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See detailLinguistic identity, language attitudes and language perception in the German-speaking community of Belgium: A comparative study across the German-Belgian border.
Weber, Sandra ULg

Poster (2012, September)

If you have a look on the media in the German-speaking Community of Belgium (GC), you will find how prevalent the subject of language is in the minds of the German-speaking Belgians. East Belgian ... [more ▼]

If you have a look on the media in the German-speaking Community of Belgium (GC), you will find how prevalent the subject of language is in the minds of the German-speaking Belgians. East Belgian linguistic characteristics are frequently treated in the media (cf. e.g. the radio competition “Ostbelgien lernt Deutsch – der germanistische Adventskalender“) and just recently, a popular scientific dictionary of East Belgian everyday language has been published. This suggests that in the GC, there is a feeling that German as it is spoken in East Belgium differs from German spoken in the Federal Republic of Germany. This project asks the question of how East Belgian linguistic characteristics in everyday language are perceived and judged by the German-speaking Belgians, and to what extent they are part of their linguistic identity. Special attention is paid to the question of how far linguistic identity, language attitudes and language perception in the GC are influenced by the political and cultural situation of the region. The German-speaking Community is a partly independent political entity within the Belgian federal system. The eventful history of the region (3 changes in nationality within 25 years) and the minority situation have made it difficult for the inhabitants of the GC to find their own identity and a sense of “we-ness”. The inhabitants of the GC speak a language whose “mother country” is neighbouring Germany and they are closely linked to German culture through the media – nevertheless, they do not feel German. At the same time, within the state of Belgium, they are a linguistic minority, but they are also linked to Belgian culture through intensive contacts. Within Belgium, the German-speaking Belgians can use the German language to claim uniqueness (cf. the term “German-speaking Community”), but this does not work on the international level. But can dissociation from the German citizens happen on a linguistic level nevertheless, through regional variants and varieties? Since there are basically great similarities between the linguistic situation in the GC and in the bordering German areas (both on the level of the traditional dialects and regional linguistic features as well was in the vertical structure of variety use), while the extra-linguistic situations are very different, a comparative survey across the Belgian-German border is especially enlightening. The most important questions I want to raise are thus: How strong is the feeling that the regional everyday speech differs from that spoken on the other side of the national border? To which degree do these beliefs correspond to reality? What is in the eyes of the local population on both sides of the frontier typical of this variety? How do they evaluate it? And which functions do occurring regional features of German have for the identity of the people on both sides of the frontier? The methodology and first results have been presented on the poster. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 111 (12 ULg)
See detailSprachliche Identität, Spracheinstellungen und Sprachwahrnehmung in der deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft Belgiens.
Weber, Sandra ULg

Conference (2011, October)

If you have a look on the media in the German-speaking Community of Belgium (GC), you will find how prevalent the subject of language is in the minds of the German-speaking Belgians. East Belgian ... [more ▼]

If you have a look on the media in the German-speaking Community of Belgium (GC), you will find how prevalent the subject of language is in the minds of the German-speaking Belgians. East Belgian linguistic characteristics are frequently treated in the media (cf. e.g. the radio competition “Ostbelgien lernt Deutsch – der germanistische Adventskalender“) and just recently, a popular scientific dictionary of East Belgian everyday language has been published. This suggests that in the GC, there is a feeling that German as it is spoken in East Belgium differs from German spoken in the Federal Republic of Germany. This project asks the question of how East Belgian linguistic characteristics in everyday language are perceived and judged by the German-speaking Belgians, and to what extent they are part of their linguistic identity. Special attention is paid to the question of how far linguistic identity, language attitudes and language perception in the GC are influenced by the political and cultural situation of the region. The German-speaking Community is a partly independent political entity within the Belgian federal system. The eventful history of the region (3 changes in nationality within 25 years) and the minority situation have made it difficult for the inhabitants of the GC to find their own identity and a sense of “we-ness”. The inhabitants of the GC speak a language whose “mother country” is neighbouring Germany and they are closely linked to German culture through the media – nevertheless, they do not feel German. At the same time, within the state of Belgium, they are a linguistic minority, but they are also linked to Belgian culture through intensive contacts. Within Belgium, the German-speaking Belgians can use the German language to claim uniqueness (cf. the term “German-speaking Community”), but this does not work on the international level. But can dissociation from the German citizens happen on a linguistic level nevertheless, through regional variants and varieties? Since there are basically great similarities between the linguistic situation in the GC and in the bordering German areas (both on the level of the traditional dialects and regional linguistic features as well was in the vertical structure of variety use), while the extra-linguistic situations are very different, a comparative survey across the Belgian-German border is especially enlightening. The most important questions I want to raise are thus: How strong is the feeling that the regional everyday speech differs from that spoken on the other side of the national border? To which degree do these beliefs correspond to reality? What is in the eyes of the local population on both sides of the frontier typical of this variety? How do they evaluate it? And which functions do occurring regional features of German have for the identity of the people on both sides of the frontier? [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 114 (4 ULg)