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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

290              The Loom oj Language
part of the country from which they come There are also considerable
regional differences of vocabulary, as illustrated by a conversation
between a Berliner and a Wiener
"A Berliner in Vienna goes into a shop and asks for a Reisemutze
(travelling cap) The assistant corrects him 'You want a ReisekappeJ
and shows him several The Berliner remarks 'Die bunten hebe ich mcht'
(I don't like those with several colours) The assistant turns this sentence
into his own German 'Die fa^bigen gefalien Ihnen nicht^ The Viennese,
vou see, Icves (lieht) only people , he does not love things Lastly, the
Berliner says 'Wie teuer tst diese Muize> (How much is this cap?), and
again is guilty, ail innocently, of a most crude Berlimsrn Teuer> indeed,
applies to prices above the normal, to unduly high prices The Viennese
merely says 'Was hostel das? The Berliner looks round for the Kasse
(cash-desk) and finds the sign Kassa He leaves the shop saying, since
it is still early in the day 'Guten Morgenj greatly to the surprise of the
Viennese, who uses this form of woids on arrival only, and not on leaving
The Viennese in turn replies with the words Ich habe die Ehref Guten
Tag i' and this time the Berliner is surprised, since he uses the expression
Giaen Tagf only on arrival, and not when leaving "
(E Tonnelat A History of the German Language)
THE GERMAN NOUN
The usual practice of text-books is to exhibit tables of different
declensions of German nouns such as those given on p 197 This way
of displaying the eccentricities of the German noun is useful if we want
to compare it with its equivalent in one of the older and more highly
inflected representatives of the Teutonic family,, but it is not a good
way of summarizing the peculiarities which we need to remember >
because the German noun of to-day is simpler than the Teutonic noun
in the time of Alfred the Great. For instance, a distinctive genitive
plural ending has disappeared altogether In the spoken language the
dative singular case-ending survives only in set expressions such as
nock House (home) or zu House (at home). Essential rules we need to
remcmbei about what endings we have to add to the nominative
singular (i e dictionary) form are the following
A  In the SINGULAR
(i) Feminine nouns do not change
(u) Masculine nouns which, like der Knabe (boy), have -E in the
nominative take -EN in all other cases A few others (e g
MENSCH> KAMERAD, SOLDAT, PRINZ, OGHS, NERV)  also take
-EN
{&i} The other masculine nouns and all neuter nouns add -ES
or -S (after -EL, -ER, -EN, -CHEN) in the genitive