Language is a social phenomenon, a means of communication between people. Each language is a dynamic system, it changes, develops, and improves. Only the social function of language remains unchanged. Language change is most easily recognized by vocabulary. The vocabulary of the language is extremely sensitive to all events and changes in social life and worldview, to the progress of science and technology, and fashion. A comparison of the languages of different generations of speakers shows that there are differences in vocabulary and the entire language system. This article discusses the importance of learning the German language in modern life, we will try to study the history of its occurrence and the features of its development. The German language belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family of languages; its writing is based on the Latin alphabet. This article is aimed to consider the development of the German language in close connection with the development of the German people and their history. By studying the history of a particular language, we observe the evolution of its development and learn about the rules and exceptions in the language system. The history of language is also the history of words, and hence of cultural development. Language is a social phenomenon, a means of communication between people. Therefore, the emergence and disappearance of words always reflect the times, customs and traditions, intellectual currents, changes in living conditions, and changes in the social structure.
When learning any language, it is very important to know the history of the development of this language. By studying the history of the emergence and formation of a particular language, we observe the evolution of its development and learn about the rules, norms, and exceptions in the language system. The history of language is also the history of words, and hence of cultural development. Language is a social phenomenon, a means of communication between people (Delbrück, 2019). Therefore, the emergence and disappearance of words always reflect the times, customs and traditions, intellectual currents, changes in living conditions, and changes in the social structure. The German language belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It is one of the most interesting and significant languages in Europe (Filicheva, 2003). We consider the emergence and development of the German language in close connection with the development of the German people and its history.
In globalized world, people are in constant interaction with each other. They have the opportunity to meet, and correspond, using modern means of communication. Therefore, the study of foreign languages becomes especially relevant. Foreign languages are used in various areas of human interaction: in politics, culture, science, tourism, trade, and economic relations. Unfortunately, the study of the German language at present in Russian schools and universities is unreasonably relegated to the background. The interest of young people in its study is not as noticeable as the interest in learning English. The German language has a rich and interesting history. Germany today is a highly developed country both in the field of culture, science, and technology, and in the field of economy, tourism, medicine, and engineering. Approximately 25 percent of European residents speak German as their first language. Many people study it as a foreign language in various countries of the world. We believe that the German language deserves more attention and must be studied in our educational institutions.
German belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The development of the German language must be considered in close connection with the development of the German people and its history.
The development of the Germanic people, as well as the common predecessor of today's Germanic languages, began in the 3rd century BC. During this period, Germanic tribes lived between the rivers Elbe and Oder, around the western part of the Baltic Sea, in southern Scandinavia, and in Jutland.
In the 1st century BC, a special type of language developed here, the so-called Proto-Germanic. Proto-Germanic is the oldest stage of the development of the German language.
As for vocabulary, about 2/3 of the common Germanic basic words were transferred from Indo-European to Proto-Germanic. Borrowing occurred because of trade and economic relations of the Germans with other tribes, as well because of military clashes with the Romans. There were many borrowings from the Latin language into the German vocabulary. These include pronouns, numerals, names of kinship relationships, some verbs, names of body parts, birds and animals, and natural phenomena. For example, Latin ego > got.ik > nhd.ich. One of the most important innovations in Germanic languages is the development of 1/3 of the Germanic vocabulary. These are words denoting terms that reflect the life of Proto-Germans. For example, they include words from navigation (See, Schiff, Strand, Mast Sea, ship, shore, mast), from animal husbandry and hunting (Rind, Kalb, Bär, Reh, Rabe cattle, calf, bear, deer, raven), from military affairs (Bogen, Helm, Krieg, Schild, Schwert bow, helmet, war, shield, sword), from public life (Adel, Frieden, Volk to know, the world, the people).
The Germans inherited from the Indo-Europeans the most important features of the morphological structure. In the Indo-European language, the noun had grammatical categories of gender, number, and case. The structure of the word consisted of 3 morphemes. Schematically, it looks like this:
Root + base-forming suffix + case ending. Depending on the suffix forming the basis, they distinguish:
Proto-Germanic had the same grammatical categories and the same word structure. The history of the German language is part of Germanic studies. The history explores and describes the phonological system, grammatical structure, vocabulary, and style system of the German language from a diachronic point of view. This field of research is the constant characteristics of the language system, and the dynamics, and main trends of language change. Linguistic history also deals with the forms of existence of the German language, its socio-historical changes, and the development of the modern German national language.
German is the official language of the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, one of the official languages of Switzerland (along with French, Italian, and Romansh), Luxembourg (along with French, German and Luxembourgish), and the official language of Liechtenstein. Approximately 110 million people speak German as their mother tongue. About 110 million people speak German both as the official language and in the language of international communication (Moskalskaja, 2004a; Moskalskaja, 2004b).
Modern Germany has several historically determined forms of existence. Like any form of language existence, the German national literary language is a historical category. Its appearance is associated with the formation of a nation in the era of developing capitalism; its further development takes place within the framework of a modern nation. In general, the oldest German writings date back to the 8th century. We are talking primarily about theological writings. The King of the Franks, Charlemagne, prepared several German preaching texts at that time, since the population was supposed to be Christianized, but did not understand Latin (Bach, 1956).
Today, the German national literary language in German-speaking countries is the language of literature and art, culture, press and mass media, the official state language, and the language of science and education, the language of everyday communication. Its vocabulary, sentence structure, means of expression, the wealth of functionally conditioned styles, and uniform grammatical, lexical, and phonetic norms are the result of the continuous efforts of many generations of linguists. In some German-speaking countries, the German literary language has some peculiarities in terms of vocabulary, pronunciation, word formation, and form. Since German is used by several peoples, these are national variants of the German literary language, namely the German literary language of Germany (it is often called "inner German"), the German literary language of Austria and Switzerland.
The antithesis of the German national literary language is the so-called territorial dialects. This is the oldest form of existence of the German language. Territorial dialects developed in medieval Germany within the framework of feudal counties, small duchies, and bishoprics, and, as dialectological studies have shown, their borders still largely correspond to the political borders of that time. The centuries-old feudal fragmentation of Germany contributed to the preservation of territorial dialects until modern times; This also caused extreme territorial fragmentation of German dialects and large differences between individual local dialect variants. For example, the Atlas of the German language (Deutscher_Sprachatlas) lists 67 different dialect pronunciation variants: for example, the word was, can be pronounced as wos, waas, woos, was, wes, wös, wus, waos, waos, waös, waus, woas, woes, wois, wous (Deutscher_Sprachatlas); the word Kartoffel – Erdbirne, Grundbirne, Bodenbirne, Gummel, Tartoffel, Artoffel, Artuffel; the word Erdapfel is Erdappel, Erpel, Erdtoffel.
German territorial dialects are divided into Low German (named after the relief of the northern part of Germany) and literary German, the latter being divided into Middle German and Upper German.
The "pure dialect" is preserved today only thanks to the teaching of oral and written literary language at school, thanks to the influence of radio, cinema, television, literature, and the press, and the development of various forms of social life. In some federal lands where the dialect is still alive, there are still real dialect speakers (only in everyday oral usage), i.e., people who speak the only dialect. According to some linguists, the disappearance of local dialects in Low German-speaking areas is faster than in Middle and Upper German-speaking areas. Hochdeutsch, in other words, the literary German language was formed based on High German and Middle German dialects. Over time, the influence of Hochdeutsch was also influenced by Niederdeutsch (Low German or Northern dialect). All these changes occurred because of the second movement of consonants. According to scientists, the development of literary German (both written and oral) took place in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times. Although, even before that time, efforts were made to combine dialects in Middle German poetry. Poets tried to use less regional vocabulary, they wanted to be understood not only in their regions but also beyond them. The majority of the then population was not able to read, and the attempts of poets were not crowned with much success. As a result of the changes, Hochdeutsch stopped between two groups of dialects (High German and Middle German). It is believed that for the inhabitants of Hanover, Hochdeutsch is native. Unfortunately, not all regions of modern Germany managed to preserve the dialects spoken by their ancestors. The fact is that Niederdeutsch was very different from Hochdeutsch and the inhabitants of the northern part of Germany did not have much choice, they were forced to replace their native dialects with literary German. In the central and southern parts of Germany, where dialects were most similar to Hochdeutsch, dialects managed to remain almost unchanged. In general, Hochdeutsch has several periods of its development: Althochdeutsch, Mittelhochdeutsch, Frühneuhochdeutsch, Neuhochdeutsch (Duden, 2006).
Between the national literary language and the local dialects is the third manifestation of the modern German language – a spoken language. The spoken language differs from the local dialects, which are in the process of disappearing and represent a widespread language form. The spoken language is fundamentally different from the local dialects and is more or less widely used. It includes, for example, Upper Saxon, Berlin, Palatinate, Bavarian-Swabian, and Württemberg. This colloquial language is spoken not only in cities and industrial areas but also in rural areas. The spoken language differs in shades depending on the local color, the age and level of education of the speaker, and depending on the situation (communication in the family, everyday communication in transport, on the street, communication at work).
The interaction between the individual forms of existence of the German language is also expressed in their constant influence on each other. More and more professional words and terms are coming from the literary language into the spoken language, which is successfully rooted in the latter. The same influence occurs in the field of phonetics and grammar. Literary language is also affected by spoken language, especially in rural areas, for example: Junge – Bube (boy), Tasse – Schale (cup-bowl), Tischler – Schreiner (carpenter), Treppe – Stiege (ladder), Schlächter – Fleischer – Metzger (butcher), klingeln – lauten – schellen (call).
Purpose of the Study
This article discusses the importance of learning German in the modern world. on the example of the history of its origin and features of its development. Knowledge of the history of the language being studied and the history and presence of native speakers of this language arouses interest in its study. By studying the history of a particular language, we observe the evolution of its development and learn about the rules and exceptions in the language system.
For the study, we used the following methods:
- theoretical analysis of the problem under study;
- the study of materials on the history of the German language;
- analysis of students' mastering of the studied subject.
Between the national literary language and the local dialects lies the third manifestation of modern German, the spoken language, which, unlike the local dialects that are in the process of disappearing, is a widespread language form. The spoken language is fundamentally different from the local dialects and is widely used. It includes, for example, Upper Saxon, Berlin, Palatinate, Bavarian-Swabian, and Württemberg. This colloquial language is spoken not only in cities and industrial areas but also in rural areas. The spoken language differs in shades depending on the local color, the age and level of education of the speaker, and depending on the situation (communication in the family, everyday communication in transport, on the street, communication at work). The interaction between the individual forms of existence of the German language is also expressed in their constant influence on each other. More and more professional words and terms come from the literary language into the spoken language, which successfully takes root in the latter. The same influence occurs in the field of phonetics and grammar. The literary language is also influenced by the spoken language, especially in rural areas, for example: Junge – Bube (boy), Tasse – Schale (cup-bowl), Tischler – Schreiner (carpenter), Treppe – Stiege (ladder), Schlächter - Fleischer – Metzger (butcher), klingeln – lauten – schellen (call).
Learning a foreign language becomes much more interesting when we are familiar with the history of those who are native speakers of this language. The study of history allows students to learn how this language originated and how it developed, and what origin certain words of this language have. The study of foreign languages in the modern world is especially significant. The world is changing at an incredible rate. Representatives of various countries and languages today could quickly communicate with each other and interact in various spheres of human activity. Europe, especially Germany, has had a special influence on Russian history and culture. And at present, Germany is distinguished by advanced science, highly developed medicine, and special cultural values. And language is one of the components of the achievements of any nation. A quarter of Europeans consider German to be their mother language. The study of the German language and the culture of the German people are very relevant and interesting today.
Bach, A. (1956). History of the German language. Publishing house of foreign literature.
Delbrück, B. (2019). An Introduction to Language Learning: From the History and Methodology of Comparative Linguistics. Transl. from German. URSS.
Duden (2006). The German spelling (24 edition 2006) Dudenverlag, Volume 1, Leipzig.
Filicheva, N. I. (2003). History of the German language. Publishing Center “Academy”.
Moskalskaja O. I. (2004a). German language history. Publishing Center “Academy”.
Moskalskaja, O. I. (2004b). Grammar of contemporary German. Publishing Center “Academy”.
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23 December 2022
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Kulaeva, F. A., Samarina, V. S., & Gubanova, L. G. (2022). Learning German Language Through Its History. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization- ISCKMC 2022, vol 129. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 671-676). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2022.12.87