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Is the Konjunktiv I neccessary after the prepositions laut, nach, zufolge and similar?

As an example, which of the following is correct?;

Laut Professor Schmidt sei niemand verpflichtet, auf die Ansprüche der modernen Kommunikationskultur einzugehen.

Laut Professor Schmidt ist niemand verpflichtet, auf die Ansprüche der modernen Kommunikationskultur einzugehen.

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Generally, Konjunktiv I is necessary when there is no other marker that the following is a quote or reported speech.

Constructs that contain "laut", "zufolge", "gemäß",... are generally considered to have "enough" of such a marker already.

Duden has the following comments on that:

Die indirekte Rede ist häufig von einem Verb des Sagens [...] begleitet. Der Sprecher/Schreiber übernimmt dabei keine Gewähr für die Gültigkeit der wiedergegebenen Aussage. Dies ist auch bei präpositionalen Quellenangaben mit laut, zufolge, gemäß usw. der Fall:

Hinweisen aus der Bevölkerung zufolge hatten sich die Rebellen schon vorher abgesetzt.

Nach Nietzsche ist glattes Eis ein Paradeis für den, der gut zu tanzen weiß.

Daher gelten diese Konstruktionen als Konkurrenzformen der indirekten Rede, werden allerdings in der Regel im Indikativ formuliert:

Laut Radio Eriwan genossen die Sowjetbürger das Leben in vollen Zügen – besonders auf der Strecke von Moskau nach Leningrad.

Thus, their recommendation is to not use Konjunktiv I, but rather indicative, in such cases.

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  • I would go so far as to say that using Konjunktiv in the OP’s example would indicate that even that fact that Professor Schmidt said that is only claimed by someone else.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 9:50
  • @CarstenS Not sure about that. "Nach Nietzsche sei glattes Eis ein Paradeis" simply sounds weird (rather: plain wrong) to me without further information or context of reported speech. "Hans sagte, dass nach Nieztsche Eis ein Paradeis sei" is OK and sayis what you imply.
    – tofro
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 9:58
  • I think it needs further context in the same way as “Nietzsche habe gesagt, glattes Eis sei ein Paradeis”.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 10:04
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The use of the conjunctive present after prepositions like laut, nach, zufolge and similar might vary regionally. I would prefer the conjunctive:

Laut Professor Schmidt sei niemand verpflichtet, auf die Ansprüche der modernen Kommunikationskultur einzugehen.

The reason for my preference might be that I am a speaker of Swiss German. It is one of the few dialects where the conjunctive present is used in common everyday speech, see indirekte Rede « atlas-alltagssprache. The hypothesis would be as follows: If you live in a region where conjunctive present is used in common everyday speech, then you are more likely to use it after prepositions like laut, nach, zufolge and similar.

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Is the Konjunktiv I neccessary

No. In German, moods are at your free disposal. Same as the tense-pair you use. The only thing you need to get right is the distinction between non-past (simple tenses) and past (perfect tenses).

If you use Konjunktiv I, that makes it sound as if Schmidt doesn't align to this. At least not without that lengthy discussion that for sure follows.

Such presets that are then discussed are often marked with “sei” in German. Especially in math.

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    Hm, I would have considered the quote as indirect speech and so can't agree with your middle paragraph.
    – guidot
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 8:31
  • In the second paragraph, KI is confused with KII. Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 10:13
  • No, it isn't. Konjunktiv II is for non-facts. Konjunktiv I is for things that you don't align to — hearsay.
    – Janka
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 20:02

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