German, a linguistic history to 1945 by
Location: Mugar Memorial Library Stacks (PF3075 .W43 1985 )
Publication Date: 1986
The first history of the German language to bridge the gap between the introductory handbook level and the more specialized journal articles, this volume offers students and teachers a treatment of the subject that is up to date, comprehensive, and stimulating. After outlining problems of language change and reviewing various theoretical approaches--including structuralist, generative, and sociolinguistic theories--Wells integrates internal and external linguistic history through the novel technique of perspective shift, using a different level of language to illustrate each period up to the 17th century. The author also discusses sociolinguistic developments in later medieval German, and provides a synthesis of recent material of the modern period that is not easily available.