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In: Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik

Abstract

Medieval German literature had a deeper impact on Thomas Mann than is typically assumed. The comparison between Wolfram’s von Eschenbach Parzival and Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain illustrates this influence. Nearly 700 years separate both novels, nevertheless, they show amazing parallels. Especially as their narrators are very much alike. Both appear exposed in their stories, utilise Wolfram’s Bogengleichnis, and are unreliable. In addition, they both reflect on their narrations as literary constructs. While Wolfram’s narrator defends his protagonist Parzival for his misdeeds Mann does not bother to do so for Hans Castorp. The heroes and other characters are comparable, but develop differently. Parzival gains knowledge and his identity, whereas Hans Castorp loses both. Parzival fails his first encounter with the grail. Castorp, in contrast, wins a deep insight into life in his Schneetraum; but forgets it immediately. Castorp is as foolish as Parzival when he begins his journey. He is, however, not a grail-quester although Howard Nemerov concludes this in his 1939 dissertation. Yet, the Magic Mountain seems strongly influenced by Parzival. But while the characters in Parzival seek to help the central protagonist, egoism is predominant in the Magic Mountain, the hero stagnates and fails to successfully finish the hero’s journey.

In: Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik

Abstract

One of our central challenges as medievalists consists of how to respond to the question regarding the relevance of medieval literature and other documents. This article suggests that we can easily draw from medieval heroic literature where ideal and also negative examples of successful/failed leadership are provided. The MHG Nibelungenlied, at least in the first part, illustrates dramatically the consequences of a weak, indecisive, impulsive, and manipulable ruler, whose actions ultimately trigger a whole sequence of hatred, violence, and slaughter. The Old Spanish El Poema de Mío Cid sets out almost at the same point, with the protagonist being exiled because of malignment, but in the course of events, he demonstrates convincingly what makes a true, honorable, admirable, and worthy leader. These two epic poems can serve powerfully as illustrations of failed and successful leadership, and can thus offer significant instructions for modern concerns in politics, business, administration, the church, schools, and universities.

In: Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik

Abstract

This article researches alliterating word-pairs in Wolframs ‘Parzival’. First, all examples from the text are collected and analyzed to elucidate their occurrence in the Old and Middle High German context. It becomes clear which word-pairs have been inherited from Old and (Early) Middle High German, and which were possibly the making of Wolfram himself. In doing so, the inventory of alliterating word-pairs in the early language phases of German is expanded with a few more specimens. We also gain a deeper understanding of their role in the Middle High German courtly novel.

In: Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik

Abstract

The vernacular glosses in the manuscript Trier, Seminarbibliothek 61, are considered to be mainly Old Middle Franconian in the scientific literature. They are, however, mixed with Low German words, that are considered to be Old Saxon. With the help of the verb forms in these glosses this article tries to make probable that at least some of these Low German glosses are more likely to be Old Low Franconian than Old Saxon. At the same time it becomes clear that in the dictionaries the difference between weak ēn- and ōn-verbs in a number of cases is wrong or at least doubtful.

In: Amsterdamer Beiträge zur älteren Germanistik
The Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic Hypotheses
In The Precursors of Proto-Indo-European some of the world’s leading experts in historical linguistics shed new light on two hypotheses about the prehistory of the Indo-European language family, the so-called Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic hypotheses. The Indo-Anatolian hypothesis states that the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European family should be viewed as a sister language of ‘classical’ Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of all the other, non-Anatolian branches. The common ancestor of all Indo-European languages, including Anatolian, can then be called Proto-Indo-Anatolian. The Indo-Uralic hypothesis states that the closest genetic relative of Indo-European is the Uralic language family, and that both derive from a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-Uralic. The book unravels the history of these hypotheses and scrutinizes the evidence for and against them.

Contributors are Stefan H. Bauhaus, Rasmus G. Bjørn, Dag Haug, Petri Kallio, Simona Klemenčič, Alwin Kloekhorst, Frederik Kortlandt, Guus Kroonen, Martin J. Kümmel, Milan Lopuhaä-Zwakenberg, Alexander Lubotsky, Rosemarie Lühr, Michaël Peyrot, Tijmen Pronk, Andrei Sideltsev, Michiel de Vaan, Mikhail Zhivlov.
New Issues in the Study of Language Change
Beyond Grammaticalization and Discourse Markers offers a comprehensive account of the most promising new directions in the vast field of grammaticalization studies. From major theoretical issues to hardly addressed experimental questions, this volume explores new ways to expand, refine or even challenge current ideas on grammaticalization.
All contributions, written by leading experts in the fields of grammaticalization and discourse markers, explore issues such as: the impact of Construction Grammar into language change; cyclicity as a driving force of change; the importance of positions and discourse units as predictors of grammaticalization; a renewed way of thinking about philological considerations, or the role of Experimental Pragmatics for hypothesis checking.
Earliest Theories about Baltic Languages (16th century)
This book is a study of the relatively unknown field of Baltic linguistic historiography associated with the 16th century. This has been the saeculum mirabile of Baltic philology, not only on account of the first books having appeared during that period, but also due to the diverse linguistic ideas about the Baltic languages which were circulating during Renaissance Palaeocomparativism: the Slavic and the closely connected Illyrian theory, the Latin theory (with its variants: the semi-Latin, the neo-Latin, and the Wallachian), also the Quadripartite theory. Minor but significant linguistic ideas are also discussed here, for example the emergence of a Hebrew theory and the Greek theory about Old Prussian. The synoptic juxtaposition of the different ideas shows very well the state of knowledge in Europe about the languages which later would be called ‘Baltic’ and the modernity of those ideas within European Renaissance linguistic debate leading to the rise of comparative linguistic genealogy.