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Staking the claims of identity: Purism, linguistics and the media in post-1990 Germany


Spitzmüller, Jürgen (2007). Staking the claims of identity: Purism, linguistics and the media in post-1990 Germany. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 11(2):261-285.

Abstract

The paper examines one of the major metalinguistic debates in post-war Germany: the debate about the influence of English on German, an issue which was raised in the 1990s in the German media and has dominated media discussions on language ever since. The analysis demonstrates that the debate is deeply embedded in current socio-political discourses as well as in long-term discursive traditions concerning, on the one hand, the socio-political changes following German reunification in 1989/90, which involved a revision of the concepts of nation and nationalism, and, on the other, the genesis of the concept of nation, which is closely bound up with the history of the educated bourgeoisie and the process of standardisation as well as linguistic purism. It is argued that the debate on Anglicisms, as is the case in many other metalinguistic debates, cannot be regarded in isolation from the socio-political environment and the context of historical usage within which it is embedded.

The paper examines one of the major metalinguistic debates in post-war Germany: the debate about the influence of English on German, an issue which was raised in the 1990s in the German media and has dominated media discussions on language ever since. The analysis demonstrates that the debate is deeply embedded in current socio-political discourses as well as in long-term discursive traditions concerning, on the one hand, the socio-political changes following German reunification in 1989/90, which involved a revision of the concepts of nation and nationalism, and, on the other, the genesis of the concept of nation, which is closely bound up with the history of the educated bourgeoisie and the process of standardisation as well as linguistic purism. It is argued that the debate on Anglicisms, as is the case in many other metalinguistic debates, cannot be regarded in isolation from the socio-political environment and the context of historical usage within which it is embedded.

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5 citations in Web of Science®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of German Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:430 German & related languages
Uncontrolled Keywords: Language ideologies; anglicisms; purism; language contact; folk linguistics; German
Language:English
Date:April 2007
Deposited On:25 Mar 2010 14:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:36
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1360-6441
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2007.00320.x
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-25183

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