Do the Mennonites of Pennsylvania mainly speak "Plautdietsch" or "Pennsylvanian German"?
#118760. Asked by author. (Nov 16 10 11:33 AM)
This website may be helpful, but I wonder if it is a matter of either or.What's in a name in this case?|
Naming a language is often a matter of linguistic policy if not politics.
If I may compare with the linguistic situation I know best: the area where "Dutch" is spoken. There are still people who don't want to use the word Dutch for the languages spoken in Flanders. They don't want to be associated with the present-day Kingdom of the Netherlands".
But if you choose Flemish then you get another problem : only two Flemish provinces speak a form of Flemish: East- and West-Flanders. The other provinces speak Brabantian or Limburgian. So both names co-exist.
And what about Plattdeutsch vs. Plautdietsch vs. Niederdeutsch, etc.
There was a time that Nederduytsch was used to refer to the language of the Netherlands.But then people did not like the closeness of the term with Niederdeutsch as spoken in northern Germany.
And yet linguistically speaking the etymology is clear : Dutch ; Dietsch; Diets ; Deutsch all refer to Germanic theodisk, the language of the theod, the "people".
If spoken in the plains of northern Germany, northern Belgium or the Netherlands you specify with "Nieder" ; Low or Platt.
If referring to the southern, more hilly part of Germany you get "Hochdeutsch, the form of "Deutsch" that became the dominant language since Luther.
An exact classification does not seem to be so very obvious if you compare the various websites related to the subject.
Absolutely demarcation seems to be missing.
Addition: http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/plattdeutsch |
Sources seem to betray some degree of terminological confusion. But I would also like to say that names of language are not always logical in my opinion : French ,a Romance language, is named after a Germanic tribe: the Franks. And German is named in French l'allemand ,after only one specific Germanic tribe: the Allemani. Flemish is also misleading. The term derives from the county of Flanders, but some areas of that county were francophone: Lille, Douai.
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