Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997 21:05:28 -0500 From: Gerald Cohen Subject: Re: "Ich bin ein Berliner." I've located Reinhold Aman's article on "Ich bin ein Berliner:" "Debunking Kennedy's 'I Am A Jelly-Filled Doughnut'" _Maledicta_ vol. 11, 1990-1995 (dates: sic), pp.63-64. A few of Aman's observations are: 1) "About seven years ago, an American language professor claimed that John =46. Kennedy's exclamation _Ich bin ein Berliner!_ really means 'I am a jelly-filled doughnut!' This nonsense was reprinted widely, including in _The New York Times_ of April 30, 1988..." ---The writers claimed that such citizens never refer to themselves as "Berliners" and that the residents of Berlin "tittered among themselves" when J.F.K. uttered his immortal words. 2) Aman--a native speaker of German, a former professor of German, and a German dialectologist (among other qualifications) points out: "_Ich bin ein Berliner_ means 'I am a Berliner,' [i.e.] 'a male person/native of Berlin' and absolutely nothing else." 3) "A female from Berlin would say, _Ich bin (eine) Berlinerin_. Most northern German s normally do not use the indefinite article _ein(e)_ with place-name origins and professions (e.g. _Ich bin Berliner. Ich bin Professor._), whereas most southern Germans, Austrians, and Swiss Germans do use it. (_Ich bin ein Schweizer. Ich bin eine =D6sterreicherin. Ich bin ein Professor._)" 4) "No intelligent native speaker of German tittered in Berlin when J.F.K. spoke, just as no native speaker of German...would titter if someone said, _Ich bin ein Wiener_ or _Hamburger_ or _Frankfurter_" --Aman, incidentally, is a native of Bavaria. He points out that he can correctly say _Ich bin ein Bayer_ without any native-speaking German supposing that he is calling himself an aspirin. --Gerald Cohen gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]