Modern German Eagle

There are both linguistic and extra-linguistic reasons for regarding the mid-17th century as the beginning of a new linguistic period. By this time, the sound changes which result in the phonological system of Modern German had been completed – no further major changes take place within the NHG period. The Thirty Years War saw the population reduced by at least one third, and the subsequent Treaty of Westphalia, signed in 1648, guaranteed the relative independence of hundreds of small and large states within the Holy Roman Empire, as well as recognizing the complete independence of the Netherlands and Switzerland. The 1641 publication of Justus Georg Schottelius’s Teutsche Sprachkunst marks the beginning of the debate about a standardised national language.

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