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date: 02 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Spelling dictionaries have a special function closely connected with orthography. One has to distinguish between orthography and graphematics: graphematics concerns the internal writing system, constitutes part of the grammatical system, and supplies grammatical structured writings; orthography prescribes how to spell a certain unit, and is governed by external rules. Comparing German with English it becomes clear that a historically developed writing system does not necessarily lead to an explicitly orthographic system governed by rules. The example of spelling dictionaries of German is used to characterize the structure and function of spelling dictionaries. The macro- and microstructure of the most popular German spelling dictionaries is shown, the Duden (2009) and the Brockhaus-Wahrig (2011), and their function explored. They contain an alphabetically ordered wordlist, which constitutes one part of the doubly-coded orthography in German. To understand the outstanding position of the Duden, its recent history and self-perception are analysed.

Keywords: spelling dictionaries, graphematics, orthography, orthographic reforms, function of spelling dictionaries, structure of spelling dictionaries

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