Časopis Slovo a slovesnost
en cz

Historical dialectology and historical language contact: a case study on the Marchfeld (Moravské pole) in Lower Austria

Agnes Kim

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Historical dialectology and historical language contact: a case study on the Marchfeld (Moravské pole) in Lower Austria

A B S T R A C T
The present contribution analyses elicited data from historical German dialectology (questionnaires for the German Linguistic Atlas from 1926–1930) with modern variationist linguistic, quantitative methodology to seek evidence for the assumption that social factors influence language change. In the interwar period, the area of investigation, the Marchfeld in the east of Lower Austria, was shaped by socioeconomic dynamics as well as two layers of multilingualism: (historical) societal Croatian-German multilingualism and rather individual Czech/Slovak-German multilingualism. The analysis focuses on the linguistic variable Middle High German /ei/ and calculates linear regression models with contemporary census data that aim at capturing demographic aspects and multilingualism as independent variables. It yields that language shift from Croatian to German varieties possibly resulted in the adaption of more progressive varieties of German than spoken in the surrounding villages. Besides the influence of nearby Vienna, the historically multilingual parts of the Marchfeld thus played a role in language change in the region. Individual Czech/Slovak-German multilingualism coincides with a conservative, agricultural societal structure. In the linguistic data this is reflected by more conservative variants and higher variation, which indicates that language change was ongoing at the time of investigation.

Key words: dialectology, German, Slavic languages, language contact, multilingualism, German Linguistic Atlas, census data, Marchfeld

Daný článek je on-line k dispozici v databázi CEEOL.

Department of Slavonic Studies, University of Vienna
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 3, 1090 Vienna, Austria
agnes.kim@univie.ac.at

Slovo a slovesnost, volume 83 (2022), number 4, pp. 279–306

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