Dutch Limburg as multilingual area

Leonie Cornips, sociolinguista al Meertens Instituut di Amsterdam e professoressa di cultura linguistica in Limburgo all’Università di Maastricht, ci invia il suo abstract per il convegno:

In this talk, I will introduce Dutch Limburg as multilingual area, including the regional language Limburgish and, in brief, its contestation (together with other home languages than Dutch) in preschools in Limburg. The largest part of the talk, however, will be devoted to the languagecultural effects of the expansion of the coal mining industry in the former century in the Eastern Mine District with Heerlen as its centre. In the beginning of the 20 th century, the expanding coal mining industry attracted numerous migrants and their language varieties from within the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe (Italy, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Austria, and Hungary). As a result, a new language variety emerged in Heerlen which is called Heerlen Dutch (Cornips 1994). People characterize Heerlen Dutch – then and now – as neither dialect nor Dutch but something in between. Nowadays, people in Heerlen relate to the coalmining past of this city through a variety of languagecultural practices that cut across diverse media forms and genres, both textual (poems, rap songs), visual (portrait photography, material commodities), and digital (posts on Facebook, YouTube videos). I will show how people in Heerlen, through these practices express, repeat, and renew their individual and collective memories of Heerlen as the coal mining centre (Cornips & Van den Hengel 2018).

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