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Orrin "Rob" Robinson



Building 260, Room 251
Phone: 650 723 0413
Fax: 650 725 8421

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Tuesdays 2:00-3:30PM

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fairy tales
Old High German
Historical linguistics

Orrin "Rob" Robinson

Professor of German Studies

I returned to the Farm after getting my Ph.D. in 1972 and teaching in the Berkeley German department for a year. I have conducted research in a number of different areas in general and also in Germanic linguistics, with works on theoretical phonology (the formal structure of sound systems), the history and dialectology of various of the Germanic languages, and Old High German syntax. In addition, more recent interests include the question of exactly what data count as data when one is describing the language known as Modern "Standard" German, and, farther afield, those linguistic aspects of the Grimms' fairy tales which aided in the establishment of what was arguably a new genre. Among my publications are the books Old English and Its Closest Relatives (Stanford University Press, 1992), Clause Subordination and Verb Placement in the Old High German Isidor Translation (C. Winter,1997), Whose German?: The ach/ich alternation and related phenomena in standard and colloquial (Benjamins, 2001) and Grimm Language: Grammar, Gender and Genuineness in the Fairy Tales (Benjamins, 2010).


1972 Ph.D. (Linguistics) from Cornell University
1968 B.A. from Stanford University


GERMAN 120N The Brothers Grimm and Their Fairy Tales

Historical, biographical, linguistic, and literary look at the Kinder- and Hausmarchen of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Readings from the fairy tales, plus materials in other media such as film and the visual arts. Four short essays, one or two oral reports. Preference to Freshmen; class then opens to all. Fulfills WIM for German majors (must be taken for letter grade.) In German.

GERMAN 298 Writing Workshop

Open only to German majors and to students working on special projects, including written reports for internships. Honors students use this number for the honors essay. May be repeated for credit.