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The Catholic Bohemian German of Ellis County, Kansas

A Unique Bavarian Dialect


Gabriele Lunte

This work focuses on the Catholic Bohemian German dialect of Ellis County, Kansas, in the United States. It is a unique Bavarian dialect spoken by descendants of settlers to this area in west central Kansas from Bukovina, then an Austrian province. The Catholic Bohemian Germans were one of two distinct groups of Bukovina immigrants to the Ellis area as early as the 1880s. They found their way to the United States and Kansas via Bukovina from the Bohemian Forest, today situated in the Czech Republic. Their German dialect faces its linguistic demise. This study documents the grammar and the lexicon of the Catholic Bohemian German dialect, based on dialect interviews. In addition it sheds light on its geographical origin in the Bohemian Forest.
Contents: The Bukovina Germans: An Overview – A Brief Historical Account of the Bukovina Germans of Ellis, Kansas – Dialect Interviews and Field Work Methodology – Grammatical Analysis of the Catholic Bohemian German Dialect – Lexical Forms and Unique Characteristics – Linguistic History and Dialect Geographical Origin – Language Decay and Cultural Awareness.