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Martin Aedler and the «High Dutch Minerva»

The First German Grammar for the English


Fredericka van der Lubbe

Who wrote the High Dutch Minerva? And why? This work seeks to disprove the reasons offered by scholars for the emergence of the first German grammar for the English, the High Dutch Minerva (1680), by considering biographical material on the author, Martin Aedler (1643-1724), placing the author and his work in their German and English social contexts. It argues that Aedler, a lecturer in Hebrew, published his grammar for the use of the English intellectual elite, but did so to satisfy the patriotic imperatives of members of the German language societies and their desire to legitimate the German language for a new audience; Aedler does this through the use of universal grammar. Included is an edition of his correspondence which sheds light on the teaching of Hebrew at Cambridge.
Contents: History of German teaching – Anglo-German relations in 17th-century England – A biography of Martin Aedler – The German language societies – Publication of the High Dutch Minerva – The teaching of Hebrew at Cambridge – German and English motivation for a German grammar – High Dutch Minerva as universal grammar; reception in England and Germany.