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“Grüss Gott!”: A Study of Austrian Identity Through Language
Portnoy, Katherine Anne

2011, Master of Arts (MA), Bowling Green State University, German.
As Austria shares both a language and a border with Germany, a distinct relationship has developed between the two countries. Germany, with a population of over eighty million, is often viewed as the more dominant nation of the pair, resulting in foreigners tending to group Austria with their northern neighbor. Because Austria is often associated with Germany, Austrians have endeavored to forge a separate identity for themselves, particularly through language. It can be said that Austrian Standard German, as well as Austrian dialects, have provided Austrians with the opportunity to contrast themselves against speakers of German Standard German, resulting in the formation of a unique Austrian sense of linguistic identity. This thesis explores how and why Austrians identify with the language they speak, examining how the various comparisons with Germany, as well as the influx of German Standard German into different aspects of Austrian life, provide a foil against which Austrians can contrast themselves and their language. The paper examines this topic through the analysis of the linguistic situation in Austria, Austrian reactions to perceptions of Austrian Standard German abroad, and the portrayal of Austrian Standard German and Austrian dialect in the country’s media. Through the analysis of such topics, it is concluded that while the frequent contrasts against speakers of German Standard German significantly strengthen an Austrian sense of identity, this identity cannot fully reach its potential until Austrians are better educated about the norms and characteristics of their language.
Geoffrey Howes, Dr. (Advisor)
Edgar Landgraf, Dr. (Committee Member)
72 p.

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Portnoy, K. (2011). “Grüss Gott!”: A Study of Austrian Identity Through Language. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Portnoy, Katherine. "“Grüss Gott!”: A Study of Austrian Identity Through Language." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Bowling Green State University, 2011. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 30 Aug 2015.

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Portnoy, Katherine "“Grüss Gott!”: A Study of Austrian Identity Through Language." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Bowling Green State University, 2011. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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