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Language description, prescription and usage in seventeenth-century German

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Abstract

This chapter examines the relationship between language prescription and language use in seventeenth-century German, reporting on a corpus investigation of the influence (or otherwise) of the leading grammarian Justus Georg Schottelius (1612&#8211;1676) on language usage. Drawing on a variety of corpora &#8211; a specially compiled corpus of writings by so-called <i>Sprachhelden</i> and <i>Sprachverderber</i> (cf. Jones 2000), the Bonn Early New High German corpus and the newly available GerManC corpus &#8211; the study finds only very limited, but still noteworthy, evidence of influence, including possible evidence of diffusion first to elite writers, then to wider usage.

References

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