octroiren -- obsolete spelling of "oktroyieren"

TheChabon

Senior Member
Spanish-Argentina
Assuming [though not absolutely sure] that 'octroiren' is not a real word, anybody gets a sense of what that 'octroiren' may have been originally? This is an old book, manually typeset by somebody who was reading a manuscript and doing his best to figure out some other guy's handwriting.

Beide Künste, Malerei und Skulptur, hatten während der Glanzperiode des gothischen Systemes bis innerhalb des Bereiches derselben Kleinkünste [he's talking about book illustration, jewelry, etc., where painters and sculptors tested/expanded their skills], die ihnen jetzt das Feld zu freierem Schalten boten, den strengen Gesetzen der herrschenden Architektur gehorchen und deren struktive Formen zu dekorativen Zwecken sich octroiren lassen müssen.

The meaning seems to be something like
Both arts, painting and sculpture, during the golden age of the gothic system, within the territory/field of the (very) same minor arts that now offered a (field, room) for freer (creation, activity), had to obey the strict rules/principles of the dominant architecture and use? its [that is, architecture's] structural forms for decorative purposes.
 
  • Hutschi

    Senior Member
    The word itself is used seldom and I think it has French origin.
    I already heard it, but did not know the meaning. My wife knew it including the meaning, as given by Frank.

    But I know "aufoktroieren"="aufzwingen". (Spelling correct: aufoktroyieren)
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    The word "oktroyieren" (in modern spelling) has become very rare (as mentioned, this is mainly used as "aufoktroyieren"; strange but I too would have spelled it "aufoktroieren", for whatever reason), however it was used extensively in older texts.
    The spelling of the French loan suffix "-ieren" also previously was rather "-iren" (or at least in Austria that one was used a lot). The spelling "octroiren" I would date as 19th century (and previously), or possibly first half of 20th century included too.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    As far as I know "aufoktroyieren" does not exist . Since "oktroyieren" already means "aufzwingen".
    But it does, it is both in Duden and ÖWB (Österreichisches Wörterbuch); and at least in Austria "oktroyieren" hardly ever is used - what people use (and not too rarely, mainly in written language and educated spoken language) is "aufoktroyieren".
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Well at least Wikipedia is on my side:

    http://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/aufoktroyieren

    We were taught at university never ever to use "aufoktroyieren".
    Why, of course it is a pleonasm. :)
    That's not the point, the word is still listed in authoritative dictionaries, and it is used all the time (while at least in Austria "oktroyieren" is extremely rare).

    Both Duden and ÖWB list both terms. They're both accepted words of German language and in no way "wrong".
    Duden marks both terms as "bildungsspr.(achlich)"; ÖWB doesn't give any stylistic marking for either term (which means that it may be considered stylistically unmarked in standard language).
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Well at least Wikipedia is on my side:

    http://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/aufoktroyieren

    We were taught at university never ever to use "aufoktroyieren".
    But it is a fact that people mostly use "aufoktroyieren" be it a pleonasm or not. But I guess it doesn't matter since the interpretation of "oktroyieren" as "to impose" is a confusion anyway. The true meaning of the word is "to grant" ("bewilligen"). That is what the French word means and this was also the original meaning in German.

    Does anyone know what caused this semantic shift? I have a surmise but I am not sure if it is correct: I think, the origin is 19 century politics where the transition from absolutist to constitutional monarchies were usually done by a "oktroyierte Verfassung", i.e. a constitution "granted by the monarch". In the eyes of democrats this was an "imposed constitution" because they would have preferred a constitution drafted by an assembly like the Paulskirchenverfassung. But that is just my guess.
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Does anyone know what caused this semantic shift? I have a surmise but I am not sure if it is correct: I think, the origin is 19 century politics where the transition from absolutist to constitutional monarchies were usually done by a "oktroyierte Verfassung", i.e. a constitution "granted by the monarch". In the eyes of democrats this was an "imposed constitution" because they would have preferred a constitution drafted by an assembly like the Paulskirchenverfassung. But that is just my guess.
    Kluge says you're right. :) I'm quoting from Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch 1999 (3rd edition, p. 64):

    Kluge said:
    Die - nur deutsche - spätere Bedeutungsveränderung beruht auf dem Streit um die preußische Verfassung von 1848, die vom König oktroyiert, also 'erlassen' wurde. Dies wurde von den Demokraten, die in der oktroyierten Verfassung eine aufgezwungene Verfassung sahen, nicht gebilligt. Diesen Sinn hat das Wort (verstärkt durch auf-) bis heute beibehalten.
     

    TheChabon

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Argentina
    Stumbled again upon this one. The author is now talking about the Greek column orders (doric, etc.):

    Eine in dem Folgenden angewandte Methode, gewisse charakteristische Verschiedenheiten in den Grundverhältnissen der Ordnungen zusammenzufassen, ist nur ein einfaches Vergleichsmittel, soll keineswegs als ein den Alten oktroirter Kanon gelten,

    Would that mean
    - a canon/norm/rule imposed/set up by the Greeks (the ancients) [as if it were a universally valid rule, that is; as if saying, something they legislated],
    - a canon that was imposed on the Greeks, that they were subjected to when using columns etc.?
    - a canon that the Greeks impose on somebody (everybody, including us)?
    - an 'imposed canon' that 'belongs to', 'comes from' the Greeks?
     
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