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The German Drang nach Osten: linguistic perspectives on historical stereotyping

(2012) GERMAN LIFE AND LETTERS. 65(1). p.94-108
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Abstract
One of the most enduring stereotypes concerning the history of Central and Eastern Europe is the notion of a German Drang nach Osten. While the impact of German influence on the region is beyond doubt, its alleged motivation in terms of a ‘drive to the East’ has been dismissed almost universally by historians (especially in Germany and Poland) as a ‘myth’ that obscures the complexities of history more than it illuminates them. Starting from this observation, the present article approaches the phrase Drang nach Osten from a linguistic point of view for the first time. The historical content and background of Drang nach Osten are surveyed first, including its origin in the crisis of German-Polish relations during the 1848 revolution. Three linguistic approaches to stereotyping are then presented with regard to their application to Drang nach Osten. Starting from general cognitive-discursive strategies of stereotyping, Drang nach Osten is defined linguistically as a ‘Nominationsstereotyp’; its characteristic syntactic and semantic stabilization is explicated in frame-semantic terms, and its use as a German phrase in non-German discourse is analysed from a semiotic point of view. The paper closes with thoughts concerning the interdisciplinary nature of ‘Stereotypenforschung’.

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Chicago
Leuschner, Torsten. 2012. “The German Drang Nach Osten: Linguistic Perspectives on Historical Stereotyping.” German Life and Letters 65 (1): 94–108.
APA
Leuschner, T. (2012). The German Drang nach Osten: linguistic perspectives on historical stereotyping. GERMAN LIFE AND LETTERS, 65(1), 94–108.
Vancouver
1.
Leuschner T. The German Drang nach Osten: linguistic perspectives on historical stereotyping. GERMAN LIFE AND LETTERS. 2012;65(1):94–108.
MLA
Leuschner, Torsten. “The German Drang Nach Osten: Linguistic Perspectives on Historical Stereotyping.” GERMAN LIFE AND LETTERS 65.1 (2012): 94–108. Print.
@article{1202701,
  abstract     = {One of the most enduring stereotypes concerning the history of Central and Eastern Europe is the notion of a German Drang nach Osten. While the impact of German influence on the region is beyond doubt, its alleged motivation in terms of a {\textquoteleft}drive to the East{\textquoteright} has been dismissed almost universally by historians (especially in Germany and Poland) as a {\textquoteleft}myth{\textquoteright} that obscures the complexities of history more than it illuminates them. Starting from this observation, the present article approaches the phrase Drang nach Osten from a linguistic point of view for the first time. The historical content and background of Drang nach Osten are surveyed first, including its origin in the crisis of German-Polish relations during the 1848 revolution. Three linguistic approaches to stereotyping are then presented with regard to their application to Drang nach Osten. Starting from general cognitive-discursive strategies of stereotyping, Drang nach Osten is defined linguistically as a {\textquoteleft}Nominationsstereotyp{\textquoteright}; its characteristic syntactic and semantic stabilization is explicated in frame-semantic terms, and its use as a German phrase in non-German discourse is analysed from a semiotic point of view. The paper closes with thoughts concerning the interdisciplinary nature of {\textquoteleft}Stereotypenforschung{\textquoteright}.},
  author       = {Leuschner, Torsten},
  issn         = {1468-0483},
  journal      = {GERMAN LIFE AND LETTERS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {94--108},
  title        = {The German Drang nach Osten: linguistic perspectives on historical stereotyping},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0483.2011.01561.x},
  volume       = {65},
  year         = {2012},
}

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