Formation of and change in regiolects and (regional) dialects in German | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 63, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214


Unlike other major European languages, in German and represent two clearly distinct varieties. This is true not only in terms of their linguistic status, but also with regard to their differential evaluation by those who speak and hear them and their disparate roles in recent language change. This article begins with some conceptual clarification and a consideration of the often misunderstood relation between and the dialect–standard continuum. It then examines the separate emergence of the two varieties and their individual development since 1880 (for the regional dialects) and 1930 (for the regiolects).The conclusions offer an insight into the current state of German regional languages as a whole on the basis of various current long-term projects focussed on dialect–standard variation in German.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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