Proposal: Language code "de-DE-trad"

Torsten Bronger
Sat, 9 Feb 2002 23:34:00 +0100

On Samstag,  9. Februar 2002 22:25 schrieben Sie:
> John Clews scripsit:
> > 1. Are there more than one set of conventions that came in at amy
> > times previous to 1996, or was it all uniform? It's an open question:
> > I just have no detailed knowldege of German. However, it may also be
> > possible that "trad" might need to be broken up into more detail.
> The last German spelling reform was in 1901, featuring things like
> "th" > "t" (they had been pronounced the same for centuries, of course)=
> So if a distinction must be made, one could use de-??-1901 instead.
> I suspect that most of the pre-1901 materials represented in
> digital form are in fact given in 1901 (or 1996) orthography.
> Nevertheless, these codes are supposed to be useful for
> non-digital works as well.
> What I don't know is whether the 1901 reform created any sort
> of ambiguities.

I'm a physicist, not a linguist, so I can only sum up and
translate what the Duden has to say about a Short History of
German Orthography on its pages

Until 19th century -- no uniform orthography

1876 -- First try for this fails due to Bismarck's veto.

1880 -- Konrad Duden writes his first "Duden", but hitherto
        it's not normative.

1901 -- Second Official Orthography Conference in Berlin.
        The Duden becomes normative, but it tolerates many

1903 -- Many publishers don't like that, so K. Duden writes
        a special edition for them *without* these ambiguities.

1915 -- Special and normal edition are merged and the
        ambiguities are abolished for good.

1945 -- Different editions for East and West Germany.

1955 -- The Duden becomes normative in the FRG.  (Don't
        ask me why this was necessary and came so late. At least
        this didn't introduce something new.)

Well, orthography continually evolves, but the reform of 1996 was
a clear break -- the first of its kind since uniform and
therefore "tagable" orthography began in Germany at the
beginning of the last century.

Therefore I think "-trad" is sensible in this case.  You could=20
call it "-1901", but I'm afraid the rest (pre-1901) is mere chaos,
rising rapidly back in time and heavily depending on the region
(Germany was politically real patchwork), making very different=20
approaches necessary anyway.

As far as neighbour countries are concerned, I only know that
the German population of Switzerland accepted the Duden as
normative in 1901.  But basically the Duden defined German
orthography where German was spoken.  The *reform of 1996*
was enforced in Germany, Austria and Switzerland equally.

Torsten Bronger.