The language peculiarities of Johann N. Nestroy (1801 – 1862) - as used in his parodies and dramas - are considered the literary highlights of the Old-Viennese “Volkstheater”. Nevertheless, a comprehensive study, which explores the linguistic facets of J.N. Nestroy’s theatrical corpus from the point of view of modern linguistics, still remains a desideratum. Nowadays, advanced detailed research on the language use in Nestroy’s plays, such as the current project, can be enormously enhanced by the following recent major accomplishments in the study of Nestroy’s work: The completion of the new historical-critical edition of the Nestroy corpus (1977-2012), edited by Hein, Hüttner, Obermaier and Yates (under the patronage of the International Nestroy Society) as well as the digital database and concordance provided online by the International Nestroy Society.
A representative range of registers, technical languages, sociolects, and (comical) idiolects will be described and analysed. Linguistic, stylistic and statistical observations will be combined with DH-tools as well as computational methods and will be supplemented by typological comparisons with material drawn from diachronic and synchronic sociolinguistic research. Along the lines of recent studies and methods in corpus linguistics, the project consists in the compilation of a “Grammar of Nestroy’s language”, which will revise, augment and supplement earlier similar studies (Hein 1968, 1970, 1975 and more recently Hunger 1999). Furthermore, the project will compile an efficient tool and provide data on the Austrian German variety of the 19th century.
The project is funded by the Jubiläumsfonds of the Austrian National Bank (ÖNB; P 18421)