Grenzüberschreitende Identitäten im badischen Oberrheingebiet: Unterschiede in der Konstruktion sprachlicher und regionaler Verbundenheit mit dem Elsass
Based on a qualitative analysis of 127 sociolinguistic interviews with speakers of Alemannic from 22 villages and towns along the Franco-German border at the Upper Rhine in Baden (Germany), this contribution investigates the construction of trans-border identities. The paper explores how Badeners perceive the relationship with Alsace (France) with regard to three thematic fields: 1) regional ties with Alsace, 2) language choice in communication across the border, and 3) comprehension of the Alsatian dialect.
Two factors are shown to play a major role for the construction of trans-border identities. First, identities vary between regions, which can be explained by historical differences, especially with respect to political circumstances. The closer the historical relationship between the respective region and Alsace, the stronger the trans-border identity. Second, there is an influence of the geographical distance to the border. The closer a village is located to the border (the Rhine), the stronger the (self- and other-)ascription of linguistic and regional ties to Alsace.
Furthermore, analysis reveals a correlation between the perception of regional ties to Alsace and language choice in trans-border communication: Persons who construct a shared regional cohesiveness across the border tend to use the Alemannic dialect when interacting with Alsatians, whereas persons who do not perceive such a cohesiveness mainly use Standard German or French.
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