Language History of Augsburg and East Swabia

Start date: 01.01.2007
Funded by: Universität Augsburg
Local project leader: Dr. Helmut Graser


Since the 1970s Hugo Stopp, then holder of the Chair for German Language and Literature of the Middle Ages, started a collection of micro films and text copies from the vast stock of Augsburg archives and libraries which were to serve as a basis for studies on the language history of Augsburg and East Swabia. In the course of time, a series of individual studies on this subject has been carried out. In the last few years, as a result of the cooperation between the American social historian B. Ann Tlusty and the holder of the Chair in German Linguistics, Stefan Elspaß, the aspect of “language history from below” was added: an analysis of documents written by near analphabets, such as taunting and jeering songs, Pasquils, bribe letters, requests and reports of simple people, family chronicles, confirmation letters written by healed patients, applications for permits to visit surrounding villages (Zechzettel), applications for an escort upon entering a town (Judengeleitzettel). This project aims to present the social history of the written language used at Augsburg and surrounding areas from the late Middle Ages to the end of Early Modern Times.