Linguistic reunification of Germany: an eclectic evaluation after 30 years.
When Germany was divided into two parts for decades, the versions of German used in East and West Germany started to differ from one another. This much is attested to in literature, but relatively little research has been done since the Reunification. This begs the question: to what extent are linguistic differences present in East and West German newspapers? This dissertation aims to find a response to the question by examining all 2019 editions of nineteen different newspapers. This is done with three methods: a literature-based approach in which words that once definitively differed are examined, a research-based approach in which a statistical analysis from Hellmann (1984) is reproduced, and lastly a data-driven method which uses a newer, more computer-based analysis. Overall, the linguistic differences between East and West German have greatly diminished. In general, the differences that still exist are found among words with a low mean frequency of appearance; this indicates that most, if not all, current differences between East and West German do not constitute fundamental differences.
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