Dörte Hansen-Jaax

Transfer bei Diglossie


This book treats a number of aspects of the interaction be­tween Low German and High German in Germany, and between immigrant Low German and English in the USA.


A great many aspects of language interaction are the focus of discussion. Both the structural and the pragmatic aspect (motivations and causes) of several types of interference are treated.


It appears to be problematic to describe the code-switching corpus within either the Variationist Model (a linear model) by Poplack, or the MLFM (an insertional model) by Myers-Scot­ton. It is shown that the borderline between code-swit­ching and borro­wing is often quite fuzzy.


Native speakers of Low German are distinguished from L2 spea­kers, the latter using more High German influences. The pheno­menon of 'Analogiebildungen' (conversions) is a phenomenon that enables the formation of Low German word forms from the High German lexicon. For L2 speakers it is used as a learning strategy, but it is also commonly found amongst native spea­kers.


Although in-group use of High German and conscious code-swit­ching are highly stigmatized, the lexico-grammatical influ­ence of the dominant language is overall abundant. The lin­guistic distance between Low German and High German is growing smal­ler. The Low German system has become a dynamic, rather than a static one, because of the freedom to use High German interfe­rences, but there are still some mar­kers of Low German that func­tion as identifiers of its separa­te linguistic system.



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