The representation of work in German grammar books

  • This dissertation explores the language of three German grammar books and accompanying exercise books which are produced in Germany for international students of German. It examines how the examples and exercises presented in these books constitute ‘colony texts’ which convey different representations of human activity to the reader. Analysis of the language used in the German grammar books centres on the Linguistics of Representation and borrows techniques used normally in Corpus Linguistics. By using WordSmith Tools this study shows how particular terms (nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives) occur with greater frequency than others in the books under analysis thereby representing certain human activities more strongly than others. The activity of ‘work*, in particular, emerges in the grammar books as a key human activity and consequently provides the main focus for analysis in this study. Concordances relating to ‘work’ are grouped and analysed in terms of what they reveal about popular professions, workplace hierarchy and attitudes and approaches to work. Findings are considered from three perspectives: what they reveal to the researcher and learners of German about the representation of ‘work’ in the chosen context, how they compare to findings from comparative analyses of German textbooks and how they can contribute to our overall understanding of ‘text*. Grammar book examples and exercises emerge as ‘texts’ which have significant potential to reflect cultural norms and attitudes despite being considered generally as a source of innocuous and unremarkable language.

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Author:Angela Leahy
Referee:Jenny Williams
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of Completion:2004
Year of first Publication:2004
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Dublin City University
Release Date:2014/02/17
This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Dublin City University, Dublin, Diss, 2004.
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 43 Deutsch, germanische Sprachen allgemein / 430 Germanische Sprachen; Deutsch
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GiNDok
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung 3.0