Of German Neighborhoods and Low German Villages: Spoken German in South Africa

with Dr. Peter Wagener, Institute for the German Language, Mannheim, Germany

Tue, April 12, 2016 | BUR337

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This lecture presents the results of recording sessions taken during a journey through South Africa, in February/March 2012 as part of the project “Spoken German in Southern Africa.” The project was conducted on behalf of the Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS) in Mannheim with the aim to systematically survey the southern African varieties of spoken German by means of sound recordings. After a brief resumé, this report will focus on a “Sprachinsel” in Zulu-Land.

There, in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, the “remains of Low German”—so-called in research literature—turned out to actually be a fully functional Low German “Sprachinsel.” The heritage has been retained continuously by hundreds of speakers, among them numerous first language speakers, for more than 160 years, and today is embedded in a fascinating multicultural context.

The sound recordings are currently being edited for archiving along with the metadata in the German Language Archive of the IDS.

Sponsored by: Sponsored by the Linguistics Research Center, Germanic Studies, and the Texas Language Center.

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