetown University Press
John Benjamins
Lincom GmbH
MIT Press
Multilingual Matters
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG
Oxford University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Peter Lang AG
Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
University of Toronto Press

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
International Pragmatics Assoc.
Linguistic Association of Finland
Morgan & Claypool Publishers
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Seoul National University
SIL International Publications
Universitat Jaume I
University of Nebraska Press
Utrecht institute of Linguistics

Page Updated: 30-Oct-2014