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German: A Linguistic Introduction 1 Blg Edition

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0521618038
ISBN-10: 0521618037
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'I would definitely buy this book and also use it in class. Perfect for a course on the structure of German.' Susi Wurmbrand, University of Connecticut

'... there is much superb material here ... Anyone who teaches German linguistics, or is just interested in the linguistic structure of German, should read this book.' Modern Language Review

Book Description

An introduction to standard German that covers not only the structure (syntax, morphology) of the language, plus its sounds (phonology, phonetics), but also the regional varieties and sociolinguistics of the language. It is an essential learning tool for undergraduate and graduate students in German and linguistics.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 Blg edition (May 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521618037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521618038
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Sarah M. B. Fagan's GERMAN: A Linguistic Introduction is an introduction to a number of facets of the German language for students with a linguistics background. She covers phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, the history of the language, regional variation and several issues of sociolinguistics.

Fagan's target audience will immediately find practical and useful information here, especially in the chapter on phonology. Here Fagan goes real deep into allophonic variation, describing the language's pronunciation in far greater detail than any textbook. Each rule is represented in specialist notation. Whenever there are different theories on phonological rules, Fagan mentions them.

The chapter on morphology is the least important chapter here, I think, offering little beyond any detailed German reference grammar. The history of the language begins from Proto-Indo-European, although information on the pre-Old High German stages is brief and drawn solely from Fortson's textbook of Indo-European linguistics. It picks up with the Old High German stage, however, and for me this chapter clarified some questions I had about medieval texts and how they compare to modern German. The chapter on regional variation goes not only into the standard speech of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but also discusses dialectal zones within Germany and represents isoglosses on a map.

The chapter on sociolingustics is dominated by descriptions of the speech of youth and of immigrant labourers. The downside of Fagan's book is the datedness of the references in this chapter. Although published in 2009, it draws almost solely on references from the 1990s.
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