2013-10-21 19:48:21 简报 hamburger
How old is Standard Average European really?
The history of German as a test case
主讲人： Horst Simon先生
It seems to be clear from typological studies — both qualitative and quantitative ones — that some North-Western European languages (German, Dutch, Frisian, French) stick out as possessing a number of typologically unusual features: the Standard Average European sprachbund.
What is unclear, however, is the diachronic scenario that led to this convergence. Candidates include: language contact in the early medieval Migration Period shared Latin influence in the Middle Ages and/or Renaissance, Early Modern standardization processes. None of these hypotheses has been supported by a significant amount of empirical historical data.
In my paper, I am going to test the SAE features suggested in the literature against the historical facts of German. In particular, I set up a SAE-typological profile of (Old and) Middle High German. In order to check the standardization hypothesis, I will also take into account a contemporary dialect, Bavarian, and a related West-Germanic language with an entirely different standardization history, Afrikaans.
It will turn out that most SAE features are considerably older than standardization in German.