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Response pertaining to the Statement from 9 September 2021 by Alexandra Lenz, Stephan Elspaß, Gerhard Budin, Stefan Michael Newerkla, and Arne Ziegler

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Abstract

Response pertaining to the “Statement” from 9 September 2021 by Alexandra Lenz, Stephan Elspaß, Gerhard Budin, Stefan Michael Newerkla, and Arne Ziegler, regarding Stefan Dollinger’s public talk for ascina.org, held on 25 Aug 2021, entitled Österreichisches Deutsch oder Deutsch in Österreich? Über einen Problemfall, seit 1848, der Wissenschaftsgeschichte [Austrian German or German in Austria? On a problem case, since 1848, in the history of academic inquiry]
Response pertaining to the Statement from 9 September 2021 by Alexandra Lenz, Stephan Elspaß, Gerhard
Budin, Stefan Michael Newerkla, and Arne Ziegler, regarding Stefan Dollinger’s public talk for ascina.org, held
on 25 Aug 2021, entitled
Österreichisches Deutsch oder Deutsch in Österreich? Über einen Problemfall, seit 1848, der
Wissenschaftsgeschichte
[Austrian German or German in Austria? On a problem case, since 1848, in the history of academic
inquiry]
Scholarly activities happen in schools of thought. I would like to clarify that my talk seeks to identify two such
schools Kranzmayer and Marburg and how they have guided, I’d say confined, disciplinary views on the
German language by way of an (often implied) One-Standard-German Axiom. I would like to link the critiqued
talk, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMf6pji_LfQ. (See the full Statement at the end of this page)
The talk is structured as follows:
Minute 1-3: Introduction (Alexander Rauscher)
Minute 3-11: Summary in English with references
Minute 11-56: Talk in German. From minute 37-51: The case of Eberhard Kranzmayer (new material)
Minute 56-72: Eight recommendations and discussion (in English and German)
Critique is the essence and an indispensable part of academic inquiry. The Statement, signed by those
associated with the projects that I am critiquing, asserts that the Special Research Programme “German in
Austria, the Austrian Academy of Science’s Dictionary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria (= Wörterbuch) and
numerous colleagues in Austrian German Studies and beyond (amongst others) were defamed in a most
unscientific and populist fashion. Fundamental principles of scientific standard were not respected in this lecture,
such that arguments were made without proper referencing of scientific sources, research topics and projects
were mixed together in an undifferentiated way, ahistorical connections were drawn, and false claims about the
research projects, publications, and theoretical positions of German-studies colleagues were propagated.
(https://www.dioe.at/artikel/3034)
While I don’t agree with this characterization, it is, of course, not my goal to discredit anyone; I am sorry should
my presentation have offended anyone personally when I was trying to highlight a blind spot in the field of
inquiry. It is my contention that critical observations regarding the status of Austrian German have been stifled
by disciplinary assumptions within German dialectology. Where I go beyond my own fully referenced
publications on the topic, which are listed at the beginning of the talk or in the YouTube intro text, my sources
are offered directly on the talks slides in a way that is customary for public talks.
The issues of bias I raise about German dialectology are structural; they are not personal, though I do cite
colleagues in connection with schools of thought, their publications and public statements. Concerning the role
of Eberhard Kranzmayer and, as I claim, the underpinnings of German dialectology in pan-German
[großdeutsch] ideology, I refer to Otto Kronsteiner (in Enzyklopädie der slowenischen Kulturgeschichte in
Kärnten, 2016, II: 693-4, my translation):
As director of the Institute for Carinthian Regional Research, he [Kranzmayer] was in charge of creating the
scientific basis for a “re-Germanization of the Upper Carniola Slovenes, who around  were occupied by the
German Reich, in order to strengthen German-ness [Deutschtum].
Kranzmayer was the official lead of the Wörterbuch for only a few years. He had, however, a profound
association with it from 1918 to 1975 and, as the quote suggests, implemented Nazi ideology. Kranzmayer was
the key figure in 20th-century German dialectology in Austria and has left his mark on the discipline to this day.
It is here where my fifth recommendation (a call for a historical commission to assess the data) derives from.
Stefan Dollinger, 25 Nov. 2021, Victoria, BC.
< Zurück
< Zurück
DiÖ – Gesamt-SFB – Beitrag – Nachricht
On August 25, 2021, Stefan Dollinger, Professor at the Department of English Language and
Literatures at the University of Bri!sh Columbia (Vancouver), held an online lecture for the
network “Austrian Scien!sts & Scholars in North America” (ASCINA), en!tled
“Österreichisches Deutsch oder Deutsch in Österreich? Über einen Problemfall, seit 1848,
der Wissenscha"sgeschichte”.
In this lecture, the FWF-funded[1] Special Research Programme (SFB) “German in Austria.
Varia!on –Contact – Percep!on”, the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ long-term project
“Dic!onary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria (WBÖ)”, the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
itself, as well as numerous colleagues in Austrian German Studies and beyond (amongst
others) were defamed in a most unscien!fic and populist fashion. Fundamental principles of
scien!fic standard were not respected in this lecture, such that arguments were made
without proper referencing of scien!fic sources, research topics and projects were mixed
together in an undieren!ated way, ahistorical connec!ons were drawn, and false claims
about the research projects, publica!ons, and theore!cal posi!ons of German-studies
colleagues were propagated.
We firmly distance ourselves from the inaccurate representa!ons in the lecture and
categorically reject the false allega!ons made.
Regarding in par!cular some of Mr. Dollinger's comments on the FWF Special Research
Programme F60 “German in Austria. Varia!on - Contact -Percep!on”,[2] we wish to set the
record straight as follows:
1. The terminology “German in Austria” is not an import from Germany (quote: “from
2010”), but picks up a phrase that has been used in Austrian German studies for
decades (see e.g. Reienstein 1983, Muhr 1987, Scheuringer 1996).
2. The term and construct of a “One Standard German Axiom” originate from Dollinger
(2019). It is to be noted that such an axiom – as Dollinger presents it – does in no way
correspond with the linguis!c policy stance and scien!fic convic!on of the collaborators
and researchers of SFB F60. Indeed, if such an axiom were at its base, the SFB F60’s
applica!on for funding would most certainly not have passed the FWF's extensive and
mul!-stage interna!onal review process – including an interim evalua!on. (For more
informa!on on the highly compe!!ve and interna!onal selec!on process of the FWF's
“Special Research Programme (SFB)”, see
h$ps://www.fwf.ac.at/fileadmin/files/Dokumente/Downloads/s%-abweichungen.pdf).
3. The SFB F60 “German in Austria” and the “Dic!onary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria
(WBÖ)” are two dierent projects. The SFB F60 has not “adopted” the project WBÖ -
and could not even formally do so.
Furthermore, the SFB F60 rejects with utmost clarity and firmness the expressed allega!on
that the “theory” of the SFB could be regarded as “deutschna!onal” (‘German-na!onal’).
For details on the manifold and dieren!ated research posi!ons of the SFB “German in
Austria. Varia!on – Contact – Percep!on” team and its altogether 32 members, comprising a
total of 27 Prae- and Postdocs and 5 Professors as well as 31 co-opted and associated
experts from Austria and abroad, we refer to the SFB’s project pages, where all research
outcomes – publica!ons, events, media ac!vi!es, etc. – of the SFB are documented:
h$ps://dioe.at.
With regard to Dollinger’s comments on the ÖAW’s long-term project “Dic!onary of
Bavarian Dialects in Austria (WBÖ)”, we wish to set the record straight as follows:
Dollinger accuses the WBÖ of bearing “profound deutsch-na!onal and historical Nazi roots“,
connec!ng these roots par!cularly with the person of Eberhard Kranzmayer (1897–1975).
The WBÖ’s founda!on took place in 1913; Kranzmayer was in charge of the project
between 1967 and 1975. The WBÖ’s current editors are keenly aware of the incurred
historical responsibility and firmly reject any allega!ons of an uncri!cal perpetua!on of
Na!onal Socialist ideology. Kranzmayer’s biography and his scien!fic and historical role have
already been mul!ply reviewed and are also the focus of ongoing scien!fic-historical projects
within the WBÖ (and beyond).
For details on the long-term project “Dic!onary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria (WBÖ)” of the
Austrian Academy of Sciences, which is regularly evaluated according to interna!onal
standards, as well as on its interna!onal advisory board and its co-opted experts, its research
results and its satellite projects (also on aspects of the history of science), be referred to the
WBÖ project pages h$ps://www.oeaw.ac.at/acdh/sprachwissenscha"/projekte/wboe
For informa!on on the high, interna!onal quality standards of the Austrian Academy of
Sciences, see h$ps://www.oeaw.ac.at/forschung/forschung-an-der-oeaw
On the long-term research program of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, see
h$ps://www.oeaw.ac.at/forschung/ins!tute/langzei&orschungsprogramm
The following individuals and groups support this le"er:
the Consor!um of the SFB “German in Austria. Varia!on – Contact – Percep!on” (SFB
F60): Prof. Dr. Alexandra N. Lenz (University of Vienna /Austrian Academy of Sciences),
Prof. Dr. Stephan Elspaß (University of Salzburg), Prof. Dr. Gerhard Budin (University of
Vienna), Prof. Dr. Stefan Michael Newerkla (University of Vienna), Prof. Dr. Arne Ziegler
(University of Graz)
Project Members and Co-opted and Associated Members of the SFB “German in
Austria. Varia!on – Contact – Percep!on” (SFB F60): Mag. Ludwig M. Breuer (Austrian
Academy of Sciences), Hans Chris!an Breuer (University of Vienna), Prof. Dr. Lars Bülow
(University of Vienna), Dr. Amelie Dorn (University of Vienna), Mag. Stefanie Edler
(University of Graz), Prof. Dr. Andrea Ender (University of Salzburg), Mag. Johanna Fanta-
Jende (University of Vienna), Ann Kathrin Fischer, MA (University of Graz), Marlene
Har!nger, MA (University of Salzburg), Kris!na Herbert, MA (University of Graz), Jan
Höll, MA (University of Vienna), Dr. Irmtraud Kaiser (University of Salzburg), Asst.-Prof.
PD Dr. Emmerich Kelih (University of Vienna), Mag. Agnes Kim (University of Vienna),
Mag. Wolfgang Koppensteiner (University of Vienna), Dr. Katharina Korecky-Kröll
(University of Vienna), Jan Lu$enberger, MA (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Teresa
Monsberger, MA (University of Graz), Dr. Konstan!n Niehaus (University of Salzburg), Dr.
Georg Oberdorfer (University of Marburg), Mag. Markus Pluschkovits (University of
Vienna), Dr. Michael Pucher, PD (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Dragana Rakocevic, MA
(University of Graz), Asst.-Prof. Dr. Ju$a Ransmayr (University of Vienna), Mag. Yvonne
Rusch (University of Salzburg), Dr. Elisabeth Scherr (University of Graz), Maria Schinko,
MA MA (University of Vienna), Asst.-Prof. Dr. Barbara Soukup (University of Vienna), Rita
S!glbauer, MA (University of Vienna), Rebecca Stocker, BA (University of Vienna), Dr.
Philipp Stöckle (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Mag. Florian Tavernier (University of
Vienna), Dr. Tamás Tölgyesi (University of Vienna), Mag. Esther Topitz (University of
Vienna), Gerrit Silvia Tscheru, MA (University of Graz), Dr. Philip Vergeiner (University of
Salzburg), PD Dr. Mar!na Werner, MA (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Anja
Wi'bschlager, MA (University of Vienna), Theresa Ziegler, BA BA (University of Vienna)
The Scien!fic Advisory Board of the SFB “German in Austria. Varia!on – Contact –
Percep!on” (SFB F60): Prof. Dr. Peter Auer (University of Freiburg), Prof. Dr. Paul
Kerswill (University of York), Prof. Dr. Nancy Niedzielski (Rice University), Prof. Dr.
Øystein Vangsnes (UiT - The Arc!c University of Norway)
Project team members of the “Dic!onary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria (WBÖ)”: Prof.
Dr. Alexandra N. Lenz (University of Vienna /Austrian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Angela
Bergermayer (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Fabian Fleißner (Université de
Neuchâtel), Mag. Andreas Gellan (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Moritz Großfurter
(Austrian Academy of Sciences), Mag. David Gschösser (Austrian Academy of Sciences),
Chris!na Hemetsberger, BA (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Barbara Piringer
(Austrian Academy of Sciences), Stefanie Schöberl, MA (Austrian Academy of Sciences),
Mag. Omar Siam (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Philipp Stöckle (Austrian Academy
of Sciences), Manuela Stütz (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Sabine Wahl, MA (Austrian
Academy of Sciences), Mag. Eva Marina Wahlmüller (Austrian Academy of Sciences),
Patrick Zeitlhuber, MA (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
The Scien!fic Advisory Board as well as the co-opted experts of the „Dic!onary of
Bavarian Dialects in Austria (WBÖ)”: Prof. Dr. Peter Auer (University of Freiburg), Prof.
Dr. Hans Bickel (University of Basel), Dr. Jakob Ebner (Adalbert-S!"er-Ins!tut des
Landes Oberösterreich), HRin Dr. Ingeborg Geyer (Austrian Academy of Sciences), PD
Dr. Manfred Glauninger (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Prof. Dr. Mechthild Habermann
(University of Erlangen-Nürnberg), Prof. Dr. Anthony Rowley (Bavarian Acadamy of
Sciences and Humani!es), Prof. Dr. Peter Wiesinger (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
In this context, see also:
Op-Ed by Prof. Dr. Chris!ne Mannhalter, FWF vice-president (2010-2015) as well as interim
president (2015-2016): “Die falschen Behauptungen des Professor Muhr. Ja zur Kri!k, aber
diese muss auf nachvollziehbaren Quellen und Daten beruhen“ (‘Professor Muhr's false
claims. Yes to cri!cism, but it has to be based on transparent sources and data’), September
15, 2015. (h$ps://www.diepresse.com/4827891/die-falschen-behauptungen-des-professor-
muhr)
Rebu$al by the FWF regarding the Op-Ed “Sprachforschung: Zurück ins 19. Jahrhundert …"
(‘Language Research: Back to the 19th Century …’ September 22, 2015, “Die Presse”) from
September 23, 2015: h$ps://www.fwf.ac.at/de/news-
presse/news/nachricht/nid/20150923-2146/
[1] FWF = Austrian Science Fund (h$ps://www.fwf.ac.at/en/)
[2] Henceforth ‘SFB F60’
09. September 2021
Statement regarding the lecture
“Österreichisches Deutsch oder Deutsch in
Österreich? Über einen Problemfall, seit 1848,
der Wissenscha"sgeschichte” held on August
25, 2021 by Prof. Dr. Stefan Dollinger
Zita!on
DiÖ (2021): Statement regarding the lecture “Österreichisches Deutsch oder Deutsch in Österreich? Über einen
Problemfall, seit 1848, der Wissenscha"sgeschichte” held on August 25, 2021 by Prof. Dr. Stefan Dollinger. In: DiÖ-Online.
URL: h$ps://www.dioe.at/ar!kel/3034
[Zugri: 25.11.2021]
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Abstract: The present paper offers a close reading of Eberhard Kranzmayer’s texts from 1925 to 1960 in an effort to isolate Kranzmayer’s major methodological themes. One such theme is a pan-German (großdeutsch, at times deutsch-national) framework, in which the unity of German with a single standard variety is maintained. It will be shown how Kranzmayer used this assumption, combined with his belief in the cultural dominance of all things German, to perform “linguistic land claims” for Germany before and during the war. While his post-war texts are identical in argument, with some democratic window-trimmings, any land claims are more muted and the cultural “similarity” is now stressed. Kranzmayer’s time as director of the Institut für Kärntner Landesforschung, 1942-45, will be reviewed in regard to his claim that a people is determined by a standard variety: a status that he granted the Friuli, but not the Slovenes (the Windisch) and, certainly and always, the Germans. It will be argued that such pan-German mindset necessarily influenced conceptions of a budding Standard Austrian German and that, today still, Germanistik is still bound by the idea of a One-Standard-German Axiom, in striking similarity to the 1920s.
Die falschen Behauptungen des Professor Muhr. Ja zur Kri!k, aber diese muss auf nachvollziehbaren Quellen und Daten beruhen" ('Professor Muhr's false claims. Yes to cri!cism, but it has to be based on transparent sources and data')
  • Op
Op-Ed by Prof. Dr. Chris!ne Mannhalter, FWF vice-president (2010-2015) as well as interim president (2015-2016): "Die falschen Behauptungen des Professor Muhr. Ja zur Kri!k, aber diese muss auf nachvollziehbaren Quellen und Daten beruhen" ('Professor Muhr's false claims. Yes to cri!cism, but it has to be based on transparent sources and data'), September 15, 2015. (h$ps://www.diepresse.com/4827891/die-falschen-behauptungen-des-professormuhr)