Von Staatsgrenze zu Dialektgrenze.

Wird der Rhein als „Grenze“ im alemannischen Sprachraum am Oberrhein wahrgenommen?

  • Pascale Erhart Université de Strasbourg


The ANR/DFG cooperation project called “FLARS – Effects of the national border on the linguistic situation in the Upper Rhine area”, between the University of Freiburg and the University of Strasbourg, examined the emergence and the nature of a linguistic border between France and Germany in the Alemannic-speaking regions Alsace and Baden, and its interdependence with the political border. The project data were collected through interviews conducted in 40 localities alongside the political border. The questions focused on what informants think and say about languages and about their use of them; about the current state of the dialects, the way they are spoken, their usefulness, their importance; and also on what they think and say about the way the inhabitants of the other side of the Rhine speak, what may make it different, and their position regarding that.

A first analysis shows that most of the French and German informants think that both sides of the Rhine do not differ much linguistically, but that this proximity is not a sufficient condition for evoking a “transnational language”, as other aspects of their lives, lifestyles and identities are considered as different. This article will focus on the discourse produced by dialect speakers about the Rhine as a border and about common or different linguistic and cultural features with their neighbours.

Erhart, P. (2019). Von Staatsgrenze zu Dialektgrenze. Linguistik Online, 98(5), 307-328. https://doi.org/10.13092/lo.98.5942