Varietäten und Sprachkontakt in rätoromanischen SMS

  • Matthias Grünert


As a minority language in Switzerland, the Romansh of the Grisons is exposed to pressure from the dominant language in its region, namely (Swiss) German. Consequently, it has not developed a generally accepted standardized written form, being above all a spoken language, which cedes many written functions to the dominant language. These premises entail a complex spectrum of language variation in informal written use of Romansh in SMS-communication. This variation includes deviations from regional written norms, traits of (dialectal) orality, interference of (Swiss) German, and code-switching to (Swiss) German. Language contact is evident in the fact that Romansh is used for part of an SMS whereas another part of the same SMS sent by the same person may be written in one or even in two varieties of the majority language, i.e. German and Swiss German. Some speakers of Romansh, mainly people who live outside of the traditional linguistic territory, do not write in Romansh at all. It should be noted that the users of Romansh in SMS-communication who participated in this research project are mainly women with university-level educations who are working in the tertiary sector.
Grünert, M. (2011). Varietäten und Sprachkontakt in rätoromanischen SMS. Linguistik Online, 48(4).