288 The Loom of Language languages, words connected by meaning are placed in close pioximity. German, and not only written German,, dislocates them Thus the article may be separated from its noun by a string of qualifiers, and the length of the string is determined by the whims of the writer, e g der gestern Abend auf dem Alexanderplatz von einem Lastauto uberfahrene Backermeister Mutter ist keute morgen seinen Verletzungen erlegen = the yesterday evening on the Alesandraplatz by a lorry run over master- baker Muller has this morning to his injuries succumbed The auxiliary pushes the verb to the end of the statement, as m ich werde dich heute Abend aufsucken (I shall you this evening visit). When you get to the end of a sentence you may always fish up an unsuspected negation, e g. er befnedigte unsere Wunsche mcht = he satisfied our wishes not The dependent clause is rounded up by the verb, e g er behauptet, dass er ihn in Chicago getroffen habe = he says that he him in Chicago met had, and when the subordinate is placed before the main clause it calls for inversion of the verb in the latter (da er arbettslo* ist> kann er die Miete mcht bezahlen = since he unemployed is, can he the rent not pay) Even the preposition may leave its customary place before the noun and march behind it, e g der Dame gegenuber (opposite the lady)— as was possible m Latin, e g pax vobiscum (peace be with you). Other preliminary essentials for a reading knowledge of German are already contained in the tables of pronouns, particles, demonstratives, and helper verbs, together with what has been said about the common features of all the Teutonic languages or of the Germanic clan Anyone who wishes to write German correctly must also master the concord of noun and adjective The behaviour of nouns, of adjectives, and of pronouns in relation to one another confronts those of us who are interested in the social use of language and its future with an arresting problem. It is easy to understand why Icelanders can still read the Sagas. The Norse community in Iceland has been isolated from foreign invasion and intimate trade contacts with the outside world, while the speech- nabits of Britain and some parts of Europe have been eroded by con- quest and commerce The conservative character of German is not such a simple story The Hanseatic ports once held leadership in maritime trade. There were famous culture centres such as Nuremberg, Augsburg and Main/. There was the flourishing mining industry of South Germany and Saxony There were the great international banking-houses of the Fugger and Welser Still, Germany was not yet a nation like fourteenth-century England or sixteenth-century France.