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GM4049 Language and Ideology in the GDR and West Germany from 1949 - 1989

SCOTCAT credits:15
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 10
Planned timetable:To be arranged.

This module examines the relationship between language and politics by comparing the language of the FRG and the GDR in the period 1949-1989. The question posed is: did the two German states use language as an ideological weapon, or were their language differences merely a reflection of their different political systems, one capitalist, the other socialist? We will analyse texts of the period, e.g. from Neues Deutschland and the West German press, and use the Leipzig Duden and the Mannheim Duden, to bring out and examine the grammatical, lexical, word-formation and textual features which were characteristic of the language of the two Germanies during the Cold War.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for Single and Joint Honours German

UG Pre-requisite(s):Permission of the German Honours Adviser

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:1 seminar and 1 surgery hour.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 16
  • Guided independent study: 134

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 60%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 40%
UG As used by St Andrews:2-hour Written Examination = 60%, Coursework = 40%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr C Beedham
Module teaching staff:Dr C Beedham