“Das Lied der Deutschen:” A Biography of the German Language

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Via Jim Diedrick, the Economist has a review of a new book on how the German language has developed and evolved over time.

MOST people regard grammar books and dictionaries as a codified set of rules prescribing dos and don’ts. For professional scholars of language, though, they are more like history books. Languages are constantly in flux, but it takes a rather long view to show just what a contingent and transitory thing a language can be at any point in time. Ruth Sanders, a professor of German Studies at Miami University in Ohio, takes just such a view in her new book, telling the millennia-long story of German and how it got that way.

Read the entire article here.

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