Brief Description of German and Other Germanic Language Varieties on the Territory of Wallonia

Introduction. The article considers the official and regional Germanic language varieties of Wallonia. As researchers mainly focus on the confrontation of the French and Dutch parts of Belgium when analyzing sociolinguistic processes in the country, studying the linguistic situation in the Wallonia regions where German, Luxembourgish, Ripuarian (Plattdütsch) are widespread might be of great current interest. Methodology and data sources. The research methodology is based on Russian and foreign approaches towards studying pluricentric and regional languages. Through the example of Plattdütsch the current state of the concept of dialect continuum boundaries was analyzed. A continuous sampling method was used to search for examples showing lexicogrammatical peculiarities of the Germanic language varieties common in Wallonia. Results and discussion. The article presents the diversity of the Germanic language varieties widespread in Wallonia. The history of the German language in Belgium and its current state have been explored. The correlation of the Limburg language and Ripuarian dialects has been studied. In an attempt of linguistic identification of Plattdütsch, the Germanic language varieties of East Cantons have been reviewed, the role of Low German dialects (Plattdeutsch) in the evolvement of German-speaking regions in Belgium has been analyzed. Lexical and grammar peculiarities of the Luxembourgish language in comparison with German and Limburg have been summarized. The Limburg language is presented as one of the foundations of Plattdütsch. Conclusion. Whereas the German language is an official language in Wallonia, Luxembourgish and Plattdütsch have the status of regional languages, notably, the latter is often used for political manipulations, which hinders its linguistic identification. By presenting it as a special language, French-oriented politicians aim at downgrading the role of Dutch in East cantons. Limburg is a variety of Dutch both in Belgium and the Netherlands, the Ripuarian language in Germany represent German, however the Wallonia government prefers to point out uniqueness of Plattdütsch.

Authors: Alekseenko E. S., Ulianitckaia L. A.

Direction: Linguistics

Keywords: Belgium, sociolinguistics, linguistic contactology, the German language, the Limburg language, the Lux-embourgish language

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