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German or not German: That is the question! On the status of the autochthonous dialects in East Lorraine (France)

  • The European language world is characterized by an ideology of monolingualism and national languages. This language-related world view interacts with social debates and definitions about linguistic autonomy, diversity, and variation. For the description of border minorities and their sociolinguistic situation, however, this view reaches its limits. In this article, the conceptual difficulties with a language area that crosses national borders are examined. It deals with the minority in East Lorraine (France) in particular. On the language-historical level, this minority is closely related to the language of its (big) neighbor Germany. At the same time, it looks back on a conflictive history with this country, has never filled a (subordinated) political–administrative unit, and has experienced very little public support. We want to address the questions of how speakers themselves reflect on their linguistic situation and what concepts and argumentative figures they bring up in relation to what (Germanic) variety. To this end, we look at statements from guideline-based interviews. In the paper, we present first observations gained through qualitative content analysis.

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Author:Rahel BeyerORCiDGND, Albrecht PlewniaORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Languages
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2021
Date of Publication (online):2021/03/17
Tag:France; German; Lorraine; language area; language ideology; language status; linguistic minority
GND Keyword:Deutsch; Dialektologie; Frankreich; Historische Sprachwissenschaft; Lothringen; Minderheitensprache; Mundart; Soziolinguistik; Sprachliche Minderheit; Sprachpolitik
Issue:1: Article 48
Page Number:19
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
BDSL-Classification:Deutsche Mundarten
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Dialektologie / Sprachgeografie
Program areas:Z1: Sprache im öffentlichen Raum
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Attribution 4.0 International