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Sprachinselwelten – The World of Language Islands

Entwicklung und Beschreibung der deutschen Sprachinseln am Anfang des 21. Jahrhunderts- The Developmental Stages and the Description of German Language Islands at the Beginning of the 21 st Century


Edited By Nina Berend and Elisabeth Knipf-Komlósi

Dieser Sammelband besteht zum Teil aus den Referaten der Sprachinselsektion der 1. Internationalen Tagung der IGDD, die im März 2003 in Marburg an der Lahn stattgefunden hat. Die anderen Beiträge wurden von Forschern aus verschiedenen Sprachinselregionen der Welt beigesteuert. Im Zentrum der Aufsätze stehen soziolinguistische, dialektologische und kontaktlinguistische Entwicklungen, die in deutschen Sprachinseln der Welt am Anfang des 21. Jahrhunderts stattfinden.
This collection of papers contains contributions to the language island section of the First International Conference of the International Society for German Dialectology (IGDD), which took place in Marburg an der Lahn, Germany in March 2003. In addition, further contributions are included on research done in language island regions of the world. The focus of the essays is the socio-linguistic, dialectological and contact-linguistic survey of the development of German language islands across the world as registered at the beginning of the 21 st century.


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Die niederdeutschen Dialekte in den Washington und Marshall Counties, Kansas


G. Scott Seeger (Lawrence, Kansas) Marshall and Washington counties, located in North-central Kansas, were among the first counties to be founded by the territorial legislature in 1855 and 1860 respectively. By 1857 however the first German immigrants were already settling the area along the Horseshoe Creek. This area, later called the “Horseshoe Creek Settlement,” was to become heavily popu- lated by Northern German immigrants arriving between 1870 and 1910. The settlement of this agricultural area was very intense. J. Neale Carman (1962) shows in his study Kansas of for- eign-languages a significant German presence in this area with as many as 5,100 Germans living in this two-county border area, based on the 1895 Census. With the adverse effects of the depression era and ever decreasing number of immigrants ar- riving to the area, both counties generally lost population and the number of first generation German-Americans, born in Germany, decreased significantly. Along with this depopulation of the area, considerable advances in technology, notably in transportation, caused the rural- based German speaking society (speech island) to become engulfed by the economic and cul- tural sphere of influence of the larger towns. Standard German, which functioned primarily as a “literary language,” was eventually given-up in the churches and schools by the late 1930s (Bonebrake 1969). Low German, the language of the majority of the immigrants and being restricted to the more private domains such farms and families, persisted however for decades longer. Previous research, based mainly on informant interviews, indicate that there...

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