PARENTS SUING AGAINST GERMAN GRAMMAR CHANGES WITHDRAW COMPLAINT

Posted on in Politica e lingue 10 vedi

PARENTS SUING AGAINST GERMAN GRAMMAR CHANGES WITHDRAW COMPLAINT

BY GEORGE BOEHMER= ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER=
FRANKFURT, GERMANY (AP) _ IN A SURPRISE MOVE, THE PARENTS OF TWO SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN WITHDREW THEIR LAWSUIT AGAINST GERMAN GRAMMAR CHANGES JUST ONE WEEK BEFORE THE NATION’S HIGHEST COURT WAS TO RULE ON IT.
GUNDA DIERCKS-ELSNER AND THOMAS ELSNER, FROM THE NORTHERN CITY OF LUEBECK, HAD COMPLAINED THAT A DECISION TO TEACH NEW GERMAN GRAMMAR IN SCHOOLS STARTING AUG. 1 VIOLATED THEIR RIGHTS ON HOW TO RAISE THEIR CHILDREN.
THEIR LAWYER THOMAS SCHUELLER SAID HIS CLIENTS WITHDREW THEIR COMPLAINT AFTER THE MUNICH-BASED FOCUS MAGAZINE REPORTED MONDAY THAT THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT HAD ALREADY DECIDED TO REJECT IT.
FOCUS, QUOTING SOURCES IN BONN, SAID THE COURT HAD DECIDED THAT THE GRAMMAR REFORMS WERE A REASONABLE DEVELOPMENT OF GERMAN WRITING.
DESPITE THE PARENTS’ WITHDRAWING THEIR COMPLAINT, THE COURT COULD STILL RULE ON THE CASE JULY 14 AS PLANNED, BECAUSE IT HAS ALREADY DISCUSSED IT AND BECAUSE OF THE HEATED PUBLIC DEBATE OVER THE PLANNED GRAMMAR CHANGES.
THE CONTROVERSY STARTED AFTER CULTURE OFFICIALS FROM EUROPE’S THREE GERMAN-SPEAKING COUNTRIES, AUSTRIA, GERMANY AND SWITZERLAND, AGREED IN JULY 1996 TO MODERNIZE AND SIMPLIFY THE LANGUAGE.
AMONG THE CHANGES: SHORTER COMPOUND NOUNS, CONSISTENT SPELLINGS, FEWER COMMA RULES _ NINE INSTEAD OF 52, AND ELIMINATING THE OLD GERMAN LETTER FOR A DOUBLE “S,” WHICH LOOKS LIKE A FLOPPY, CURSIVE B.
WHILE AUSTRIA AND SWITZERLAND HAVE TAKEN THE CHANGES IN STRIDE, MANY GERMANS OPPOSED THE CHANGES. PROMINENT GERMAN AUTHORS AND INTELLECTUALS ARGUE THAT THE #LANGUAGE OF GOETHE AND SCHILLER IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR TODAY’S CHILDREN. THE GOETHE INSTITUTE, THE INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN GERMAN LANGUAGE SCHOOL, HAS SAID IT WOULD BOYCOTT THE NEW GRAMMAR.
WHILE THE NEW GRAMMAR IS TO TAKE EFFECT NEXT MONTH, MANY SCHOOLS STARTED TEACHING IT A YEAR EARLY, LEADING TO A SERIES OF LEGAL CHALLENGES AND CONTRADICTORY RULINGS ACROSS GERMANY.
EARLIER THIS YEAR, SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN STATE AGREED TO HOLD A REFERENDUM ON THE GRAMMAR CHANGES ON SEPT. 27, THE SAME DAY AS THE NATIONAL ELECTION. THE PARENTS WHO HAD TRIED TO FIGHT THE CHANGES IN COURT NOW HOPE THEIR HOME STATE WILL VOTE THE CHANGES DOWN.
SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN’S EDUCATION MINISTER GISELA BOEHRK, ACCUSED DIERCKS-ELSNER AND ELSNER OF WITHDRAWING THEIR SUIT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT THE PUBLIC REFERENDUM TO BE AFFECTED BY A NEGATIVE COURT DECISION.
07 JUL 98




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