from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Folk language is called the language of a population wherever an older form of language or a foreign language is used in religion , science or on the stage . This was and is at times the case in many cultures.

About the terminology

Folk language is sometimes used synonymously with the national language , mother tongue and vernacular language. The term vernacular appears above all when the native language is seen in contrast to a foreign language (especially as a language of religion or science) or in the sense of "lower language level" as a distinction to higher language levels.

On the role of vernacular languages

In Central and Western Europe , the individual vernacular languages ​​were contrasted with Latin as a liturgical and literary language. At the time of Charlemagne , German became more important as a popular language for teaching the faith. This goal was also served by Martin Luther's German translation of the Bible , which was not based on simply adopting one of the colloquial languages. This "turn to the vernacular" is a trend that can be observed throughout Europe in the early modern period. In this context, the vernacular is also referred to as the vulgar language.

Popular language is not only seen in contrast to the language of science, Latin. It is also emphasized that vernacular language can address a social aspect, when it is declared around 1450 that in Halle Low German is used as the vernacular and Central German as the language of the educated.

In northern Germany, the Low German vernacular lost ground over generations before the High German language of worship, writing and communication . It has largely lost its importance as a written language; However, it continues to exist as the colloquial language and language of beautiful literature and is also cultivated in the regional media. Stellmacher described the situation of Low German in 1990 as a "second language", which is often only learned after High German, but is still used in a variety of ways.

Other aspects of vernacular

In the age of Hellenism , many vernacular languages ​​continued to exist alongside the Greek Koine .

In India, the vernacular languages ​​have moved a long way from sacred Sanskrit .

The written Arabic language is only used in mosques, for correspondence and internationally. It differs significantly from the various variants of the Arabic vernacular.

Some ancient oriental Christians still use the Aramaic language ( spoken by Jesus of Nazareth ) for worship services, while their vernacular today is Arabic.

In post-colonial Africa , European cultural and lingua franca are largely the official languages ( English , French , Portuguese ) alongside and above the indigenous vernacular languages.

See also


  • Hans Arens: Linguistics: The course of their development from antiquity to the present , Volume 1, Athenaeum-Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag Frankfurt am Main, 1969, ISBN 3-8072-2077-1 . Arens deals with vernacular from several points of view.
  • Andreas Gardt: History of Linguistics in Germany . Walter de Gruyter, 1999, ISBN 3-11-015788-8 . Chapter: Upgrading the vernacular and early grammar writing of German , pp. 45–71.
  • Helmut Glück (Ed.), With the collaboration of Friederike Schmöe : Metzler Lexikon Sprache. 3rd, revised edition. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2005, ISBN 3-476-02056-8 .
  • Georg Objartel : German literary language of the early modern period. In: Lexicon of German Linguistics. 2nd, completely revised and enlarged edition. Edited by Hans Peter Althaus , Helmut Henne, Herbert Ernst Wiegand . Niemeyer, Tübingen 1980, pp. 712-719; Chapter Latinity and vernacular . ISBN 3-484-10392-2 .

Web links

Wiktionary: vernacular  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ CJ Wells: German: a language history up to 1954. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1990, ISBN 3-484-10638-7 .
  2. Gardt 1999, p. 45.
  3. ^ Hans Joachim Störig: Adventure language. A journey through the languages ​​of the earth. 2nd, revised edition. Langenscheidt, Berlin / Munich 1997, ISBN 3-581-66936-6 , p. 154.
  4. ^ Adolf Bach: History of the German language . Ninth, revised edition, VMA-Verlag, Wiesbaden o. J .; P. 237. Abbreviations resolved.
  5. Timothy Sodmann: Downfall of Middle Low German as a written language . In: Jan Goossens (Ed.): Low German. Language and literature. An introduction. Volume 1: Language. Karl Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 1973, pp. 116–129.
  6. Dieter Stellmacher: Low German language. An introduction. Peter Lang, Bern / Frankfurt am Main / New York / Paris 1990, ISBN 3-261-04145-5 , p. 102f.