The German language and Reunification 1990 : the effect of emotion on the use of modal particles in East and West Berlin
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The thesis looks at the language of Germany before and after unification in 1990. In particular the language of the German Democratic Republic before the Wende is examined and the subsequent changes within it. Furthermore, the influence of emotion on the use of modal particles in East and West Berlin is analysed in order to ascertain how emotion can affect language use. The first section concentrates on the language of the German Democratic Republic and how this differed from the language of the Federal Republic of Germany. By looking at two such opposing political systems it is possible to see the effect of politics and the social, cultural and economic values of a state on its language. The second section analyses the language of Germany after the Wende in 1989 and unification in 1990. These changes in German society had profound effects on all aspects of East German life, and to a lesser extent in the Federal Republic of Germany. The citizens of the former German Democratic Republic had to learn to adapt to their new system and this is closely examined. Section three examines modal particles, what they are and how they are used in the German language. After a more general section, the particular modal particles examined in chapter 5: eben, halt, doch, denn and eigentlich are discussed and their usages examined. The fourth section concentrates on emotion and how it has been viewed in past and present research, in conjunction with thought and language. The fifth and final section is the analysis of a corpus of German language, interviews with citizens of East and West Berlin regarding 9 November 1989 and the period after. By examining this corpus, looking at the usage of the five afore-mentioned modal particles and tags and the emotion felt by the speakers, the connection between emotion and the use of modal particles is illustrated.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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