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Open Access Wandel und Variation in der Morphosyntax der schweizerdeutschen Dialekte

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Abstract

Syntactic Variation and change in Swiss German dialects

The article deals with the areal distribution of morphosyntactic variants in Swiss German dialects. The Zurich project “Syntaktischer Atlas der deutschen Schweiz” (SADS) has provided a lot of evidence for the existence of syntactic isoglosses within the German-speaking regions of Switzerland. In the following, we will discuss several types of variant distribution. There are syntactic variables showing a division of Western and Eastern Swiss German dialects, a division well known from phonology and lexis. In addition, we find few archaic variants restricted to southern Highest Alemannic, again in line with other linguistic levels. Most interesting are some variants showing up in quite small ‐ and differing ‐ regions. These regions usually do not only show these specific variants but variation with a more common variant. This leads to a discussion of the implications of variation. Variation is not only seen as an indication of an ongoing change, but it is argued that there is evidence for a long lasting variational situation and largely stable variation respectively. Several possible types of comparison with older data and between age groups (apparent time analysis) within the data are presented. There are relatively few cases where we can show larger shifts between two regional variants and there seem to be only some rare cases of syntactic influence by Standard German introducing new variants. With respect to the old question of morphosyntactic borrowing, Swiss German dialects show cases of resistance as well as cases of interference, the latter concerning loan translation and semantic adaptation if the structure favors it.
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Keywords: Swiss German; borrowing; dialect contact; dialect syntax; dialectology; diffusion; isoglosses; variation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Elvira Glaser, Universität Zürich − Deutsches Seminar, Schönberggasse 9, 8001 Zürich, Schweiz., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: December 12, 2014

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  • Taal en Tongval is een wetenschappelijk tijdschrift over taalvariatie in Nederland en Vlaanderen, waarin ook aandacht wordt geschonken aan naburige taalgebieden en aan het Nederlands verwante talen. Alle vormen van variatie kunnen worden besproken zoals geografische, sociale, etnische, stilistische en diachrone variatie. Verder mogen daarbij ook alle aspecten van de menselijke taal aan de orde komen. Het blad staat zowel open voor empirisch werk als voor studies die een verbinding leggen tussen taalvariatie en theoretische taalkunde.

    Taal en Tongval publiceert bijdragen in het Nederlands, Engels, en Duits. In bepaalde gevallen kunnen ook artikelen in andere talen in overweging genomen worden, zoals Fries, Afrikaans en Frans.

    Taal en Tongval. Language Variation in the Low Countries is a journal devoted to the scientific study of language variation in the Netherlands and Flanders, in neighbouring areas and in languages related to Dutch. All types of variation are covered, including but not restricted to geographical, social, ethnic, stylistic and diachronic variation. Articles may deal with all aspects of human language. The journal welcomes both empirical work as studies linking language variation to developments in theoretical linguistics.

    Taal en Tongval welcomes contributions in Dutch, English and German. In certain cases we also consider articles in other languages, including Frisian, Afrikaans, and French.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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