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In northern and central Germany, the Low German and Central German language forms ( dialects, dialects ) of the dialect speakers are colloquially referred to as Platt . The border areas, in which a local dialect is called Platt, are lost to the southeast of an imaginary line Palatinate Forest, Taunus - Central Hesse, Vogelsberg - Main / Spessart - Rhön - Thuringian Forest.

On the one hand, Platt (Low German for flat in the sense of simple and easy to understand) is a modern name and short form for the Low German language that v. a. In the 19th century it was also referred to as Low German in scientific publications . The respective local dialects are often given the geographical name to distinguish them from other dialects, for example Heidjer Platt , Oldenburger Platt , Ostfriesisches Platt , Harzer Platt , Sauerländer Platt , etc.

On the other called Platt colloquially also the local dialects of Low Franconian north German dialects of uerdingen line , the Rheinisch-Middle Franconian , the Moselle Franconian , the Rhine Franconian , the Central Hessian and partly of Thuringia , often, for having preceded by the geographic designation. B. Eifler Platt , Eupener Platt , Aachener Platt , Hunsrücker Platt , Hinterlander Platt , Wittgensteiner Platt , Siegerlander Platt and Rhöner Platt .

"Platt" and "Plattdeutsch" are largely synonymous these days, but the extent to which "Plattdeutsch" can also denote Central German dialects is assessed differently and seems to vary regionally.

In the Netherlands and Flanders , too , plat denotes the dialects that deviate from the (Dutch) umbrella language , both Lower Franconian dialects , Lower Saxony dialects and West Frisian . Plat praten means “speaking dialect” in which one can “understand” one another. In Dutch, however, plat only exists as an adjective, not a noun.

Based on the North German distinction between High German and Low or Low German, South Jutland ( Sønderjysk ), which is spoken on both sides of the German-Danish border, is also referred to as " Low Danish" to distinguish it from Standard Danish .

Word origin

Platt came from Old French through Middle Dutch into Low German and from there into High German. The basic meaning is "flat", but it has also developed meanings such as "familiar, understandable, simple". Low German means familiar, simple German, in contrast to the then foreign, High German-based written language.

As a name for the Low German dialects, it has been attested since the second half of the 17th century. In Dutch, the meaning “familiar” is older. A Delft bible from 1524 was printed in goede platten duytsche , which meant “in familiar, understandable Dutch” or simply “in the Dutch vernacular”.

The German Text Archive indicates the following development of meaning:

  • 1700-1750:
    • Low German = Low German (without rating)
      • Gottfried Arnold 1700: in the original Plattteut language (Middle Low German)
      • Johann Gottfried Gottsched, 1730: the Low German dialect
      • Christian Friedrich Gessner 1741: German Bible in flat German language
    • flat = simple, direct, unlearned (from Low German)
      • Gottfried Arnold, 1700: in the flat Dutch language ... frankly ... in an unlearned language
      • Georg Henning Behrens 1703, according to their rather flat Lower Saxon language
  • 1750-1800
    • flat, low German = Low German (no rating)
      • Henricus Lettus 1753: in the flat language that is translated into high German dialect in quite a few
      • Henricus Lettus 1753: From the Revelian pastor Balthasar Russow's Platdeutsche Chronik
    • flat, low German = simple, unlearned (from Low German)
      • Karl Philipp Moritz (Hs., 1785): in the flat dialect ... in the low language of the worst part of the people
      • Karl Philipp Moritz (Hs., 1785): Flat German, like the simplest craftsman
    • flat = simple, unlearned (not from Low German)
      • Johann Gottfried von Herder 1769: So the unmythological language will always seem flat, mean, unpoetic to me

In these data, "Platt" as a language name (not a general adjective) is only detectable from 1750, then synonymous with "Plattdeutsch" (to designate Low German), which is well documented before 1750 and without connotations. This indicates that "Platt" (in this sense) is an abbreviation of "Plattdeutsch". The connotation of simplicity (and the use of the adjective "flat" to express it) can be found in these dates as early as 1700, but only after 1750 with negative connotations. Regarding the use of "Platt" for Central German dialects, it can be assumed that this was possibly only a reaction to the success of Low German dialect literature in the 19th century (both Klaus Groth and Fritz Reuter referred to their dialects as "Plattdeutsch"). However, as early as 1819 the term "Low German" was used for "Old Thuringian". The basic meaning of "Low German" at the beginning of the 19th century seems to have been "continental Germanic language without second sound shift ": "He calls Low German [= Stahl 1806] but everything that is not High German, Danish and Swedish not excluded." The Central German dialects only partially carried this out ( Speyer line ).

The derivation of flat in the sense of “flat”, i.e. the language spoken in the “flat land”, occurs in older literature, but is no longer represented today.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dtv-Atlas, Werner König, German language
  2. ^ Atlas of everyday German language: word map "Dialect".
  3. ᐅ flat synonym | All synonyms - meanings - similar words. Retrieved August 17, 2020 .
  4. The Duden differentiates the meanings "Plattdeutsch" (= Low German) and "Dialect" (probably Middle or Low German) for "Platt" , but at the same time lists "Plattdeutsch" as a synonym for "Platt".
  5. Ludolf Parisius: Middle Mark Low German in the border region to the North Mark from Lunow on the Oder . BoD - Books on Demand, 2005, ISBN 978-3-8334-6021-0 ( google.de [accessed on August 17, 2020] Describes, among other things, the "Kanaldeutsch, Eberswalder" (local Central German Regiolekt as "a poorly perceived Low German" (In contrast to the Low German dialect or Standard German).).
  6. Since these are colloquial, not linguistic terms, it is very difficult to verify the (missing) delimitation of the two terms or their regional use, but for the lack of consensus, compare the history of the redirects of Low German .
  7. a b Etymological dictionary of German. Developed under the direction of Wolfgang Pfeifer . Akademie, Berlin 1989 (and other editions), article flat .
  8. Kluge. Etymological dictionary of the German language . Edited by Elmar Seebold . 25th, revised and expanded edition. De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2011, p. 710.
  9. M. Jansen: Atlas van de Nederlandse taal. Editie Vlaanderen. Lannoo Meulenhoff, Tielt 2018, pp. 29–30.
  10. ^ German text archive. Retrieved August 17, 2020 .
  11. ^ German text archive. Retrieved August 17, 2020 .
  12. Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung . CA Schwetschke, 1819 ( google.de [accessed on August 17, 2020] Please note, however, that this is a correction note.).
  13. Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung . CA Schwetschke, 1809 ( google.de [accessed on August 17, 2020]).
  14. So still German dictionary . Volume XIII. Hirzel, Leipzig 1889, column 1906, article Low German .

Web links

Wiktionary: Platt  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations