Grimm Language

Grammar, Gender and Genuineness in the Fairy Tales

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<i>Grimm Language</i> addresses a number of issues in the Grimms’ fairy tales from a (Germanic) linguist’s point of view. In sections dealing with the Grimms’ use of regional dialect material, various grammatical constructions, and specific nouns and adjectives in their <i>Children’s and Household Tales</i>, the author argues that the Grimms were consciously or unconsciously following a number of objectives. These included reinforcing the overall Germanic impression of the tales (though we now know that many of them had French inspiration), striking the right balance between archaic and colloquial language to arrive at an ideal narrative style for what was arguably a new genre, and promoting or at least reflecting stereotypes concerning the proper roles for boys and girls. The book will be of interest not only to those interested in fairy tales, and the Grimms’ in particular, but also more generally to those interested in the intersection between linguistics and literary scholarship.

Subjects: German literature & literary studies; Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; Historical linguistics; Theoretical literature & literary studies; Syntax; Germanic linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Stanford University

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