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Oxford University Press
06 September 2018
This book provides a detailed but accessible introduction to the development of the German language from the earliest reconstructable prehistory to the present day. Joe Salmons explores a range of topics in the history of the language, offering answers to questions such as: How did German come to have so many different dialects and close linguistic cousins like Dutch and Plattdeutsch? Why does German have 'umlaut' vowels and why do they play so many different roles in the grammar? Why are noun plurals so complicated? Are dialects dying out today? Does English, with all the words it loans to German, pose a threat to the language? This second edition has been extensively expanded and revised to include extended coverage of syntactic and pragmatic change throughout, expanded discussion of sociolinguistic aspects, language variation, and language contact, and more on the position of German in the Germanic family. The book is supported by a companion website and is suitable for language learners and teachers and students of linguistics, from undergraduate level upwards. The new edition also includes more detailed background information to make it more accessible for beginners.
By:   Joseph Salmons (Lester W. J. 'Smoky' Seifert Professor of Linguistics Lester W. J. 'Smoky' Seifert Professor of Linguistics University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   2nd Revised edition
Dimensions:   Height: 247mm,  Width: 174mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   832g
ISBN:   9780198723028
ISBN 10:   0198723024
Pages:   480
Publication Date:   06 September 2018
Audience:   College/higher education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
1: Introduction: aims and scope 2: The depths of prehistory: up to Indo-European 3: The dawn of history: Germanic up to the earliest direct attestation 4: From Germanic to Old High German: early textual evidence 5: Middle High German: the High Middle Ages 6: Early New High German: richer structural evidence and socio-historical context 7: New High German: recent and ongoing change 8: Conclusion: interpreting the significance of the past for us References

Joseph Salmons is the Lester W. J. Smoky Seifert Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison., where he is also co-founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures. His work focuses on language change in the context of linguistic theory, especially speech sounds. He serves as editor of Diachronica: International Journal for Historical Linguistics and his main publications include The Oxford Handbook of Historical Phonology (co-edited with Patrick Honeybone; OUP, 2015) and Germanic Heritage Languages in North America: Acquisition, Attrition, and Change (co-edited with Janne Bondi Johannessen; Benjamins, 2015).

Reviews for A History of German: What the Past Reveals about Today's Language

Review from previous edition Joseph Salmons has produced a brilliant and challenging book that is already spurring fruitful discussion and collaboration. This project will give students a real sense of our dynamic field, with its lively debates and intriguing open questions. For many students, Salmonss book and website will be their first taste of Germanic historical linguistics and perhaps their first exposure to linguistics of any kind. It will not be long before many young colleagues start telling us that what first turned them on to the serious study of language was A History of German. * David Fertig. Language, 07/07/14 * an insightful, informative, and inspiring work of scholarship ... A History of German is a major contribution to the fields of historical Germanic linguistics and historical linguistics in general, and it will certainly be useful to readers for many years to come. * John D. Sundquist, Journal of Germanic Linguistics 05/06/15 * The book had its origin in material prepared for university courses, and the authors enthusiasm for the subject, his estimable command of current research, and his desire to communicate it to students are evident throughout. * Martin Durrell, The Modern Language Review 16/04/2014 * I strongly recommend this book to everybody interested in learning and/or teaching the history of German. * Barbara Schlucker, Morphology 18/09/13 * a most welcome addition to the existing literature on the history of the German language ... a joy to read ... an excellent volume. * Tonya Kim Dewey, Beitraege zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur 12/06/15 *

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