Viktor žirmunskij and German mundartforschung

Studies in East European Thought 60 (4):295 - 306 (2008)
German dialect geography developed, inter alia, as a means to compensate the shortcomings of the Young Grammarians' approach to language. In contrast to the latter, it was conceived of to be a sociolinguistic project, constituting thereby one link between the development of Soviet and German linguistics. The article tries to answer such questions as who initially participated in transferring ideas of German dialectology to the Soviet Union and what kind of motivations underlay those transfers. Combining biographical facts with systematic aspects, the article surveys the filiations of some productive ideas with the help of archival sources, i.e. letters of the Soviet scholars Dinges (1891-1932) and Viktor Žirmunskij (1891-1971). Finally, I try to single out the elements in Žirmunskij dialect geography, which are specifically sociolinguistic
Keywords Dinges  German dialect geography  Sources of Soviet dialectology  Žirmunskij
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