Exploring the German Language
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If we want to understand how German speakers think about themselves and the world in which they live, then a useful place to begin is by looking at the language they use. This fully revised and updated edition provides a systematic approach to the study of the German language and an introduction to the social aspects of the language, including its dialects, its history and the uses of the language today. No previous knowledge of linguistics is assumed, and each chapter is accompanied by a series of practical exercises. This edition includes a brand new section on gender, purism and German unification, fresh examples for analysis and an updated chapter on the geography of Germany today. The book will help students not only to find new ways of exploring the German language, but also of thinking and talking about German-speaking cultures.
vocabulary – it was also the main vehicle for the dissemination of Nazi propaganda. In this respect, the manipulation of the written language in newspapers was significant, although the role of the spoken word was probably more influential. Thus, the National Socialists were able to convey their emotionally charged rhetoric not only to live audiences at political rallies, but also to the wider population via radio and film. But in spite of all that can be said about the role of German during this
to signify the social inequalities between women and men, and how language has been said to discriminate against women. This had led to changes in language usage among some speakers as a symbol of resistance to the male-dominant status quo. We will firstly review language usage to find out how language has been claimed to exclude women, and secondly examine the measures that have been implemented to overcome this problem. As women’s roles in society have changed, we would expect this to lead to a
meaning as a result. A typical pronunciation error, therefore, is to replace this German sound with one which does exist in English, for example, R / / as in ‘sugar’ (which is sometimes perceived to be the ‘nearest’ sound to /c¸/). The sounds of German R However, both /c¸/ and / / are phonemes of German. This means that they contrast in a way which leads to minimal pairs such as: mich (me) and misch! (mix!). To a non-native learner of German, the difference between these two sounds may seem
function with respect to verbs that adjectives have vis-a`-vis nouns. Another function of adverbs is to qualify adjectives, for example, sie ist sehr reich or ‘she is very rich’. Finally, adverbs do not only refer to individual verbs and nouns. In some cases, they apply to whole sentences. For example: Heute fahre ich nach Hause. Sie hat nie Zeit. Today I’m going home. She never has time. These kinds of adverbs are known as sentence adverbs. Prepositions Prepositions are words which accompany
long before we can write. When we learn a foreign language as adults, however, things are rather different. As with our first language, there is an extent to which we can rely on our implicit sense of what is right and wrong. But beyond a certain point, it becomes useful to develop a more explicit awareness of the ways in which syntax works. One reason for doing this is so that we can appreciate some of the more subtle meanings which are expressed by different types of word order. Consider, for