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Alsatian Acts Of Identity: Language Use and Language by Liliane M. Vassberg

By Liliane M. Vassberg

A German dialect spoken in Alsace (France), has swiftly misplaced approach to French for the reason that 1945. This publication investigates language selection, language attitudes and ethnic identification in Alsace this present day. The Alsatian case examine issues out the advanced interrelationship of linguistic and id swap with historic, social and mental approaches.

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Extra resources for Alsatian Acts Of Identity: Language Use and Language Attitude (Multilingual Matters, 90)

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E. they would not lose their beauty, expressivity and originality in Alsatian. In spite of the low interest in literature in the dialect, 71% consider that orthographical standardization is desirable and useful, and 52% think that this orthography will be close to Hochdeutsch. Most respondents consider that their knowledge of German will be useful to them in the exercise of their future profession, but only 40% of them wish that they had started studying it in school earlier. Ladin notes that the purely 'utilitarian' reasons given about the usefulness of German account for the smaller percentage for the usefulness of Alsatian (68%).

This goes as far as denying that the dialect spoken in Alsace is a variety of German. The French journalist Pierre Richardot reports the outraged reaction of an Alsatian member of the audience at a 1979 conference on regional languages in France when the Alsatian dialect was described as a dialect of German (Land un Sproch, 1980, No. 4: 10). That feelings are still running high is also evinced by some of the graffiti in the University of Strasbourg reported by Hessini. One statement read: Les Alsaciens sont une bande de chiens!

Of those, 33% reported that the use of Alsatian was necessary in their profession, 30% considered the dialect useful, and 37% felt that it was neither necessary nor useful (Hessini, 1981: 72). Queried about their knowledge of standard German, nine out of ten heads of households of Alsatian origin reported speaking German. Furthermore, German is known more in rural areas than in urban centers. In the Haut-Rhin, for instance, 67% of the rural population reported being able to speak and write in German, while the percentage was 54% in urban centers (10,000 to 50,000 inhabitants).

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