|Netherlands , Germany|
Lower Franconian is the collective name for a language group in the continental West Germanic dialect continuum . The Lower Franconian dialect continuum extends over the southern and western area of the Netherlands (see map of distribution area), the north of Belgium ( Flanders ), a small area in the extreme north of France ( French Flanders ) as well as the Lower Rhine and the east of the Bergisches Land in western Germany ( North Rhine-Westphalia ). This means that Kleverland and Ostbergisch are also Lower Franconian in the (High) German-speaking area and thus belong to the Dutch dialects . In South Africa and Namibia, Afrikaans is also included. Almost all Lower Franconian dialects have the Dutch standard language as their umbrella language . In the Lower Franconian areas of Germany, Dutch was not replaced by Standard (High) German until the 19th century .
The Franks (meaning "the brave, bold") formed in the 3rd century during the retreat of the Romans from the occupied part of Germania to one of the major Germanic tribes from which the Franks later emerged.
The (proto) Franconian tribes initially settled to the right of the Rhine and repeatedly pushed forward on raids into Gallo-Roman territory. From the tribes that settled from the lower Lower Rhine to the Salland on the IJssel , the sub-tribe of the Salians , also called Salfranken , was formed. The tribes that settled from the greater Cologne area over the Middle Rhine to the Lahn were gradually absorbed into the Rhine Franconia and the Moselle Franconia descended from them . From the Lower Rhine, the Sal and Rhine Francs initially expanded spatially separated until they were united under the Merovingian Clovis I in the 5th century .
The Lower Franconian dialects in the Netherlands, Belgium and in the western German region on the Lower Rhine (between Kleve and Düsseldorf ) are traced back to dialects of Sal Franconian, with the South Lower Franconian between the Uerdinger line and the Benrath line being considered the Lower Franconian-Ripuarian transition area.
The dialects spoken in the greater Cologne (Kölsch) / Bonn / Aachen (Öcher Platt) area are called Ripuarian . Together with the Moselle Franconian spoken in the Moselle region via Trier to Luxembourg, it is part of what is now called Middle Franconian . The dialects spoken further south in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate are known as Rheinfränkisch . Historically (from the 5th / 6th century) the terms Rhine Franconia and Ripuarier were equated . Today, however, only the dialects spoken between Westberg and Cologne / Aachen / Bonn are called "Ripuarian". The term "Rheinfränkisch" applies to the Franconian dialects above the Middle Rhine in the area of the Main estuary, east into Hesse, southwest to Rhineland-Palatinate.
The assignment of a dialect to a specific region or city has become more difficult as a result of regional reorganizations, as dialect borders now stretch across municipalities. The Uerdinger ek-ech line now runs through the urban area of Krefeld and Duisburg and separates the southern Lower Franconian Krieewelsch from the northern Lower Franconian Hölsch Plott of the district of Hüls. Such examples can also be given for other municipalities.
From frencisk to diutisk to flat Duytsche
The early Franks simply called their language frencisk or frencisg , although the dialects in the different regions - as they do today - differed and developed. There are few written sources on the language of the early Franks. An old Franconian sentence that has been handed down from the Merovingian period comes from Franconian popular law of the 6th to 8th centuries (the Latin Lex Salica ):
- maltho itho frio blito
- I say [,] I'll set you free [,] semi-free
- maltho friatho meotho
- I say [,] I set you free [,] servant
When the West Franconian part of the Franconian people (in today's France and Wallonia) began to linguistically separate from the eastern part (in today's Benelux countries and Germany), conflicts arose with the name frencisk (Franconian). The Western Franks, who had gradually adopted the Gallo-Roman language , a special form of Latin, claimed the term francaise (French) for their new language, Old French .
In Eastern Franconia, a new term for the own language established itself: diutisk (German). This term was borrowed from the old Germanic term theodo for "people" and appears in Latin scripts of the early Middle Ages as theodisca lingua , which means something like "popular language". At first only related to the language of the people, around the year 1000 the root of the word also got the meaning for the people as such - not only for the people of Franconian origin, but for all Germanic ethnic groups in the Franconian Empire. This also applied to Luxembourgers , Flemings and Dutch , who until the separation of the empire after the abdication of Emperor Charles V (1500 to 1558) also referred to themselves as Germans or Low German (cf. the term Dutch for "Dutch").
On the East Franconian (German) side there was a designation walhisc ( Welsch , originally for a tribe of the Gauls) for the Gallo-Roman population in the West Franconian Empire, including the now Romanized West Franks. The meaning of "foreign language" or "foreigner" for Welscher persisted in Germany up to modern times (see also gibberish and rotwelsch ).
On the West Franconian (French) side there was a distinction from the inhabitants of the East Franconian Empire to the name allemant (for "the Germans", derived from the Germanic tribe of the Alamanni ). This designation persists - in modified forms - in many countries.
From the time of the linguistic separation of the (now French) West Franks from the (now German / Dutch / Flemish) Franks in the Eastern Empire, there is an important language testimony: the Strasbourg oaths of the year 842. They sealed the alliance of Charles the Bald and Louis the German , of two grandsons of Charlemagne , against their brother Lothar . Because the entourage did not ( or no longer) understood the language of the other side, the oaths were taken in two languages - a forerunner of Old French (the language of Charles) and Old Franconian (the language of Ludwig). The old Franconian oath read:
- In godes minna ind in thes christanes folches ind our bedhero salary fon thesemo dage frammordes so fram so mir got geuuizci indi mahd furgibit so haldih thesan minan bruodher soso man with rehtu sinan bruodher scali in thiu thaz he mig no sama duo indi thing ne gango the minan uillon imo ce scadhen uuerdhen.
- “For the love of God and the Christian people and the salvation of all of us, from this day on, as far as God gives me knowledge and ability, I will assist my brother Karl, both in helping and in every other matter, just as one would his brother should stand by him so that he will do the same to me, and I will never make an agreement with Lothar that willingly harm my brother Karl. "
A famous " marriage proposal " is dated to the late 11th century and is often considered to be the earliest "genuine" Old Dutch (Old Lower Franconian) written document: Hebban olla vogala - a Latin-Franconian rhyming verse:
- Hebban olla vogala nestas hagunnan hinase hic enda thu uuat unbidan uue nu
- "Have all the birds started nests it-not-be me and you, what do we not offer now?"
- analogously: "Have all birds started nests except me and you, what are we waiting for?"
Rhine Maasland in the Lower Franconian language area
Only the written documents from the 14th to the 16th century are more understandable for today's readers. In the German-Dutch Rhine-Maas triangle - in the Lower Franconian-speaking area - a written and office language had developed that replaced the Latin that had previously been used primarily for written decrees: Rhine-Maasland .
Here is an example from this period, a "weather report" recorded in 1517 by the Duisburg Johanniterkaplan Johann Wassenberch :
- In the selven jair op den XVden (15th) dach yn den Aprijl, ende was doe des goedesdachs (derivation from Wodan's day = Wednesday) nae Paischen (derivation from “Passover” = Easter), van den goedesdach op den donredach (derivation von Donars Tag = Thursday) yn der Nacht, wastz soe calt, dat alle vruchten van allen boemen, van eyckelen, van noethen, van kyrssen, van proemen (plums), van appelen etc. neyt uytgescheyden (nothing except) vervroren end verorven ( frozen to death and spoiled), want sy stoenden yn oeren voellen blomen (full bloom). Item (all the while) all who vynstocken vervroren end withered, off ("whether" in the sense of "as if") were burned. End (and) dair schach great ruinous pity.
The written language (Rhine-Maasland), which emerged in the 12th century in the Rhine-Maas triangle, had many elements of the regional dialect, but is not to be equated with this. The Niederrheinisches Platt was the spoken language of the farmers, craftsmen and common people, who were often ignorant of writing. the Rhine Maasland, on the other hand, was the written language (written language) of the upper classes, the nobility and the law firms. Rhenish Maasland had largely replaced Latin as the written language until it lost its importance from the 16th century; on the one hand in favor of the "high German" spreading from Cologne, on the other hand in favor of a separate written language emerging in today's Netherlands. Kurköln had already introduced a writing language (similar to High German) in 1544, which soon had an impact on the law firms and the like. a. in Moers, Duisburg and Wesel. However, this "standard German written language" was able to establish itself in some areas, e. B. in Geldrisches Oberquartier , due to the ties to the House of Habsburg, only very slowly. For a longer period of time, German and Dutch coexisted in some cities (including Geldern, Kleve, Wesel, Krefeld) and decrees were issued in both written languages.
From the 18th century, the linguistic separation between the Lower Rhine and the Maas area was complete. The respective high-level and written languages went their separate ways. Lower Rhine as a spoken dialect outlasted the new borders and persisted up to the present day.
The term Platt used in the north and west of Germany for one's own dialect is not derived from the fact that it is spoken in the “flat land”; rather, the old Franconian “plat” meant “flat”, but also something like “clear and distinct” for its speakers.
In a Delft bible from 1524 there is talk of the "platten duytsche". In the Lower Rhine there are idioms to say something “flat vür dä Kopp” to someone (to say unequivocally to the face). Since there were also differences in the old Franconian language area between the “polished” expression of the upper class and the “language of common vokes”, in this sense “speaking flatly” meant something like “speaking plain text”. Plain text that every farmer and craftsman understood. Thus, flat was the language of the common people.
The exact linguistic limits of Lower Franconian are disputed today. Historically, the Lower Franconian dialects were common north of the Benrath line and west of the unified plural line . The dialect border ran along the IJssel, where it coincided almost exactly with the earlier rulership boundaries of the Gelderian Niederquartier of Arnhem and Nijmegen . This unified plural line has now been weakened and the dialects of the East and West Veluws, which are located west of the IJssel, are now assigned to Lower Saxony , and in the Netherlands also known as Nedersaks .
The Lower Franconian dialect group is limited in the south-west by the French-speaking area. The coastal dialects of the North Sea form the transition to West Frisian and thus have a strong Frisian substrate that increases further towards the north. The Dutch , the strongest substrate under the Low Franconian dialects, but not as strong as that of Stadtfriesische . The Zeeland region has a strong West Flemish substrate in its coastal area bordering Belgium .
The main transnational distribution area of Lower Franconian is in the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders); also in the Dunkirk region in France and in the north-western Rhineland in Germany (state of North Rhine-Westphalia) on the Lower Rhine .
The Lower Franconian dialects of Germany are also referred to as Niederrheinisch because of their location and the respective local dialects are colloquially known as “ Platt ”, scientifically mostly “Place name -er Platt”. Today they are regarded as transition dialects between Dutch on the one hand and Low German on the other, where the Westphalian dialect dream begins a few kilometers east of the Rhine (roughly at the level of the city of Essen) .
Low Franconian differs from the other Franconian dialects by the largely missing second (or High German) sound shift . There are broad dialect transitional areas to Ripuarian , Lower Saxony and Frisian (see dialect continuum ). Only in the immediate border area to Central Franconia does t often appear as z or s.
Lower Franconian varieties are constantly changing due to the dialect continuum that still exists today. Due to the influence of the respective umbrella language in Germany (German) and in the Netherlands (Dutch), the dialectal characteristics of the local dialects are under severe pressure and the number of native speakers of Lower Franconia is decreasing from generation to generation.
In addition, the various local dialects of Lower Franconia in the Netherlands differ less clearly from standard Dutch than, for example, the Lower Saxon or Frisian dialects in the Netherlands and are therefore subject to greater pressure from the Dutch umbrella language .
The following varieties are now part of Lower Franconian, with Dutch and Afrikaans having the status of national and written languages:
- Dutch in the Netherlands , Belgium and Suriname or their European dialects
- Afrikaans (in South Africa and Namibia )
- Negro Dutch (Creolized Dutch spoken between the 18th and 19th centuries in the West Indian Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. Jan.)
- Ceylon Dutch (Creolized Dutch, spoken between the 17th and 18th centuries in what is now Sri Lanka . Has been considered extinct on the island since 1907.)
Due to their origin, parts of German dialects should also be counted as Lower Franconian:
- Kleverländisch , which was exposed to Dutch for a long time.
- Various Limburg dialects , which were heavily exposed to Ripuarian as a result of the so-called "Cologne expansion" and are thus now between Ripuarian and Lower Franconian proper.
A more detailed description of the Lower Rhine is given in the next section.
Classification of the Lower Franconian
Lower Franconian is a family of closely related West Germanic dialects. If you assign the dialects to an umbrella language , this is Dutch for the Lower Franconian dialects. Dutch and Afrikaans , which is widespread in South Africa, arose from the Lower Franconian dialects .
In earlier linguistics, it was customary to regard Low Franconian as a branch of Low German, according to August Schleicher's family tree theory , while making the feature of the missing High German sound shift absolute . The East Lower Franconian dialects resident in Germany, such as B. Kleverland , therefore sometimes still referred to as "Low German dialects". Today, however, this family tree theory is often considered obsolete by well-known German scholars and is essentially only represented and used in the sub-scientific secondary literature.
In terms of linguistic history, the Lower Franconian dialects go back to the old dialects of the Salfranken , whose dialects were influenced and differentiated to varying degrees by the advancing High German phonetic shift during the Middle Ages . The formerly uniform Franconian language area was thus divided into Lower Franconian, Ripuarian (including Kölsch ) and Moselle Franconian . The Rhine Franconian and South and East Franconian dialects further south were strongly influenced by Alemannic or Bavarian and have changed their linguistic character even more.
In contrast to Ripuarian dialects around Cologne, Bonn, Aachen and (to a lesser extent) in the southern Bergisches Land , the Lower Franconian dialects were not or only partially covered by the High German phonetic shift, which is why they now have largely the same phonetic level as Lower Saxon and Dutch.
The “Düsseldorfer Platt” shows, in addition to a few adjacent (south) Lower Franconian dialect variants, minor High German influences (“t” at the beginning of the word is shifted to “z”; e.g. “two” instead of the usual “twee”; “p” and “k “In the interior of the word remain only partially unchanged; eg:“ lope ”= run,“ make ”= do, which can be attributed to the influence of commercial travelers who have come across the Rhine). Thus the structurally similar Rhenish dialects around Cologne and Düsseldorf differ considerably in terms of sound level.
The dialects of Mönchengladbach and part of its surroundings are relatively strongly influenced by the Ripuars . For example, if you say “hebbe (n)” or “höbbe (n)” for to have in Kleverland and Low German, it says “han” in Middle Franconia. In Langenberg, Ostbergic has both the forms “han” and “häw (we)”, depending on which side of the Deilbach it is on.
The Kleverländische and Südniederfränkische ( Limburgish in Germany ) are often referred to as "Dutch dialects" as the linguistic distance to the high standard German (German) much more pronounced than the Dutch.
Lower Rhine in two meanings
Two different dialect variants are known today as Niederrheinisch:
- the Lower Franconian dialect - Platt - (North Lower Franconian and South Lower Franconian)
- a regiolect which is mostly referred to as Lower Rhine German and which - since there are fewer and fewer Platt speakers - has established itself as a "new colloquial language" (which also applies to other regions).
Lower Rhine German can be found e.g. B. in the performances and writings of Hanns Dieter Hüsch - the "black sheep from the Lower Rhine" - who occasionally also incorporated " Grafschafter Platt ", the idiom of his hometown Moers. "Niederrhein-Deutsch" is characterized by "simplifications and summaries of words ( hassse, kannse, willsse, tuusse ) with occasional new formations," z. B.
- Regiolekt: "But you can take poison on it - everyone still hate it?"
- Dialect: "There would be an avalanche Geef drop - do you hate it?"
- High German: "But you can put poison on it - do you still have them all?"
- Since "me and me" may be confused in Niederrhein-Platt (there is only one form, as in Dutch and English), these confusions also occur - occasionally - in Regiolekt - in High German they would be fatal:
- Dialect: "Min Moder would have för mesch yeseit, dinne Vaader would still have nied ens jeschrieeve."
- Regiolekt: "my mother has cared for me, your father has not even written you."
- High German: "My mother said for me (to me!) That your father did not even write to you (to you!)."
- Phrases like: "... it's about that ..." instead of: "it's about that ..." are typical Lower Rhine German.
- Regiolekt (the word does not use "Regiolekt speaker") is used in a relaxed atmosphere when you are "among yourself". If there are dialect speakers in the group, the result is a mixture of dialect and regiolect. The more “formal” a conversation becomes or when talking to strangers, the more the Regiolect takes a back seat to High German and the otherwise Regiolect speaking will speak a “cultivated High German” - at least he will think it is (“Wodrauf de dich can leave it!”) ).
- Regiolekt largely follows standard German in its choice of words, but in terms of sentence structure it is similar to dialect. The tone of voice (the “singsang”) of the Regiolekt also corresponds to that of the dialect - a Klever, Krefelder or Mönchengladbacher can be recognized by the tone of voice, even if he speaks High German.
- In his book Der Niederrhein und seine Deutsch, the linguist Georg Cornelissen recorded the development that led more and more people from using the dialect to using the Lower Rhine German known as Regiolect .
In contrast, Niederrhein-Platt belongs to the Lower Franconian dialects , which are spoken in Germany on both sides of the Lower Lower Rhine, west of the Lower Saxon-Lower Franconian dialect . This is a line that runs roughly west of Bocholt - Essen - Wuppertal-Barmen - Wipperfürth and north of the so-called Uerdinger line , the northernmost line of the Rhenish fan , which crosses the Rhine in the north of Krefeld-Uerdingen . The Ostberg dialects ( Velbert-Langenberg , Wuppertal-Elberfeld , Gummersbach ) are also included.
The latter lie in a narrow strip east of this Uerdinger line, which, after crossing the southernmost city district of Duisburg , continues in a south-easterly direction and meets the Benrath line near Wipperfürth and, together with it, continues eastwards The boundary between the Low German and High German dialects is marked. The linguistic border to Westphalian , which belongs to the Lower Saxony dialect group , is the unit plural line weakening to the north .
The thus delimited North-Lower Rhine and Ostberg area are considered
- North Lower Franconian
- Spoken as Kleverländisch among others in the district of Kleve with Geldern , in parts of the district of Viersen , z. B. in Kempen , in the Krefeld district of Hüls with the Hölsch Plott , in the Wesel district with Moers , as well as on the right bank of the Rhine from Duisburg via Wesel to Emmerich .
- Spoken as Ostbergisch in a narrow strip east of the Uerdinger line that runs from Mülheim an der Ruhr , Essen-Werden and large parts of Essen-Kettwig , Velbert-Langenberg via Wuppertal- Elberfeld , Remscheid- Lüttringhausen , Remscheid- Lennep , Radevormwald , Hückeswagen , Wipperfürth , Marienheide and Gummersbach to Bergneustadt .
The so-called "Lower Franconian transition area" (with isolated linguistic elements of Ripuarian) between the Uerdinger and Benrath lines is considered to be
- South Lower Franconian (Limburgish)
- spoken in Krefeld , Mönchengladbach , parts of the district of Viersen , Heinsberg , Düsseldorf, Solingen , Remscheid , Mettmann and in the northern district of Neuss with Meerbusch
Some of the Lower Franconian dialects, especially Dutch and Brabantian, have had a decisive influence on written Dutch.
The original Lower Franconian dialects were or are being replaced by the regional variety of the standard language due to the increasing mobility of the people. In Germany, the linguistic difference between the “Lower Franconian” Platt and the written high German language is greater than that of Dutch. Dialect speakers on the German Lower Rhine - the number of whom has declined in recent years - can communicate well with dialect-speaking neighbors across the border.
In the course of the eastern settlement from the end of the Middle Ages, Lower Franconian, more precisely Dutch, dialect influences also found their way into East Low German, especially into Märkische , because many old settlers moved from Flanders. In rare individual cases, these were later taken back in the opposite direction, for example the Hötter Platt .
- Dutch dialects
- Lower Rhine
- Dialects in North Rhine-Westphalia
- Krieewelsch (Krefeld city dialect)
- Hölsch Plott (dialect of the Krefeld district of Hüls)
- Duisburg Platt
- Arend Mihm: Language and History in the Lower Lower Rhine . In: Yearbook of the Association for Low German Language Research. 115, 1992, , pp. 88-122.
- Arend Mihm: Rhine Maasland Language History from 1500 to 1650 . In: Jürgen Macha, Elmar Neuss, Robert Peters (Hrsg.): Rheinisch-Westfälische Sprachgeschichte . Böhlau, Cologne a. a. 2000, ISBN 3-412-06000-3 , pp. 139-164. ( Low German Studies 46)
- Georg Cornelissen: The Dutch in the Prussian Gelderland and its replacement by the German, Rohrscheid, 1986, p. 93.
- Günther Drosdowski (Ed.): The dictionary of origin / Volume 7 - Etymology of the German language. Dudenverlag, Mannheim 1989, ISBN 3-411-20907-0 , p. 202.
- Erich Zöllner: History of the Franks up to the middle of the sixth century. CH Beck, Munich 1970, p. 109.
- Werner König: dtv-Atlas German language. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-423-03025-9 , pp. 59-61.
- Karl August Eckhardt (ed.): Lex Salica. Hahn, Hannover 1969, p. 76 (Lex salica, XXXVII § 1. and § 2.) and 235 (Glossary) ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica ; Leges; Leges nationum Germanicarum; 4, 2) ISBN 3-7752-5054-9 .
- Joachim Grzega : Romania Gallica Cisalpina. Etymological-geolinguistic studies on the Northern Italian-Rhaeto-Romanic Celticisms (= supplements to the magazine for Romance philology 311). Niemeyer, Tübingen 2001.
- Werner König: dtv-Atlas German language. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-423-03025-9 , pp. 59-61.
- Werner Betz: Charlemagne and the Lingua Theodisca. In: Wolfgang Braunfels (ed.): Karl der Grosse. Life's work and afterlife. Volume II: The Spiritual Life . Düsseldorf 1965, p. 306.
- Werner König: dtv-Atlas German language. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-423-03025-9 , pp. 59-61.
- Erwin Koller: On the vernacular of the Strasbourg oaths and their tradition. In: Rolf Bergmann, Heinrich Tiefenbach, Lothar Voetz (Ed.): Old High German. Volume 1. Winter, Heidelberg 1987, ISBN 3-533-03878-5 , pp. 828-838, EIDE.
- Ludwig Rübekeil: Early history and language history in the Netherlands. In: Elvira Glaser, Marja Clement (eds.): Dutch and German studies in contact. Farewell to Jelle Stegeman (= Amsterdam Contributions to Older German Studies , Volume 71). Rodopi, Amsterdam and New York 2014, pp. 53–98, here pp. 54 f. ( online in Google Book Search).
- Irmgard Hantsche: Atlas for the history of the Lower Rhine. (Series of publications by the Niederrhein Academy Volume 4), ISBN 3-89355-200-6 , p. 66.
- Georg Cornelissen: Little Lower Rhine Language History (1300 - 1900) , Verlag BOSS-Druck, Kleve, ISBN 90-807292-2-1 , p. 32.
- Georg Cornelissen: Small history of the Lower Rhine language (1300-1900). Verlag BOSS-Druck, Kleve, ISBN 90-807292-2-1 , pp. 62-94.
- Dieter Heimböckel: Language and literature on the Lower Rhine. (Series of publications by the Niederrhein Academy, Volume 3), ISBN 3-89355-185-9 , pp. 15–55.
- Georg Cornelissen: My grandma still speaks Platt. Greven Verlag, Cologne 2008, ISBN 978-3-7743-0417-8 , pp. 25-27.
- See this: Kurt-Wilhelm Graf Laufs: Niederfränkisch-Niederrheinische Grammatik - for the country on the Rhine and Maas . Niederrheinisches Institut, Mönchengladbach, 1995, ISBN 3-9804360-1-2 , p. 6.
- Georg Cornelissen : The Lower Rhine and its German , Greven Verlag, Cologne 2007, ISBN 978-3-7743-0349-2 , p. 11 ff.
- Peter Honnen , Cornelia Forstreuter : Language islands in the Rhineland. A documentation of the Palatinate dialect on the Lower Rhine and the " Hötter Platt " in Düsseldorf-Gerresheim. - " Rheinische Mundarten ", Volume 7, Rheinland-Verlag, Cologne 1994. With a CD , ISBN 3-7927-1456-6 .