[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] -Political "Standardized" Language-

Otto otto at schienke.com
Wed Apr 26 07:16:19 PDT 2006

Morning Everyone,

On German dialect, excuse me, eine ganze haufen dialecten!
In German it is referred to as "Mundart", that is, "Mouth Art". Ahhh!  
Music of the tongue.
I am trying to complete Nell's final answer and keep reading the  
incoming e-letters from the SGGEE ListServ. Previously I'd  
contributed a bit on so-called "Hoch Deutsch" yet sorting around in  
the database is like finding my other sock the washing machine ate or  
was stolen by the little fella that turns off the refrigerator light  
when I close its door.

The following are basic thoughts and comments.(like everyone else)  
Linguists cannot agree so I have little to lose.
Douglas Harper's definition of linguist:
1588, "a master of language, one who uses his tongue freely," from L.  
lingua "language, tongue" (see lingual). Meaning "a student of  
language" first attested 1641. Linguistics "the science of languages"  
is from 1847. The use of linguistic to mean "of or pertaining to  
language or languages" is "hardly justifiable etymologically,"  
according to OED, but "has arisen because lingual suggests irrelevant  
associations."  If you think the American English, Canadian English  
and British English are the same language, ask a linguist and wait  
for the reply.

All tongues (notice I use the word 'tongues'-tongue art) are governed  
by a 1. sound system and 2. a syntax. (use google to verify)
'Almost' all language systems have -1.  spoken forms and -2. written  
forms. Spoken forms far exceed the written forms. Some linguists  
claim each person speaks his own dialect because no two are alike.

Referring to "Hoch Deutsch" as a superior form is a form of snobbery.  
I refer to it as "hilly Hessian" because of the geographical location  
it was taken from. The wealthy who could afford education spoke more  
of it because they learned the sound system and syntax of it. Germans  
did not have a written language until the eight century.  A written  
language is not a tongue art. It is a set of rules governing  
alphabetical characters which are metaphor for sound. Written  
language is but a mental construct.

Spoken language is real. Written language is a construct and  
imagined. Think on it. All words are real.
I still remember Pop's words as I quietly investigated something off- 
limits when a kid, "Junge. . Wat makst?"

It is about words. A huge dictionary contains the world of mankind.  
No more, no less. We must know how to set those words together.    
'Der Alte Fritz', Fred the Great, in the mid-seventeen hundreds spoke  
French at home. It was not superior, his countrymen, the rag-tag  
organized German states, fiefdoms, estates, and villages spoke upward  
of 1800 dialects. He saw need to STANDARDIZE the German language  
base. He also saw need for mandatory education of the commoner and  
freedom of religious belief for all.

There are two forms of German:
The spoken German consisting of many, many dialects. (a moderate  
estimate today =250?)
The written German, a political, standardized form of German governed  
by a fixed sound system and syntax, a language we learn if we pay  
attention in school. "Hoch Deutsch" is simply the political  
standardized form of German introduced to create a unity of speech  
and communication in the late seventeen hundreds by Fritz's  
successor. The hilly area form of German was selected because the  
common man had and read Luther's (Junker Jorg) version of the bible.  
Schooling to a large part was in the hands of religion.

Now ask yourself, "Is Germany's Hoch Deutsch, the political,  
standardized language of the nation taught in schools, the same as  
Austria's political standardized German? The same as Switzerland's  
political standardized German? Remember, each language base conforms  
to a sound system and syntax.

To sum up. We need to visualize spoken German language graphically.  
We will do it with a bicycle ride. We will start in the South and  
coast to the seashore in the North. Sure beats pedaling! Now we must  
pedal our way back South.  If we ride the shore East and West, all  
flatland, Platt, we hear many assorted dialects (Platt Deutsch/ 
Flatland German) of spoken German.  Enough, we must pedal South  
uphill.  We enter foothills, the higher (Hoch)than the flatland area.  
The dialects are no longer Platt/Flat but Hoch Deutsch.  We now work  
up a sweat pedaling up into the mountainous areas, looking over  
(Über) the North. The dialects are Über Duetsch or mountainous area  
The following two URLS are worth the trip.


The Germans as a political entity hopefully write a standardized form  
of German. I am still struggling with English, attempting to get the  
words rite   All written language (tongue in cheek) is politically  
. . .  Otto

                      " The Zen moment..." wk. of March 5, 2006
                         "Remove what isn't... What is remains."

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