Issue 1/2011  -  ISSN 1470-9570


Einleitung zum Themenschwerpunkt in GFL 01/11:
Alltagssprache und Deutsch als Fremdsprache.

Melani Schröter, Reading & Nils Langer, Bristol (pages 1-13)

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Aapkatt, Ramfotzn, Zierlabbe. What does the Schimpfwörterbuch tell us about the role of swearing in modern German?

Geraldine Horan, London (pages 14-39)

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Research into the topic of swearing in modern German reveals contradictory attitudes and opinions. Swearing, in the sense of insulting another or swearing at oneself, is regarded as a taboo utterance, and is widely condemned for being aggressive, a sign of low social standing, and of poor and inappropriate language use. Yet swearing is a common feature of everyday language and there are contexts in which certain speakers of a particular status use swearing spontaneously, or strategically, and this is positively connoted. This would suggest a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of swearing in the speech community, which is essential in acquiring communicative competence in the language The analysis in this article focuses on popular attitudes to swearing, both folk linguistic and social, and on the role of the Schimpfwörterbuch. There are a large number of swearing dictionaries in German, the majority of which are dialect swearing dictionaries. Drawing on theories of language, status and power by Bourdieu (1991, 2010), and linguistic research conducted by Andersson & Trudgill (1990), McEnery (2006), Shandler (2006), and Reershemius (2009), this article will explore the relationship between swearing and power in modern German, and will discuss to what extent the existence of swearing dictionaries reveals not only an interest and delight in taboo language, but also a desire to establish a regional or group identity through reference to such publications.

Wotcher, Mate! Wie geht’s, Liebchen? Terms of greeting in English and German.

John Partridge, Canterbury (pages 40-52)

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This paper establishes that there is a general lack of casual terms of address in German as compared to English, and finds that this is not so much due to lexical gaps in German, although this appears to be partly true, as to different sincerity conditions for the use of such terms in the two languages, particularly phatic communion in English. Exponents of such function are examined, as is the role of the various second person vocative pronominal forms in German, and speculations are raised as to the nature of friendship and acquaintance and their linguistic reflexes in the two languages.

Everyday Language in the Spotlight: The Decline of the Genitive Case.

Alan K. Scott, Nottingham (pages 53-70)

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This paper examines the position of the genitive case in present-day German, focusing on the relationship between language users’ perceptions of the genitive (as portrayed in lay linguistic work), their actual use of the genitive, and the long-term diachronic developments that the genitive is undergoing. Two aspects of the genitive – possession marking and its use as the case governed by some prepositions – are exemplified with data from everyday language. It is concluded that the situation, commonly perceived as a simple decline of the genitive, involves a more complex rearrangement of possession marking and case selection in German.

Demonstrative vs. personal and zero pronouns in spoken German.

Regina Weinert, Sheffield (pages 71-98)

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In a range of spoken genres, German demonstratives der, die etc. and personal pronouns er, sie etc. are equally frequent, in some demonstratives even dominate. In terms of function, the two pronoun classes appear to complement each other. While some features of demonstratives are associated with a foregrounding function, in other cases demonstratives are virtually or close to being the default pronoun. This paper provides evidence that demonstrative pronouns are in some contexts aligned with zero pronouns in spoken German, apparently violating models of referent accessibility. This aspect confirms that demonstratives are not necessarily focusing in spoken German, rather they contribute to reference and discourse cohesion. They have also been shown to signal involvement and affect. Despite the central role that German demonstrative pronouns play as cohesive and social devices in everyday interactions, they tend to receive only marginal attention in pedagogical materials. It is hoped that the growing body of corpus-based analyses will help to promote a shift towards greater recognition of the realities of spoken language.

Everyday academic language in German historiography.

Peter Skrandies, London (pages 99-123)

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The present article investigates the use of everyday academic language in German history writing. The starting point is a brief discussion of the two conceptual tools used in this study: alltägliche Wissenschaftssprache and metadiscourse. The data for an empirical and contextual analysis of everyday academic language have been extracted from a parallel corpus of German history writing. The analysis confirms that the most frequent patterns found in historiographic metadiscourse belong to the category of everyday academic language. It is suggested that one meaningful way of categorizing this vocabulary consists of linking it to a number of acts and processes characteristic of academic writing in general and of history writing in particular, namely the organization of knowledge in textual formats, the accommodation and refutation of existing knowledge claims and the self-reflective identification of cognitive and communicative processes involved in the creation of (historical) knowledge.

Der öffentliche Diskurs der Wirtschaftkrise in Zeitungstexten.

Petra Storjohann, Mannheim (pages 124-147)

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Ausdrücke wie Globalisierung und Wirtschaftskrise sind Teil unserer öffentlichen Alltagssprache. Sie stehen für politische und soziokulturell brisante Debatten und ihre semantische Analyse zeigt den engen Zusammenhang zwischen Sprache und Gesellschaft. Der alltägliche Gebrauch solcher Ausdrücke etabliert gemeingesellschaft-liche Diskurse, die mit korpuslinguistischen Verfahren analysierbar sind. In diesem Beitrag wird der Diskurs der Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise in der öffentlichen Sprache von Zeitungstexten betrachtet. Zentrales Diskursobjekt ist der lexikalische Ausdruck Wirtschaftskrise selbst. Die Ermittlung relevanter Kontextbeziehungen, wie sie in Kollokationen vorhanden sind, und regelhafter Verwendungsmuster spielt für seine Beschreibung die wichtigste Rolle, da diese Indikatoren zum einen typische Themati-sierungen sind und zum anderen Lexikalisierungen mit Bewertungspotenzial darstellen. Abschließend erfolgt eine kurze kritische Betrachtung der Dokumentation diskurs-relevanter Ausdrücke in deutschen Wörterbüchern der Gegenwartssprache.



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