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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 as First Language and Minority Second Language in Denmark 195


Karen Margrethe Pedersen German as First Language and Minority Second Language in Denmark This chapter describes the status of German as a minority language in Denmark from the viewpoint of ethnolinguistics and anthropological linguistics. It draws on findings from field studies on language choice and use and includes a sociolinguistic analysis of linguistic variation and expected norms within the social relations in the minority's private and public sphere. The German minority language turns out to have a limited number of areas where its status is high, among them minority education and the minority newspaper. As a home language its status is low, and most minority members acquire German as a minority second language in kindergarten and school. Their first language is a Danish dialect. The chief features which distinguish their variety of German from High German are due to transfer mechanisms from both the dialect and a regional variety of standard Danish. This variety is acquired at school as part ofthe teaching of Danish, and it is used in communication in social relations with the majority. Most minority members are therefore proficient in several linguistic varieties. A functional regional bi- lingualism with Nordschleswig German as one of the languages is characteristic of most minority members today. 1 From National to Minority Language The Danish-German border region is characterized by having two national languages as minority languages. Danish functions as a minority language in Schleswig-Holstein (Federal Republic of Germany), where German is the official language. In Denmark the official language is...

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