German in the Pacific: language policy and language planning. Governmental and mission activities in the German-colonial era (1884-1914)

During the second half of the 19th century, extended regions of the South Pacific came to be part of the German colonial empire. The colonial administration included repeated and diverse efforts to implement German as the official language in several settings (administration, government, education) in the colonial areas. Due to unfamiliar sociological and linguistic conditions, to competition with English as a(nother) prestigious colonizer language, and to the short time-span of the German colonial rule, these efforts rendered only little language-related effect. Nevertheless, some linguistic traces remained, and these seem to reflect in what areas language implementation was organized most thoroughly. The study combines two directions of investigation: First, taking a historical approach, legal and otherwise official documents and information are considered in order to understand how the implementation process was planned and (intended to be) carried out. Second, from a linguistic perspective, documented lexical borrowings and other traces of linguis tic contact are identified that can corroborate the historical findings by reflecting a greater effect of contact in such areas where the implementation of German was carried out most strictly. The goal of this paper is, firstly, to trace the political and missionary activities in language planning with regard to German in the colonial Pacific, rather similar to a modem language policy scenario when a new code of prestige or national unity is implemented. Secondly, these activities are evaluated in the face of the outcome that can be observed, in the historical practice as well as in long-term effects of language contact up until today.



Geistige Schöpfung
Stolberg, Doris
Berlin [u.a.] : De Gruyter

Letzte Aktualisierung
14.09.2023, 08:26 MESZ


  • Buchbeitrag


  • Stolberg, Doris
  • Berlin [u.a.] : De Gruyter


  • 2015-05-12

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