Meissen or Vienna? – A framesemantic approach to the historical language standardization discourse in the 18th century.
2022-04-14, 09:30–10:00 (Europe/Vienna), Room 4

The 18th century was marked by the dispute among scholars which German dialect landscapes should serve as models for the development of Hochdeutsch. In addition to the Upper Saxon variety, which was often mentioned as a prestige variety, also the so called ‘Wiener Kanzleisprache’ played an important role in the development of a superior German written language.
The aim of my contribution is to reconstruct the historical concept Hochdeutsch by using a framesemantic approach. On the basis of a text corpus that includes 127 grammars from the 16th to the 18th century, both an individual text analysis of the prefaces and a collocation analysis of the full text are carried out. Therefore, I reconstruct explicit predications (so called ‘fillers’ (Ziem 2014:243)) of the reference object Hochdeutsch and then derive the predication potential (so called “slots” (Ziem 2014:243)) of the historical frame Hochdeutsch. In this context I also include the results of former studies on the classification of the historical discourse of language attitudes towards German (e.g. Faulstich 2008, Josten 1976, Scharloth 2005).
First analyses show that the historical grammars with regard to the frame evoking element Hochdeutsch mainly contain fillers that occupy the slots SPACE, PERSON, STYLE, PRODUCT and TIME. Here the superordinate frame Hochdeutsch inherits its predication potential (slots) to the subordinate frames, e.g. the subframes Meissenisch or Oberdeutsch.


Faulstich, Katja (2008): Konzepte des Hochdeutschen. Der Sprachnormierungsdiskurs im 18. Jahrhundert. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter.

Josten, Dirk (1976): Sprachvorbild und Sprachnorm im Urteil des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts. Bern/Frankfurt a.M.: Lang.

Leweling, Beate (2005): Reichtum, Reinigkeit und Glanz – Sprachkritische Konzeptionen in der Sprachreflexion des 18. Jahrhunderts. Ein Beitrag zur Sprachbewusstseinsgeschichte. Frankfurt am Main u. a.: Lang.

Scharloth, Joachim (2005): Sprachnormen und Mentalitäten. Sprachbewusstseinsgeschichte in Deutschland im Zeitraum von 1766 bis 1785. Reprint 2011. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter (Reihe Germanistische Linguistik, 255).

Ziem, Alexander (2014): Frames of Understanding in Text and Discourse. Theoretical foundations and descriptive applications. Amsterdam/Phladelphia: Benjamins.