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National Varieties of German outside Germany

A European Perspective


Edited By Gabrielle Hogan-Brun

In what way do the national varieties of German outside Germany differ? How do they manifest themselves in different levels of language use? What attitudes exist towards the use of these varieties and how are they reflected in national and European-wide language policies? What is the role of the media?
This collection of especially commissioned articles, written in English by internationally renowned experts, explores these and related questions. It draws together research on the status and role of German and on attitudes towards its use in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy (South Tyrol), France (Alsace), Denmark (Nordschleswig) and Hungary.


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German in Old and New Belgium 121


Peter Nelde and Jeroen Darquennes German in Old and New Belgium In this chapter the current state of German in Old and New Belgium is discussed from a macro-sociolinguistic point of view. After briefly touching upon geographical, political and demographical factors, attention is paid to external and internal linguistic influences. Finally, language use in media and education - two domains that play an important role in the (re)production of any minority language - is described. 1 Introduction In what follows a concise overview of the present state of the German minority in Belgium will be presented. First of all the geographical situation of the most western German minority along the German- Romance linguistic boundary will be discussed. Afterwards political, demographical and linguistic factors will be touched upon. Finally attention will be paid to two domains that play an important role in the (re)production of any minority language: media and education. For more details we refer to the works listed in the bibliography at the end ofthis contribution. 2 German-Speaking Areas ofBelgium1 Due to its turbulent history the German language area in Belgium cannot be looked upon as a single unit. It can be divided into two Cf. also the map in the appendix. 122 Peter Nelde and Jeroen Darquennes major regions, each consisting of three areas of differing size and structure. The region that has belonged to the Belgian state since it was founded in 1830 is often referred to as Old Belgium and consists of the following...

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