The Oxford Guide to Middle High German is the most comprehensive self-contained treatment of Middle High German available in English. It covers the language, literature, history, and culture of German in the period from 1050 to 1350 and is designed for entry-level readers, advanced study, teaching, and reference. The book includes a large sample of texts, not only from Classical works such as Erec, the Nibelungenlied, Parzival, and Tristan, but also from mystical writing, chronicles, and legal documents; the selection represents all major dialects and the full time span of the period. The volume begins with an introduction that defines Middle High German linguistically, geographically, and chronologically. Chapter 2 then provides a detailed exploration of the grammar, covering sounds and spelling, inflectional morphology, syntax, and lexis. Each section in this chapter begins with a summary of the main points, followed by detailed paragraphs for in-depth study and reference. Chapter 3 deals with versification, discussing metre, rhyme, lines of verse in context, and verse forms, and includes practical tips for scansion. Chapter 4 offers an account of the political and social structures of Medieval Germany and a survey of the principal types of texts that originated in the period. The final chapter of the book comprises over forty texts, each placed in context and provided with explanatory footnotes; the first two texts, to be taken together with the introductory grammar sections, are aimed at newcomers. A glossary provides full coverage of the vocabulary appearing in the texts and throughout the book.
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