Constraints on Spelling Changes
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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Between the 15th and 17th centuries, German spelling underwent essential changes. Although most writers and typesetters were well acquainted with the high degree of formalization of Latin grammar and orthography, the changes were not brought about by principles planned ex ante or by application of spelling rules. Instead, these innovations spread through the lexicon, affecting the paradigms one by one in a continuous process of diffusion. The spelling changes occurred, as it were, behind the backs of the writers, who were apparently unwilling or unable to draw general rules from individual cases. But even without an existing norm-consciousness, innovations may in the end lead to rules and norms.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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