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B04 Register emergence and register change in Germanic

Karin Donhauser, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik (IdSL)
Muriel Norde, Nordeuropa-Institut (NI)
Lars Erik Zeige, Institut für deutsche Sprache und Linguistik (IdSL)

Summary

The main aim of this project is to study the emergence of registers in two early Germanic languages (German and Swedish) and to explore register change over time. The study will initially concentrate on individual authors with a comparatively wide range of text production, Notker III of St. Gallen for Old High German and Birgitta of Sweden for Old Swedish. This strict demarcation of sources will allow the study of the emergence of vernacular written registers twice under slightly differing conditions. Three research questions will be addressed: (i) How do new registers emerge in the history of German and Swedish? (ii) How do these newly established registers change over time, and, in particular, do they converge or diverge? (iii) How do register genesis and change relate to a shift of medium, from orally transmitted texts to texts written in the Roman alphabet, and in what ways are they dependent or independent of Latin transmission?