German Clerical Prose of the 13th Century Reflected by Latin Tradition: An Examination of Linguistic Variability and Stereotype

The intended examination focuses on the tension between variation and repetition, between grammatical-lexical variance and consistency in text documents of the Middle Ages. It aims to describe the variance of stereotype sentence and text units as contained, for example, in Upper German clerical prose of the 13th Century (with regard to later tradition until the late 15th century) under paradigmatic and syntactic aspects and further to confront it with Latin documents. An analysis of treatises, reflections, sermons, monastery regulations and phrases, is to contribute towards the determination of boundaries which distinguish the stereotype as an elementary unit of a literary tradition from the common units of natural language, on the one hand, and from the units of traditional poetry as such (i.e. not context-related), on the other hand.