Monday, September 23, 2013

Sprachatlas update

Our contributor Joe had posted earlier about the lengths that the UW Libraries were going to to restore our copy of the amazing Deutscher Sprachatlas* (here).  They're now holding a Friends of the Library event to celebrate its reintegration into the collection:
Wednesday, October 9, 2013, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Rathskeller of the Memorial Union, 800 Langdon Street, to celebrate the preservation of this important work. The evening will feature music, refreshments, brief remarks, and the atlas itself. Further information is available in this newsletter’s Calendar of Events and on the Friends’ website (
Even as a pretty serious book lover, I'm seriously impressed by the work they've done and the joy about the preservation of the book.

If you want to read more, check out the latest Friends newsletter, here, pp. 8-10.

*German has adjective agreement that varies by the structure of the noun phrase. In German, for a masculine singular in the nominative, you'd have just -e after the definite article but the -er after an indefinite or no article. It seems like using such phrases in English often means keeping the 'strong' ending (here the -er). There's got to be some implication for theories of codeswitching in here.


Jonathon Owen said...

I wondered about German declensions when I edited a book that contained a lot of German names and terms. I remember a reference to "the Deutscher" something or other and wondered if it should be "the Deutsche" instead, because it followed an article. Of course, the article doesn't decline in English, so I figured it was probably better to leave it.

Joe said...

Yes, this always drives me crazy. It feels wrong to have the strong ending after a determiner but the weak is no better. My sense is that this is just not a place for a switch ... I can talk about 'the restoration of der deutsche Sprachatlas' but not 'the restoration of the deutsche(r) Sprachatlas.