The influence of the literary language on the popular language in the Diocese of Basel in the 15th century, as exemplified in the Chronicles of Bruglinger and Appenwiler

Gardner, William R. W (1956) The influence of the literary language on the popular language in the Diocese of Basel in the 15th century, as exemplified in the Chronicles of Bruglinger and Appenwiler. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The period between the end of the Dichtersprache and the decisive development of Meissnisch in Luther's day has been somewhat neglected by historians of the German language. It would be interesting to know more about the development of Kanzleisprachen and the relationship between them and the speech of more influential cultural and political circles. This thesis aims to shed some light on this problem by comparing two chronicles written in Basel in the mid-15th century, and assessing the influence of the literary language on them. Although they have no connection with the language of the Meissen Chancery from which the nhd. Schriftsprache developed, they may suggest general considerations applicable to the relationship of literary and popular language. The chronicles chosen for this study are historical records of the almost continual warfare in which Basel was engaged in the years following the Battle of St. Jacob in 1444. Hans Bruglinger, the author of the first, was a native of Basel, and a prominent figure both in the Bakers' Guild and in the Basel City Council. Erhart von Appenwiler, whose chronicle covers a longer period, came from Colmar in Alsace, but spent the greater part of his life in Basel, where he was chaplain in the Cathedral. Both chronicles were written privately, i.e. outside the chanceries, and they offer a fair guide to popular usage at the time. In the study, phonology, morphology and syntax have been treated in turn, and the literary norm with which comparison has been made is the mhd. Dichtersprache. It is pointed out in the Introduction that, if allowance is made for regional, dialectal elements which intrude, and for changes which took place in literary usage in the intervening period, the language in use in the Basel chanceries, or indeed in other chanceries in Upper Germany, closely resembles the Dichtersprache. Literary influence is most clearly to be seen in vowels and consonants. While dialect forms predominate throughout both chronicles, few occur for which corresponding literary forms are not occasionally to be found. Both chroniclers write Alem. o for mhd. a as rule, but forms with a, giving evidence of literary influence, do occur occasionally, e;g. nach, rat, gnaden, graff etc. alongside more usual noch, rot, gnoden, groff etc. Literary influence may be seen in occasional instances of mhd. i after w in words such as wissen, gewinnen, but here again the Alem. form u (u) is more frequent, e.g. wuisen, gewunnen etc. in the case of mhd. Ziehen, Bruglinger writes the dialect form zuchen as a rule, and the literary form appears only once in his chronicle. The change is characteristic of Alsatian in words such as helig, resig (for mhd. heilig, reisig), and these dialect forms predominate in Appenwiler's chronicle. Epithesis of t is frequent after n in both chronicles, in accordance with the Alemannic dialect. Occasional forms without t, such as zwischen, alsamen etc. point to literary influence. One of the most consistent features of Appenwiler's chronicle is the omission of final -t after f (ff), in accordance with his native Alsatian dialect, e.g. stiff, botschaff etc. Yet even here literary influence is apparent in occasional forms showing final -t. Dialect influence is pronounced in both chronicles in the case of medial n, which is frequently dropped before dentals and gutturals in Alemannic, e.g. farsperg (for Farnsberg), beliken (for Bellingen) etc. Yet in several instances n is written in accordance with literary usage. Similar evidence of literary influence is found in the case of accidence.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: German literature, Linguistics
Date of Award: 1956
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1956-72513
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 11:06

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