Alsatian Acts of Identity: Language Use and Language by Vassberg


By Vassberg

A German dialect spoken in Alsace (France), has swiftly misplaced technique to French considering that 1945. This booklet investigates language selection, language attitudes and ethnic id in Alsace at the present time. The Alsatian case research issues out the complicated interrelationship of linguistic and identification switch with old, social and mental tactics.

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Additional resources for Alsatian Acts of Identity: Language Use and Language Attitudes in Alsace (Multilingual Matters)

Sample text

As used here, 'minority language' has nothing to do with the language itself, and in no way conveys the idea that somehow the minority language is deficient or inferior. Rather it refers to the situation it finds itself in. For instance, Danish is the threatening language for Faroese, but it is itself a minority language in Germany. Minority languages usually live in the shadow of a culturally dominant language. Nor does 'minority group' refer to sheer numbers. In Belgium, the Flemish who have been perceived as a minority actually form 60% of the population.

Likely to repay concessions with sympathy for German rule' (Craig, 1984: 87). The conciliatory policies of the statthalters in Alsace disappointed many Germans. More repressive measures were taken after all 15 Alsatian deputies voted against an army bill supported by Bismarck, which would have increased the army's presence in Alsace. Intensified surveillance of pro-French groups and individuals was increased. Two hundred social and cultural organizations which were suspected of anti-German feeling were dissolved.

A German observer of the time observed that French took over as the Alsatians' Hochdeutsch. Secondly, economic and administrative reforms also strengthened the ties with the interior: barriers to trade were removed and the same administrative structure was set up as in the rest of France. The burgeoning bourgeoisie, especially, found new incentives to learn French in the growing economic integration with the rest of France, and many Alsatians felt a natural sympathy for the ideals of the Enlightenment and of the Revolution (Craig, 1984: 20-1).

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