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Varietätengebrauch und Varietätenkontakt in Südtirol und Ostbelgien

Claudia Maria Riehl (Köln)


 

Abstract

Dialect often plays an important role in minority communities where it functions as a marker of ethnic identity. In this case it also becomes an issue for speakers of the majority group who intend to acquire the minority language. The situation, however, differs from region to region and within different minority groups.

The article discusses the linguistic setting and variety use of two German-speaking minorities, South Tyrol and East Belgium. The main focus is on the dimensions of dialect use in different domains, its linguistic influence on the standard variety, and its role for identity building. It will be pointed out that South Tyrolians almost exclusively identify with their regional dialect, whereas East Belgians also make use of language mixing.

In its conclusion the article emphasizes the importance of dialectal and regional varieties for L2-learners: Learners should not only acquire a passive knowledge of the respective minority dialects, but also come to appreciate its symbolic value in the respective communities.


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